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Water is Special: The Unique

properties of water

By
Vikash Kumar
Department of Mechanical Engg.
These images show a lunar crater on the side of the moon that faces away from
the earth as viewed by Moon Mineralogy Mapper (M3) of Chandrayaan-1
spacecraft. On the right, the distribution of water rich minerals (light blue) is
shown around a crater
Water’s unique properties allow life to exist on Earth.
Life depends on hydrogen bonds in water.
 Water is a polar covalent molecule.
 Polar molecules have slightly charged regions.

O
H H
+ +
104.5o

– Nonpolar molecules do not have charged regions.

This property of water is used in electrohydrodynamics.


Hydrogen bond is: weak inter-molecular bond
• It form between
slightly positive
hydrogen atoms and
slightly negative
oxygen atoms.

• each molecule can


bond to max. of 4
neighbor molecules
via. hydrogen bond
 Hydrogen bonds are responsible for four important
properties of water.

1. High specific heat

2. Universal solvent

3. Surface tension

4. Less dense as a solid


Examples of each property of water
 High specific heat – hydrogen bonds give water
abnormally high specific heat. This means water resists
changes in temperature.
• water is able to absorb
heat, without increasing
in temperature, better
than many substances
• Reservoirs & ocean
works as heat sink

For instance, our fish in the pond is indeed happy because the heat capacity of the
water in his pond is high, it means the temperature of the water will stay relatively the
same from day to night. He doesn't have to worry about either turning on his air
conditioner or putting on his woolen flipper gloves.
Universal Solvent
 A solution is formed when one substance dissolves in
another.
 A solution is a homogeneous mixture.
 Solvents dissolve other substances.
 Solutes dissolve in a solvent.

solution
 “Like dissolves like.”
– Polar solvents dissolve polar solutes.
– Nonpolar solvents dissolve nonpolar solutes.
– Polar substances and nonpolar substances generally
remain separate.

Polar Ex: The


liquid part of your Nonpolar Ex:
blood, called Fats and oils
plasma, is about rarely dissolve in
95% water. The water. Fats and
solvent in plasma oils are nonpolar
is water and all so they do not
the dissolved have charged
substances are regions so they
the solutes: are not attracted
sugars and to polar
proteins etc.. molecules.
 Adhesion – the attraction among molecules of different
substances is called adhesion. In other words, water is
“sticky” to lots of other substances.

transpiration

Example: Adhesion
helps plants transport
water from their roots
to their leaves
because water sticks
to the sides of cellular
structures in plants
called xylem.
Surface Tension:
 Cohesion is the attraction among molecules of a
substance. In other words, water is “sticking” to other
water molecules due to hydrogen bonds.

Fig. Water’s surface tension comes


from hydrogen bond’s that cause
water molecules to stick together.
The water's surface (left, dyed red) is curved down
because water has greater adhesion than cohesion. The
surface of the mercury (right) is curved up because
mercury has greater cohesion than adhesion.
 Water is less dense as a solid due to its hydrogen bonds.
 Because the orientation of Hydrogen bond causes
molecules to push farther apart which lowers the density.
Unique properties associated only with water
 Water is the only substance on earth that is naturally
present in three different forms – as a liquid, a solid (ice)
and as a gas (water vapor).”
 Water when cooled, it becomes exceptionally
compressible, to extent that, if this property did not
exist, the oceans would be about 40 m more higher.
 Hot water may freeze faster than cold water under
certain conditions. This is called Mpemba effect, it was
brought to the attention of the scientific community by
Erasto B. Mpemba a 13-year-old Tanzanian schoolboy,
who refused to reject his own evidence, or bow to
disbelieving mockery, that he could freeze ice cream
faster if he warmed it first.
Equation of state for liquid water
 The equation of state relates the pressure (P), volume (V) and
temperature (T) of a physically homogeneous system in the
state of thermodynamic equilibrium f(P, V, T) = 0
 A new analytic equation of state for liquid water
By C. A. Jeffery and P. H. Austin
Published in Journal of Chemical Physics on 1st January 1999

Where
aVW = van der Waals attractive force
b* = addition entropy term
α = Temperature dependent function
λb = analogous to the van der Walls excluded volume
b = a temperature dependent function
λ = a constant.
References:
1)A. Jeffery and P. H. Austin “A new analytic equation of
state for liquid water” Journal of Chemical Physics
volume 110, No. 1, 1st January 1999.

2) Water and life:The unique properties of H2O by Ruth


M. Lynden-bell & Simon Conway Morris

3) https://www.wikipedia.org/
Save Water, Save life

Thank you