Tuesday, September 20

Digg proves its worth: Water is Weird

Rands introduced me to Digg last week, and it was cool enough at the time that I put their all, science, gaming, and tech feeds on my list.

Today, it proved its worth; the top link of the Science feed was 41 Anomalies of Water. I had no idea it was so weird!

read more | digg story

1 comment:

JeremyHussell said...

I think almost all of these properties come down to one thing:

Oxygen atoms are second only to Fluorine in their affinity for electrons, and Hydrogen atoms are pretty weak at holding on to thiers. This means that the H-O bonds in water are unequal. The electrons spend most of their time closer to the Oxygen than to the Hydrogen, which leads to water molecules being charged: slightly negative near the center, and slightly positive near the ends. This, in turn, means that water molecules are attracted to other molecules quite strongly (hence the usefulness of water as a solvent), and more importantly, really stick to each other. It should be obvious how this causes, e.g., anomalies #1 to #6, #14, or #22. It's less obvious how this causes some of the other anomalies, but I think I can see the links to most of them.

Let me know if this is reasonably close to the facts or just a screwball theory based on half-remembered chemistry classes.