Don’t believe it until it can be reproduced repeatedly: Basic Principle of Physics Is Wrong, Oxford Scientists Say. The claim:

Researchers from the University of Oxford’s chemistry department found that like-charged particles submerged in solutions were able to attract each other from long distances, depending on the solvent used and the sign of the charge.

The researchers tracked negatively charged silica microparticles that were suspended in a solution and discovered that these particles did indeed attract each other, forming hexagonally arranged clusters when they did.

The scientists believe the phenomenon is caused by an attractive force only present in water that outweighs the usual electrostatic repulsion, allowing these clusters to form.

“We show that in aqueous solution, negatively charged particles can attract at long range while positively charged particles repel. In solvents that exhibit an inversion of the net molecular dipole at an interface, such as alcohols, we find that the converse can be true: positively charged particles may attract whereas negatives repel.”

Left unsaid is why the force is only present in water. Science is never settled.

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