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Terrestrial Origins and Evolution
Water hexamer


Three-dimensional representations of the prism (left) and cage (right) structures of the water hexamer, the smallest drop of water. The mesh contours represent the actual quantum-mechanical densities of the oxygen (red) and hydrogen (white) atoms. The small yellow spheres represent the hydrogen bonds between the six water molecules. Characterizing the hydrogen-bond topology of the water hexamer at the molecular level is key to understanding the unique and often surprising properties of liquid water, our life matrix. Credit: Images courtesy of Volodymyr Babin and Francesco Paesani, UC San Diego

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