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I am doing some homework just right now, and I encountered this problem. I know that the polarity of the water molecules allows them to be a solvent for a variety of polar species or even species with ionic bonds, but other chemicals dissolve in 25°C water and we know it. (considerable molars of the solute) So something or somethings are responsible for those kind of solutions. I do not need their explanation, only naming them would be enough. I'll do the research myself. But, please avoid technical jargon.

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Look up enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs energy. These are the fundamental reasons which determine whether a process (such as dissolving) will take place.

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  • $\begingroup$ Sorry to bother, but doesn't dissolvation vastly decrease entropy? So that should mean the reaction occurs a lot. Two questions come along: First, are these the only "hidden" factors? And shouldn't that mean almost everything dissolve in water? $\endgroup$ – user6887 Dec 18 '14 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ In most cases the entropy of the system (solvent and solute) decreases when a gaseous ion is solvated and this disfavours the reaction but there is also the entropy change of the surroundings to consider. This is accounted for by considering the Gibbs energy change of the system and here the enthalpy terms come into play. As I said, if you want to find out more, research Gibbs energy changes in reactions. $\endgroup$ – bon Dec 18 '14 at 19:45

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