The Extraordinary Properties of Water

What makes water so special?
• A water molecule (H2O), is
made up of three atoms --- one
oxygen and two hydrogen.
Inside an Atom
Atomic Bonding
• Animations on atomic bonding
So…what makes water so
Water has unique properties that impact the role it
plays on the Earth in all the spheres (hydrosphere,
lithosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere).
What are
of Water?
Properties of Water
•High Specific Heat
•High Heat of Vaporization
•Less Dense as a Solid
Water is Polar!!!!
• The oxygen end “acts” negative
• The hydrogen end “acts” positive
• Causes the water to be POLAR, like a
Hydrogen Bonds Exist Between
Water Molecules
• Formed between a
highly Electronegative
atom (like oxygen in
another water) of a polar
molecule and a
• Weak bond, but strong in
great numbers.
Interaction Between Water
Negative Oxygen end of one water molecule is
attracted to the Positive Hydrogen end of another water
molecule to form a HYDROGEN BOND
• Attraction between particles of the
same substance ( why water is
attracted to itself)
• Results in surface tension (a measure of
the strength of water’s surface)
Cohesion …
Helps insects walk across
water, but how is it helpful
to people?
• Attraction between two different substances.
• Water will make hydrogen bonds with other
surfaces such as glass, soil, plant tissues, and
• Capillary action-water molecules will “tow”
each other along when in a thin glass tube.
Adhesion Causes Capillary
Which gives water the
ability to “climb”
High Specific Heat
• Amount of heat needed to raise or
lower 1g of a substance 1° C.
• Water resists temperature change, both
for heating and cooling.
– Would you rather walk on sand or in water
on a beach on a hot summer day?
– Which would be warmer that night? Why?
High Heat of Vaporization
• Water vapor forms a kind of
global ‘‘blanket” which helps to
keep the Earth warm.
• Heat radiated from the sun
warmed surface of the earth is
absorbed and held
by the vapor.
Water is Less Dense as a
•Which is ice and which is water?
Solutions & Suspensions
• Water is usually part of a mixture.
• There are two types of mixtures:
– Solutions: substance dissolves in
– Suspensions: substance suspends in
Water is the solvent, salt is the solute
salt water is the solution
• Substances that
don’t dissolve but
separate into tiny
Acids, Bases and pH
One water molecule is made of two ions,
(H+) and a Hydroxide Ion (OH-)
H2O 
Hydrogen Ion
+ OH
Hydroxide Ion
Acids and Bases
Acid: A solution with lots of H+ ions
• pH 0 up to 7 is acid (acidic)
Base: A solution with lots of OH- ions
• pH above 7 – 14 is basic
The pH Scale…acids
• Indicates the
percent of H+ ions
• Ranges from 0 – 14
• pH of 7 is neutral
• Each pH unit
represents a factor
of 10X change in
– pH 3 is 10 x 10 x
10 (1000x)
stronger than a
pH of 6
The pH Scale…bases
• Weak acids or bases that react with
strong acids or bases to prevent sharp,
sudden changes in pH (neutralization).
• Produced naturally by the body to
maintain homeostasis
Weak Acid
Weak Base
Human biology and pH
• Your blood maintains a pH of 7.35 –
7.45 (slightly basic)
– Balance is maintained by buffers in
blood, breathing, and urinating
• The human vaginal canal has a pH
of 3.8 – 4.5…Why?
Quick Quiz
1. Draw a water molecule with
labeled atoms and charges.
2. Describe how water is sticking to
3. What makes a solution acidic?
4. What has a higher pH, bleach or
lemon juice?
5. Why do we sweat?