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Specific ion effects

Ninham, B.W., Lo Nostro, P. and Parsons, D.F.ORCID: 0000-0002-3956-6031 (2010) Specific ion effects. In: Molecular forces and self assembly: Colloid, Nano Sciences and Biology (Cambridge Molecular Science). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 146-231.

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It will be clear by now that the theoretical edifice that deals with molecular forces in physical chemistry, built painstakingly over the past 150 years, is flawed. That there are defects and limitations in any theory we can live with. Of course there are. But the emerging picture from the preceding chapters is more disturbing. It seems that our intuition has become so seriously flawed that what ought to be the enabling discipline of physical chemistry has become impotent in the face of challenges posed by the biological sciences. To readers familiar with and schooled in the classical textbook literature, this claim is not easy to accept. And the burden of proof of a challenge to an established discipline lies with the proponent. So, in this chapter we recapitulate the standard literature ideas, and outline where they went off course. Then we revisit and pull together a number of examples from biology, some already mentioned, where it is clear that the standard theories fail. Then we outline our views on how it is that a reconciliation is on the way to being effected. How to fit Hofmeister effects into the scheme of things is a first issue.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Copyright: © B.W. Ninham and P. Lo Nostro 2010
Notes: Drew Parsons is co-author of Chapter 7
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