Water Has a Number Of Properties Essential For Life.

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Laura Lee

Water Has a Number Of

Properties Essential

For Life.

The dictionary definition of water is ‘a clear, tasteless liquid which falls as rain’, although this statement is true, water is a lot more than that, water is in fact the most important compound on Earth, and probably also one of the most taken for granted. Vast amounts are used everyday in and around the home and without water we wouldn’t be able to survive – the body is made up of 55%-60% water, yet there are very few people who know much more about water than that is essential to life. The earth is made up 75% of water! In this assignment I will be studying in depth the properties of water and why they are essential for life.

Water is a molecular compound formed when an oxygen atom bonds with two hydrogen atoms to make a tiny v-shaped molecule. The atoms are strongly bonded together and very hard to break. Water has a very high surface tension, this means that water is ‘sticky’ and has a tendency to clump together rather than spread out into a thin film. The reason for this is because both of the hydrogen atoms are bonded to one side of the oxygen atom and this means that a water molecule has a positive side and a negative side, the positive side being the side with the hydrogen atoms and the negative side being the side with the oxygen atom. The hydrogen atoms are constantly being exchanged between water molecules, both acids and alkalis catalyze this exchange. The diagram below shows the attraction between the molecules.

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Water can exist naturally on the planet in three physical states– solid (ice), liquid (water) and gas (steam/ water vapour). Water boils i.e. turns into a vapour at 100°c and freezes i.e. turns into ice at 0°c. It is remarkable as ice is one of the few solids that are less dense than in its liquid form (water), which explains why ice floats. Water helps to buffer temperature changes in cells because it has a moderately high specific heat capacity (this means it can absorb a lot of heat before it starts to ...

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