Sunday, November 14, 2010

Why is water a liquid at room temperature?

Have you ever wondered why there is nothing else like water on the planet? Many compounds have similar molecular masses: oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, etc, etc, etc. Water is the only compound in its molecular weight class that is a liquid at room temperature. Why is it so unique?

It is because of forces between molecules called hydrogen bonds. The hydrogen atoms of one water molecule are attracted to the lone pairs of electrons on the oxygen atoms of adjoining water molecules. This attractive force between molecules is very, very weak on one hand; compared to the attractive forces of a chemical bond, the hydrogen bond attractive forces are really small. Over large distances, however, these small attractive forces add into something very, very powerful. An overall sticky effect is created. "Sticky" in that the water molecules are more attracted to each other than molecules of that molecular mass would normally be. Molecules like oxygen gas and nitrogen gas are gases at room temperature. Because of the hydrogen bonding between water molecules, water is a liquid at room temperature.

Because of hydrogen bonds we have lakes and streams. We have capillary action that allows water to climb the trunks of trees to the branches, we have snowflakes, icicles, and icebergs that float on the top of oceans.

Water is amazing.


  1. Anonymous1:30 AM

    I leave a comment each time I appreciate a article on a website or I have something
    to add to the discussion. It is a result of the passion communicated in the article I looked at.
    And after this post "Why is water a liquid at room temperature?".
    I was actually excited enough to drop a thought :) I actually do have
    2 questions for you if you usually do not mind. Could
    it be simply me or does it look as if like a few of the remarks come
    across as if they are left by brain dead folks?
    :-P And, if you are posting at additional online social sites,
    I'd like to keep up with you. Could you make a list all of all your shared sites like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

    my blog post reviews of phen375

  2. Anonymous4:27 AM

    you can use a myriad of things to make table decorations both unique as well as lovely.
    There are many designer dining room table and chairs
    which will solve your problem and will give your dining room a stunning new look.

    Now that you have cured your project for at least
    10 to 15 days, you'll want to go ahead and release it from the mold and begin the grinding and polishing process.

    my web page; wooden computer table design

  3. Anonymous4:19 AM

    You should not assume that designer cakes are cheap. To make one, the decorator wraps a
    ribbon of any color, width, or material around the bottom of each tier.

    Baking a Christmas cake is an integral part of
    the celebrations.

    Here is my web page - christmas cake decorating ideas