When I took chemistry in high school, the inevitable question as to whether or not water has a chemical name came up. Our instructor said no, but if it did it ought to be called hydrogen hydroxide. His reasoning was that when hydrogen reacts with oxygen, it first form an hydroxyl radical that then reacts with another hydrogen molecule to finally form water; since the reaction that converts hydrogen and oxygen into water is so chaotic, that hydrogen molecule will almost certainly be a different molecule than the one that contributed the first hydrogen atom. Was our chemistry instructor correct? Is this actually how hydrogen and oxygen react to form water?

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    $\begingroup$ This wanders from one question to a second. Could you edit it to focus on one or the other? $\endgroup$
    – hBy2Py
    Apr 4, 2017 at 20:48
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    $\begingroup$ $\ce{OH.}$ isn't called hydroxide, it's hydroxyl; and don't take that as me advocating for "hydrogen hydroxyl". See also: Does water have a chemical name? and Do chemists refer to water as “dihydrogen monoxide”? $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2017 at 21:04
  • $\begingroup$ @orthocresol, dang! I know that! Stupid mistake. $\endgroup$
    – BillDOe
    Apr 4, 2017 at 22:35
  • $\begingroup$ Edited the question to better reflect the question posed in the body. $\endgroup$
    – BillDOe
    Apr 4, 2017 at 22:40


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