When going through the preparation of alcohols, I came across the method of Oxymercuration-Demercuration.
Now, after going over the reaction, I didn't understand the purpose of the mercuric acetate in this reaction. According to me, H2O should be able to dissociate into H+ and OH- and then break the double bond and attach itself to the alkane. But, this does not happen because of some reason that I'm not aware of.
Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxymercuration_reaction