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Self-stirring liquids

Chemistry, not force, mixes it up

4:16pm, January 29, 2010

In a tail wagging the dog reversal, researchers have found that simple chemical reactions can mix a solution. Usually, chemicals are stirred to enhance a reaction, but a new study finds that the reverse is also true: Simple chemical reactions can trigger fluid flows, reports a paper in the January 29 Physical Review Letters.

The research has implications for many chemical reactions, including those inside stars or when carbon dioxide stored deep in the earth encounters water, says study coauthor Anne De Wit of the Université Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.

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