Thursday, February 8, 2007

Properties of Water

I was cooking dinner and for the pasta i needed to boil water. I realized i knew that boiling water is a change in form from a liquid to a gas, but why does it seem to have stages and what is really happening in that pot in front of me? My blog is on the weird properties of water.

Water is composed of 2 hydrogen's and 1 oxygen so written out is called Dihydrogen Monoxide or H2O.

When water starts to heat, all the oxygen gasses dissolved in the water are released and those are the tiny bubbles that appear to be sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Because of the oxygen being removed from the water, water will both freeze and boil faster if its already been boiled recently and been returned to room temperature.

Water Boils at lower temperatures at higher elevations because of the atmospheric pressure difference. There are actually Charts to show this.

The State of water is actually dependant on two things: Pressure, and Temperature (shown in the diagram to the left). In fact, if you get water to the right temperature and pressure level, you can get water to what is called the triple point where you have a container of water as it exists in all three stages.

Ice FLOATS I know its obvious but what other solid form floats in the liquid form? NOTHING. Ice actually floats because the water expands as it freezes and therefore becomes less dense, and of course something less dense is going to rise above something more dense.

In fact heavy water, will actually sink when frozen, as shown in the picture on the left. Because the hydrogen in the water molecule has a neutron, it is heavier than it normally would be which is why its refered to as heavy water and the ice sinks.

Water has a very neutral PH of 7 meaning it is neither basic or acidic

Water is the universal solvent, NOTHING else will dissolve as many things as water does.