A new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on November 7, proposes an intriguing phenomenon: visible green light might have the ability to accelerate water evaporation. The research conducted by MIT mechanical engineer Gang Chen and his team reveals that water subjected to visible light, particularly with a greenish hue, exhibits a faster rate of evaporation than what would be expected from heat alone.
This discovery opens up the possibility that when light interacts with water, individual particles of light, known as photons, could have the capacity to break the bonds between water molecules. As a result, clusters of water molecules are released into the surrounding air. The implications of this finding may extend beyond the laboratory setting, suggesting that light-driven evaporation could be a naturally occurring phenomenon globally.
While further research is needed to fully comprehend the mechanisms and potential applications of this discovery, it offers a fascinating perspective on the role of light in water evaporation, challenging conventional wisdom that solely attributes this process to heat.