1
$\begingroup$

Electrons can be anywhere in the universe and where they are is random.

But they are still discrete particles and thus it takes energy for electrons to move.

Is it possible for an electron to jump from 1 water molecule to another causing $\ce{H2O^+}$ and $\ce{H2O^-}$ to form?

$\endgroup$
2
$\begingroup$

Electrons can be anywhere in the universe

Kind of: There is a non-zero probability that an electron can be at any distance from some point of origin (for instance, the nucleus of an atom), but there is some distance which corresponds to the place where we're most likely to find it (the place where the probability amplitude is highest) most of the time.

and where they are is random.

Again, sort of: They are most likely located in certain regions of space for most of the time, but since it's a probability, it's not a certainty. That said, there is a common sense element that can be applied here. Yes, an electron from a hydrogen atom in a flask in your laboratory can be out near Jupiter, but realistically, it's not. And if it's on Jupiter, it's not really that hydrogen atom's electron anymore.

Is it possible for an electron to jump from 1 water molecule to another causing $\ce{H2O}^+$ and $\ce{H2O}^−$ to form?

Yes, it is possible (but probable? I don't know, but certainly there are conditions under which such a reaction will occur).

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, there certainly is incredibly small chance for tunnelling of electron from one water molecule to another. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Jul 13 '15 at 17:26

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.