The Chemical Structure of Water-Why it is So Unique

Most of us with even a limited knowledge of chemistry know that the chemical equation for water is H2O, but just what does that mean exactly? Well, to be technical, it means that water consists of 2 atoms of hydrogen and 1 of oxygen. This fact alone however, doesn't begin to explain the complex chemical nature of one of earth's most precious resources.

What sets Water apart?

The human body is made up of 70 percent water; the earth is comprised of 75 percent of it. It is also the only substance known to man that expands when it gets cold. Most other items contract. These facts make water a quite fascinating substance, especially when one considers that it is used in chemistry quite often. One of these ways is to measure an objects density. When looking at the density of an object, many chemists will compare a substance against the density of water.

Water and ice

Because water expands rather than contracts as it chills down and is frozen it has the ability to float atop its liquid form. This means that ice is less dense than water and that, logically speaking, ice volume is greater than fluid water volume.

Changes in Water Volume

As water freezes it changes its molecular structure. As it continues to harden, expansion is created. Soon, ice starts to take on more volume than liquid water. When measured and observed, the increase in volume of ice is about 9%. Now, less dense than water, ice can effectively float on top of its fluid base.

Yes, water is an incredible resource with some amazing properties. As science continues to evolve into amazing and new heights, who knows what uses will be found for water. In this regard, the future looks bright for H2O indeed.

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