Water And Oceanography

The Anatomy of a Water Molecule

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"The Anatomy of a Water Molecule"
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Water is the elixir of life, the universal solvent and the substance that covers almost 70.9% of the earth’s surface. Although most people know  that water  is  composed of  one  oxygen and two hydrogen  atoms (H2O), not many  know about  the remarkable  water anatomy or structure. The chemical structure of water is simple and complex simultaneously, simple because it is only composed of hydrogen and oxygen atoms, complex because these molecules take on new dimensions at different ambient states and conditions.

Normally water is a tasteless, odorless and colorless liquid at standard temperature. These properties however, change when the temperature and environmental conditions are modified. Here are scientific concepts that involve water molecules.

1. Water molecules allow homeostasis in the body

The specific anatomy of water molecules allow them to participate in homeostasis, which is an inherent internal balance occurring in the human body.  Through this process the body can “heal” itself up to a certain extent.  The body is composed of about 70% to 80% water. For body cells to function well, they need appropriate hydration. Majority of the physiologic processes in the body occurs with water and these could only function in the presence of cells.

A specific example is in alkalotic or acidotic states, where the pH (acidity and alkalinity of the body) is elevated or decreased.  In alkalosis, water molecules combines with carbon dioxide to produce carbonic acid (H2O + CO2 = H2C03,) which helps the body return to its normal pH, which is 7.30 to 7.45. The opposite happens when there is acidosis. The essential function of water molecules in the maintenance of health is hence, unequaled.

2. Water molecules can change forms

Water can exist in solid forms - water molecules are connected through covalent bonds, which change in their state depending on the existing conditions in which they occur.  When the temperature drops below zero degrees centigrade, water becomes solid in form at standard atmospheric pressure. This happens when the hydrogen intermolecular bonding increases. Water in the solid form is less compact and tends to float, like in the case of ice cubes.

Water can be vaporized - the unique property of the water molecules allows them to be vaporized.   When water reaches its boiling point which is 100°C. This is because of the broad hydrogen bonding that occurs between the water molecules.  This ability of water molecules to change forms had helped control climate balance in the environment.  This would have been enough for the earth to sustain itself if men have not tampered with other aspects of the ecosystem.

3. Water is a universal solvent

As mentioned, water can dissolve hydrophilic (water-loving) substances all by itself.  For hydrophobic (water-fearing) substances, organic chemicals, like soap, are needed.  The molecules of hydrophobic substances like fats and oils do not mix well with the water molecules, hence, their insolubility. Since the molecules can easily change from one state to another, it can serve as a part of an electrophoretic media, which is useful in a wide variety of purposes like laboratory diagnostics, electrochemical concerns, industrial and manufacturing and in scientific researches all around the world.

There are still numerous attributes to the molecular structure of water.  The future holds a lot of promises and startling discoveries in relation to it. Hopefully, men will discover more of the advantages of this water structure than disadvantages.

More about this author: Virginia Gaces

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  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water
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