I should really salute these scientists. I thought Physics (in particular "basic Physics") is dead and gone. Let me pose a question:-
In today's world, what kind of truth (truth in a "Physics" context) can you find out with a beaker full of water, or half water ?
If you ask a question like this to a boring normal guy(like me) who has acquired ignorance and arm-chair philosophy due to daily-routine inertia, I would probably tell you about the story of a thirsty crow who dropped pebbles into a beaker so as to make it full. Or probably I would tell about Archimedes principle (buoyant force and all that).
In other words, I would say All that, which can be discovered with a beaker full of water, has been discovered by Newton (and his dog, diamond?) or Archimedes or Bernoulli.
But hang on!!!!! People still manage to do interesting things with a beaker full of water.When exposed to high voltage, water does some interesting things. From the article :
'water in two beakers climbs out of the beakers and crosses empty space to meet, forming the water bridge. The liquid bridge, hovering in space, appears to the human eye to defy gravity. Upon investigating the phenomenon, the scientists found that water was being transported from one beaker to another, usually from the anode beaker to the cathode beaker. The cylindrical water bridge, with a diameter of 1-3 mm, could remain intact when the beakers were pulled apart at a distance of up to 25 mm.'"
Well I guess it is just a question of having a "research attitude" and that keen eye. It's all about seeing whether the glass is half empty or half full ! These kind of properties will definitely have some application.
Have a look around the world around you. You will find at least some questions : (If not answers)
Hmmm...Now I guess I should think what happens if you dip a Compact Disc in a beaker full of water mixed with Salt and pickle and give a high voltage!!!
Have a look at this article : Water forms floating 'bridge' when exposed to high voltage