What Are the Properties of Water

Water forms 70 percent of the earth’s surface and is an important compound needed for the existence of life on earth. Water is a colorless, tasteless liquid at room temperature. Owing to the property of water which makes it a universal solvent, it is very difficult to find pure forms of naturally occurring water. The chemical formula of water is given as H2O, wherein two atoms of hydrogen combine with one atom of oxygen. The boiling point of pure water is 100 degree Celsius and its melting point is 0 degree Celsius. The solid state of water is called ice and when in gaseous state, it is known as water vapor.

The density of water depends mainly on the kind of salt that is dissolved in it. It would be worth noting here that the density of water is higher than that of ice, thereby, making aquatic life possible in cold regions. Water in addition to being a universal solvent, is easily miscible with many liquids making it possible to form homogenous mixture of water with substances like alcohol. The property of hydrogen bonding in water is an important characteristic of it and one molecule of water can form as many as four hydrogen bonds; leading to polar nature of water. The hydrogen bonds are also responsible for the cohesive nature of water.

Owing to its adhesive property, water forms a thin film on smooth surfaces like glass plate. Pure water has a ph of 7, but in reality it is very difficult to find such pure forms of water. The surface tension of water is 72.8Mn/m at room temperature. The high surface tension of water along with its adhesive property plays a major role in the capillary action of water. Water in a tube rises up against gravity, until equilibrium is attained between the gravitational and the adhesive forces.

Triple point of water is said to be the temperature and pressure at which water exists in all three forms of state. Studies have showed that triple point of water is achieved at 273.16 K and 611.73 Pascal. One would be surprised to know that water constitutes almost 60 percent of the human body, thereby, playing an important role in transportation and metabolism. Water is an excellent conductor of electricity in its natural form and its conductivity can be increased by addition of salts into it. The amphoteric nature of water makes it behave as both an acid and base in chemical reactions. Deuterium Oxide, D2O is known as heavy water. Summing up, owing to the unique properties of water and its importance in most life processes, it is an indispensable part of life on earth.

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