We are introduced to the first liquid – water. It has so many incredible properties that make it extra special, that only the mind of God could form such a unique material that can exist as a solid – ice, a liquid – water and a gas – water vapour in the normal range of temperatures found on earth. Today, 70% of the earth’s surface is covered with water and 65% of our body is water. An article in the New Scientist 04-Apr-15 was headed Tapping the incredible weirdness of water. Its author claims that:
Water is weird. It has 72 anomalies – physical and chemical properties that are very different from other materials. [Viewed 27-Aug-15 atwww.if.ufrgs.br/~barbosa/water-BigIdea.pdf]
I have taken these headings from an articlehttp://nrich.maths.org/7273 [Viewed 27-Aug-15]
- It is the only natural substance found in all three physical states at the temperatures that naturally occur on Earth.
- Ice is less dense than water
- Water has a very high melting and boiling point compared to other similar molecules
- It is called the ‘universal solvent’ because it is capable of dissolving so many substances.
- Water has a high specific heat capacity
- Surface tension
- Capillary action
- But why?
All of these properties of water are critical for life as we know it but why does water have them? Does no other substance also do these things? What is it about water that makes it different? To understand the answers to these questions you have to study the molecular structure of water.
We are not going to do that, however!