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6 Properties of Water Molecules

In this 6 properties of water molecules post we have briefly explained about polarity, solvency, cohesion, surface tension, adhesion, and capillary action of water molecules properties of water in biology.

Some may argue that the most important molecules for life are DNA or proteins. Many would argue, however, that water is the most important molecule for life on Earth. What is the significance of water?

Water is a polar molecule due to its unique chemical properties of water in biology and structure, which allows it to interact with many other molecules required for life. The majority of the substances in a cell are suspended in a water-based cytoplasmic environment.

6 Properties of Water in Biology

Water has no taste, odour, or transparency. It is also colourless in small quantities. When a large amount of water is observed, such as in a lake or the ocean, the colour is actually light blue.

Water’s blue colour is caused by the selective absorption and scattering of white light. Light can pass through it because it is transparent. Water plants and other aquatic organisms require sunlight for photosynthesis. Water’s unique chemical structure is responsible for these properties of water in biology.

properties of water

6 Properties of Water in Biology

Polarity

Each molecule of water is made up of one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, giving it the chemical formula H2O. The nucleus of the oxygen atom (8 positively charged protons) attracts electrons (e) more strongly than the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms in each water molecule (only one positively charged proton).

Because oxygen is more electro negatively electron-greedy than hydrogen, it hogs electrons and keeps them away from the H atoms. This results in a partial negative charge on the oxygen end of the water molecule and a partial positive charge on the hydrogen end.

Polarity refers to the difference in electrical charge between different parts of a molecule. When part of a molecule is positively charged and part of the molecule is negatively charged, a polar molecule is formed.

Solvency

One of the most common ingredients in solutions is water. A homogeneous mixture of two or more substances is referred to as a solution. A solution is formed when one substance dissolves in another, resulting in a mixture with the same proportion of substances throughout. The solute is the dissolved substance in a solution. The solvent is the substance in which it is dissolved.

Cohesion

Some of water’s other properties of water in biology are explained by hydrogen bonds between water molecules. Hydrogen bonds, for example, explain why water molecules tend to stick together. Have you ever watched water drip from a dripping faucet or a melting icicle? If you have, you are aware that water always falls in drops rather than as individual molecules.

The attraction of molecules for other molecules of the same kind is referred to as cohesion, and water molecules have strong cohesive forces due to their ability to form hydrogen bonds with one another.

Surface Tension

Surface tension, or the tendency of a liquid’s surface to resist rupture when subjected to tension or stress, is caused by cohesive forces. Water molecules at the surface (at the water-air interface) form hydrogen bonds with their neighbors in the same way that water molecules deeper within the liquid do.

Because they are exposed to air on one side, they will have fewer neighboring water molecules to bond with and will form stronger bonds with those they do have. This creates a “skin” of water on the surface, with the molecules held together very tightly. Surface tension is the amount of force required to break the skin on the water’s surface.

6 Properties of Water in Biology

Adhesion

Adhesion is another important physical property of water. Adhesion in the context of water is the bonding of a water molecule to another substance, such as water molecules bonding to glass like drops of water. This is an illustration of intermolecular forces bonding. This occurs because hydrogen bonds are unique in that they break and reform at a high rate. Because hydrogen bonds are constantly rearranged, a percentage of all molecules in a given sample can bond to another substance.

Capillary Action

Capillary action refers to a liquid’s ability to flow against gravity in a small space. When you put a straw into a glass of water, you are demonstrating capillary action. Water appears to climb up the straw before you even place your mouth on it.

The surface tension of water is so strong that as water is pulled upward along the straw’s walls, the water in between are also pulled upward. The downward pull of gravity prevents the central water from rising as high as the water adhered to the straw, resulting in a meniscus.

Capillary action is important in moving water upwards through small spaces. Plants depend on capillary action to move water upward from the roots to the leaves. In the soil, capillary action also tends to move water upward between the soil particles. Water is moved through small blood vessels in animals through capillary action also.

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properties of water in biology