Questions tagged [water]

For questions relating to water (H₂O), specifically its structure, properties, and uses in chemistry. For questions not about water but rather about solutions in water, use tags [aqueous-solution] or [solubility] instead.

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Is methanol more acidic than water?

Methanol is slightly more acidic than water. Their $\mathrm{p}K_\mathrm{a}$ values, in water, are $15.5$ and $15.7$, respectively. All other aliphatic alcohols, however, are less acidic than water. ...
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47 votes
2 answers
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Are the lone pairs in water equivalent?

I've read that the oxygen atom in water is $\mathrm{sp^2}$ hybridized, such that one of the oxygen lone pairs should be in an $\mathrm{sp^2}$ orbital and the other should be in a pure p atomic orbital....
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21 votes
7 answers
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Is pure water very corrosive?

On Outdoors StackExchange on a post about the safety of distilled water, someone claimed that pure water is very corrosive. Water distilled for some laboratory uses (like the Z-pinch reactor) is ...
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26 votes
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Hypothetical: What happens to water as pressure increases to infinity? [duplicate]

I've asked a similar question here but the answer given shows the behaviour of water under general conditions. I'd like to know what the behaviour of water is like as pressures increase towards ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Why is water not part of the equilibrium constant?

In the acid base reaction $$\ce{NH4+ + H2O <-> NH3 + H3O+}$$ the acidity constant, which is a relation between concentrations is given by $$K_{\mathrm{a}}=\frac {\ce{[NH3]} \cdot \ce{[H3O+]}}{...
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49 votes
9 answers
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Why does ice water get colder when salt is added?

It is well known that when you add salt to ice, the ice not only melts but will actually get colder. From chemistry books, I've learned that salt will lower the freezing point of water. But I’m a ...
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28 votes
2 answers
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What happens if you cool water in a container too small for it to freeze?

Freezing a full bottle of water tends to shatter the glass bottle. What if you used something tougher than glass, like diamond? What would happen if you kept dropping the temperature, but restrained ...
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29 votes
2 answers
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Why is snow white?

I know that this is a rather ambiguous question; but my question is, whenever we take water and freeze it in the freezer, it still tends to stay clear. Since snow is just frozen water, why is it white?...
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18 votes
4 answers
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How to RAISE the melting point of water?

It is common that adding common salt into water will lower its melting point. But, is there any way to RAISE the melting point of water? Does it lower the boiling point of water as well? Why?
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6 votes
2 answers
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Estimation of the bond angle of water

We know from experimental data that $\ce{H-O-H}$ bond angle in water is approximately 104.5 degrees. If its two lone pairs were bonds (which is unfortunately impossible) also $\ce{O-H}$ bonds and a ...
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1 answer
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How many hydrogen bonds are formed by water and by HF?

How many hydrogen bonds are possible for $\ce{H2O}$, given that oxygen has two lone pairs? Is it 4 or 2? Related: why is it that HF forms only 1 hydrogen bond, given that HF has three lone pairs?
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16 votes
2 answers
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Does water have a chemical name?

Does water have a chemical name? If so, what is it? P.S. I checked up the web and got all sorts of crazy answers like dihydrogenmonoxide, oxidane, hydrogendihydride etc. Please validate.
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26 votes
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Why is water a dipole?

Water ($\ce{H2O}$) is a dipole. The reason why is simply because it is not symmetrical, there are more electrons on the oxygen side than on the hydrogen side, and the electronegativity of oxygen. But ...
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20 votes
7 answers
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Why can't pure water conduct electricity since it can be reduced at cathode and oxidised at anode?

We all know that pure water can't conduct electricity. But during electrolysis, if add a small amount of $\ce{HCl}$ acid inside, water could be decomposed to hydrogen gas and oxygen gas, as it is ...
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16 votes
4 answers
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Why is H₂O V shaped? [duplicate]

We know that the molecule of H₂O is V-shaped. This is what makes it a dipole. But why is that? I mean, if the hydrogens have a partial positive charge, then they should try to get away from each ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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Why does water volume decrease when salt is added? [duplicate]

Why does water volume decrease when salt is added? Our teacher asks us in the class but I don't find any strong reason.
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3 votes
1 answer
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Does NaCl reduce the surface tension of water?

Does NaCl reduce the surface tension of water? And why? For example soap does it, and I was wondering if NaCl does the same.
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2 votes
1 answer
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Chalcogens' hydrides as acids?

I've noticed that chalcogens never form binary acids, and instead end up like water, with very little acidity. Why is this? Or am I wrong and there's a counterexample, if so please give it.
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What happens to water under high pressures without possibility of escape?

Knowing very little about the nature of water, wondering how it might behave at the centre of a planet or centre of an another massive gravitational body. Could water take such pressures or might it ...
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11 votes
2 answers
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Is methanol really more acidic than water?

The question Why is methanol more acidic than water? deals with the reasoning of why methanol is more acidic than water. However, as mentioned in the comments of that question, the acidity constant of ...
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8 votes
1 answer
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Vaporized sodium hydroxide?

Some time ago, I was making a $\ce{NaOH}$ solution. The solution I had made was much too concentrated, and the heat released in the dissolution of the ions caused the water to begin steaming. ...
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2 votes
2 answers
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How concentrated can an acid be?

How concentrated can an acid be without it being supersaturated? Is there a certain limit to how concentrated an acid or base can be? When I mean concentration, I mean molarity; so how concentrated ...
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13 votes
3 answers
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Can you heat water with additives?

I have been curious about this question for a while. If you want to warm up a large amount of water, is it feasible to do this by adding a substance that has an exothermic reaction with the water? ...
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8 votes
0 answers
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Does water really have strong EM absorption at 3 kHz in solid and 2 GHz in liquid? Why the huge shift?

While writing this answer to the question Transmitter receiver coil separation for Electromagnetic Terrain Conductivity Measurement I ran across this large PDF file of a book Soil and Environmental ...
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87 votes
5 answers
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Does water really 'go bad' after a couple of days?

Among my friends it is a sort of 'common wisdom' that you should throw away water after a couple of days if it was taken from the tap and stored in a bottle outside the fridge, because it has 'gone ...
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26 votes
2 answers
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Why does water evaporate at room temperature?

When water temperature reaches $100\ ^\circ \mathrm{C}$, the molecules get so excited that the hydrogen atoms lose the bonds to the oxygen atom and therefore the water starts to become gas. I get that,...
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19 votes
3 answers
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Why there is no change in water level when salt is added?

Let us say we have one glass of water and after that when we add one or two spoon of salt then we notice that salt dissolves in it but when we measure the water level we found that there is no ...
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16 votes
3 answers
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Is there a simple way to separate deuterium oxide from tap water?

I understand that tap water contains minute amounts of deuterium oxide (heavy water). Is there a simple way to separate, concentrate the $\ce{D2O}$?
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14 votes
2 answers
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Burns from boiling water and steam

Why is a burn to the skin caused by steam more serious than a burn caused by the same amount of boiling water at the same temperature? The temperature is the same, which implies that the kinetic ...
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18 votes
3 answers
22k views

Do chemists refer to water as "dihydrogen monoxide"?

Is the name "Dihydrogen monoxide" actually what chemists would use to refer to $\ce{H2O}$ (assuming there was no common name, "water")? Of course, this is all over the internet. I'm a little ...
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13 votes
2 answers
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Why isn't water an ionic compound?

If two alkali metal atoms join with an oxygen atom, an ionic bond forms. Since hydrogen has the same number of valence electrons as alkali metals, why can't water be ionic? This is what I'm thinking: $...
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12 votes
3 answers
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Where do the bubbles in a glass of water come from?

This weekend I accidentally left a glass of water on my kitchen table for a few days while I was out of town. Unsurprisingly, bubbles formed on the walls. As I understand from the last time I ...
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6 votes
3 answers
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In my homemade electrolysis setup, only the negative end bubbles?

I've created an electrolysis setup by connecting a $6~\mathrm{V}$ battery to a cup filled with saline water via pencils; I am confused as to why only the negative pencil bubbles though. After running ...
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-3 votes
1 answer
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Why is the concentration of pure water is 55.5 mol/L?

Whilst reading about pH, it is given that concentration of water is $\pu{55.5 M}$. Let water be of $\pu{1 mol}$ at $\pu{297 K}$ and $\pu{1 atm}$ pressure. Then the concentration is $$c =\frac{n}{v} = ...
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15 votes
2 answers
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What is the cause of hygroscopy?

Hygroscopy is the ability of a substance to attract and hold water molecules from the surrounding environment. Why are some compounds hygroscopic and others are not? What is it about their ...
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10 votes
2 answers
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How can I identify whether a substance is KOH or NaOH?

I've bought $\ce{NaOH}$ or $\ce{KOH}$ (I don't remember which one!) for my electrolyzer and I've tested it. Now I want to improve its performance and I was searching for a better electrolyte when I ...
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1 vote
1 answer
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When it rains, it puddles. Spilled salt cycles between wet and dry with humidity. Is this akin to a phase change?

I have some spilled un-iodized table salt (NaCl). It is very humid where I live, and when it gets very humid for a few days, the salt absorbs so much water that it becomes a puddle of (probably) ...
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140 votes
7 answers
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Why doesn't water burn?

Hydrogen is flammable, and for any fire to burn it needs oxygen. Why does a compound made of hydrogen and oxygen put out fires instead of catalyzing them? I understand that hydrogen and water are ...
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23 votes
5 answers
65k views

Why does hydrogen fluoride have a boiling point so much lower than that of water?

$\ce{F}$ has more unshared electron pairs and is very electronegative, so $\ce{H}$ of another $\ce{HF}$ molecule can $\ce{H}$-bond with it. $\ce{HF}$ has normal boiling point of $\pu{19.5^oC}$ while $...
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28 votes
5 answers
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Why is water "the universal" solvent?

This is an old question that our textbook tried to answer but worsened the situation. Many things are soluble in water. So many, that studying solutions will always require studying aqueous ones. It ...
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22 votes
1 answer
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Are there any known chemical properties of tritium water that make it unusually different from protium water?

I suppose the first question supporting the main question is, has tritium water ever been synthesized in sufficient quantity to test chemical properties? If so, and apart from the obvious radioactive ...
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13 votes
1 answer
379 views

Why are snowflakes shaped as they are?

(It was the Winterbash icon that got me thinking on this.) Snow flakes take on a variety of intricate shapes, but what processes are responsible for this? (Got the image off of Wikipedia) I mean, ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why does increasing the pressure cause ice to melt more?

This question was given under chemical equilibrium. Why does increasing the pressure on this system cause ice to melt more? $$\ce{H2O(s) <=> H2O(l)}$$ I'm pretty sure this has to be ...
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10 votes
2 answers
2k views

What is a product of water ionization?

I've read that radioactive compounds are dangerous because they emit electromagnetic waves (gamma-radiation etc.) that are dangerous for living organisms because they can ionize atoms in molecules. ...
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3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Can water be liquefied or solidified just by adjusting the temperature, regardless of the pressure?

technically the line between liquid and solid phase would go a long way before hitting the y-axis, but the point is it will eventually. So the question remains, can any liquids, including water (with ...
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2 votes
4 answers
6k views

Sensitive test for lead in water?

Some of my friends are in Flint and I'm horrified by their situation. I would like to learn how to test for lead independently. After all if you can't trust the state sending them water to test is ...
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-3 votes
2 answers
237 views

Frequency of Mpemba Effect [closed]

What are the chances of warm water freezing faster than cold water? (How many percent?) Does it have to do with container size or something in it?
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12 votes
3 answers
37k views

How is dissolving a physical change and not a chemical change?

When salt dissolves in water it dissociates and it is no longer in a lattice structure. The electrostatic forces are no longer there and are replaced by water-ion interactions. To me that sounds like ...
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12 votes
3 answers
4k views

Why doesn't a table sublimate, while ice does?

A table does not sublimate, and nor does a spoon. Ice does, however. What is the fundamental difference?
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11 votes
4 answers
396 views

Is there any electronic component to water conductivity?

Answers to Decrease in temperature of a aqueous salt solution decreases conductivity indicate that the electrical conductivity of salt solutions arises from the mobility of ionic species and therefore ...
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