Heat Capacity

Another one of the unique properties of water is its heat capacity. Water has the ability to absorb heat and become hot. Thus, when you boil water, it will take really long to boil. Water tends to take in as much heat as possible from the surroundings and become hot itself. This property enables the huge amount of water in our oceans to act as reservoirs of solar heat. Thus, maintaining a balance of temperatures on earth.

Capillary Action

The adhesive property of water gives rise to another one of the physical properties of water, capillary action. When one places a 'hollow' straw in a glass of water, one will observe the capillary to climb up the straw. This happens when one water molecule moves into the straw, other molecules due to their adhesive properties, follow suit. Thus, water moves up the capillary. The movement of water in the straw is restricted due to the size of straw and action of gravity. Water moves up higher, if the straw is thinner.

Chemical Properties of Water

There are many chemical properties of water that make it a unique compound. The following paragraphs will discuss some of the water chemical properties.

Water Molecule

Water is made up of two molecules, hydrogen and oxygen. One oxygen atom is bonded to two hydrogen atoms and both the hydrogen atoms are bonded to each other through a covalent bond. The hydrogen atoms are attached to the oxygen atom on one side. This results in water molecule having a positive charge due to presence of hydrogen atom. The other side of the water molecule is negatively charged due to the presence of oxygen atom. As opposites attract, water molecules are sticky and are attracted to each other (adhesion property).

A water molecule has neutral charge due to presence of equal number of electrons and protons. The property of polarity of water occurs due to the electrons that are distributed asymmetrically. The electrons are drawn away from the hydrogen nuclei due to the force from oxygen nucleus. This leaves the nuclei of hydrogen with a slightly positive charge. Excess of electron density creates a weak negative charge in the oxygen atom.

Structure of Water

The molecules of water are connected to each other transiently in a hydrogen bonded lattice. Water molecules are joined to four other water molecules in a temporary assembly called the 'flickering cluster' even at 37º C.

Hydrophilic Molecules

Those substances that can readily dissolve in water are called as hydrophilic molecules. These substances are made of ions or polar molecules. These ions are attracted to water molecules due to the electrical charge effect. Each of the ions or polar molecules present on the solid substance is surrounded by water molecules and thus forming a solution.