Water memory is a metaphysical theory, basic to homeopathy, which holds that water is capable of containing "memory" of particles dissolved in it. This memory allows water to retain the properties of the original solute even when there is literally no solute left in the solution.The theory is dismissed by mainstream science.
The most prominent research in this field was performed by the late French immunologist Jacques Benveniste, who attempted to construct a mechanistic explanation for homeopathy. He has gone so far as to say this information may even be transmitted via telephone or the Internet. Many of his results have not been successfully replicated in other laboratories. Most notably, skeptic James Randi placed a $1 million challenge to the BBC Horizon team to prove the "water memory" theory.
Experiments were conducted in a proper scientific manner, with the Vice-President of the Royal Society, Professor John Enderby, overseeing the experiment. The challenge ended with the Horizon team failing to prove the memory of water. However, research by Professor Madeleine Ennis of Queen's University, Belfast, reported in the Guardian has re-opened the issue.According to many experts the claims of healing by homeopathy are related to the placebo effect.
During the 1960s, Soviet scientist Boris Derjaguin developed an experimental model of anomalous behaviour in water, called polywater. In some ways it was analagous to the current concept of water memory. Derjaguin's work led to a brief flurry of research interest in the field before it was determined that his findings resulted from poorly controlled experiments and improperly cleaned glassware.
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