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Soft Water: understanding what makes a fluid behave like water

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






Project "SOFTWATER" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: BS8 1QU

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country United Kingdom [UK]
 Project website
 Total cost 952˙561 €
 EC max contribution 952˙561 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2017-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2018
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2018-02-01   to  2023-01-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITY OF BRISTOL UK (BRISTOL) coordinator 952˙561.00


 Project objective

'Water is the most common and yet least understood material on Earth. Despite its simplicity, the structure of the water molecule is responsible for a vast array of properties that are unlike those of other fluids. Water anomalies, like the density maximum at 4 degrees Celsius, play a fundamental role in determining the Earth's climate, and ultimately the very existence of life. From an anthropic viewpoint, the properties of water are as if they were fine-tuned. It is this uniqueness that hinders our understanding of how water behaves in many natural systems and technological applications; for example, our inability to predict the stability limit of water in supercooled clouds, and the rates of ice crystallization, is credited as being one of the biggest unknowns in models of Climate Change, where the scattering of energy from suspended ice droplets in the clouds plays a central role in determining Earth's radiation budget.

In this proposal, we attempt an entirely novel route to understand what makes a fluid behave like water. Starting from the observation that the properties of water seem to appear fine-tuned, we are going to 'untune' water's interactions. This means that we are going to consider the interactions of water as one point in a higher dimensional space of possible interactions, and we are going to study how the properties of water change going from “real” water to models which behave like other simple liquids. This continuous change will allow us not only to understand the unique properties that are found in water, but will also provide a route to the potential discovery of new behaviour that cannot be captured with conventional approaches.

The process of gradually changing the interactions in water produces a family of models that we call 'Soft Water', and in this research proposal we are going to show how this new approach has the potential to solve the mysteries that real water is still hiding from us.'


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Hideyo Tsurusawa, Mathieu Leocmach, John Russo, Hajime Tanaka
Direct link between mechanical stability in gels and percolation of isostatic particles
published pages: eaav6090, ISSN: 2375-2548, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aav6090
Science Advances 5/5 2019-10-01
2018 Rui Shi, John Russo, Hajime Tanaka
Origin of the emergent fragile-to-strong transition in supercooled water
published pages: 9444-9449, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807821115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115/38 2019-10-01
2018 Nicholas Wood, John Russo, Francesco Turci, C. Patrick Royall
Coupling of sedimentation and liquid structure: Influence on hard sphere nucleation
published pages: 204506, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5050397
The Journal of Chemical Physics 149/20 2019-10-01
2019 Hajime Tanaka, Hua Tong, Rui Shi, John Russo
Revealing key structural features hidden in liquids and glasses
published pages: 333-348, ISSN: 2522-5820, DOI: 10.1038/s42254-019-0053-3
Nature Reviews Physics 1/5 2019-10-01
2018 John Russo, Kenji Akahane, Hajime Tanaka
Water-like anomalies as a function of tetrahedrality
published pages: E3333-E3341, ISSN: 0027-8424, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1722339115
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115/15 2019-10-01
2018 C Patrick Royall, Francesco Turci, Soichi Tatsumi, John Russo, Joshua Robinson
The race to the bottom: approaching the ideal glass?
published pages: 363001, ISSN: 0953-8984, DOI: 10.1088/1361-648x/aad10a
Journal of Physics: Condensed Matter 30/36 2019-10-01
2018 John Russo, Flavio Romano, Hajime Tanaka
Glass Forming Ability in Systems with Competing Orderings
published pages: , ISSN: 2160-3308, DOI: 10.1103/physrevx.8.021040
Physical Review X 8/2 2019-10-01
2018 Lorenzo Rovigatti, John Russo, Flavio Romano
How to simulate patchy particles
published pages: , ISSN: 1292-8941, DOI: 10.1140/epje/i2018-11667-x
The European Physical Journal E 41/5 2019-10-01
2018 Rui Shi, John Russo, Hajime Tanaka
Common microscopic structural origin for water’s thermodynamic and dynamic anomalies
published pages: 224502, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5055908
The Journal of Chemical Physics 149/22 2019-10-01
2019 Lee Steinberg, John Russo, Jeremy Frey
A new topological descriptor for water network structure
published pages: , ISSN: 1758-2946, DOI: 10.1186/s13321-019-0369-0
Journal of Cheminformatics 11/1 2019-10-01
2019 Fabio Leoni, Rui Shi, Hajime Tanaka, John Russo
Crystalline clusters in mW water: Stability, growth, and grain boundaries
published pages: 44505, ISSN: 0021-9606, DOI: 10.1063/1.5100812
The Journal of Chemical Physics 151/4 2019-10-01

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