Title: Water:Soft in Nature, Hard in Science

Enge Wang

Chinese Academy of Sciences, China


Enge Wang is the Professor of Physics and the President Emeritus of Peking University. He also chairs the Advisor Board of the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). He received his Ph.D. from Peking University. He was the Director of the Institute of Physics (CAS) (1999-2007), the Provost and then the President of Peking University (2011-2015), and the Vice President of CAS (2015-2017). He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and has served as an Executive Editor of AIP Advances. He has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). Wang researches surface physics with over 300 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 2 books and 1 MRS proceeding. He delivered over 80 invited talks including APS, MRS and IUMRS.


Despite water being a ubiquitous substance, it is surprising that some basic questions are still debated. Here using a combination of experimental (cryogenic STM/AFM) and theoretical (first-principle electronic structures and molecular dynamics) methods, we systematically studied the unusual structure and dynamics of water molecules on NaCl surface. More interestingly, for the first time, we observe the nuclear quantum effect and magic number hydrates of interfacial water. These results shed light on our understanding of water at atomic scale.