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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Water - particles, Chemistry, Ocean and more !!

Can you see water ?  - no,  not as in buckets, rivers, Ocean or elsewhere – the Q is how many drops make an Ocean and can you see them individually ? Water (chemical formula H2O) is an inorganic, transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colourless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's hydrosphere and the fluids of all known living organisms.  "Water" is the name of the liquid state of H2O at standard temperature and pressure.  

No doubt that it  is small drops of water that make up the mighty Ocean !  To start with,  if a water drop corresponds to 0.05ml -  1 litre of water contains closely to 20,000 drops.   A famous Mathematics website puts it that  oceans are formed by  drops, which corresponds to the number 267 followed by 23 zeros!  

Bay of Bengal is a Sea not an Ocean.   Many a times, people use the terms "ocean" and "sea" interchangeably when speaking about the ocean, but there is a difference between the two terms when speaking of geography (the study of the Earth's surface).  Seas are smaller than oceans and are usually located where the land and ocean meet. Typically, seas are partially enclosed by land ! ~ and Bay of Bengal fits this description.  

The ocean is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth. Seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km2 (139,000,000 sq mi) and is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.  Around the world, each year, about 505,000 km3 (121,000 mi3) of water falls as rain, snow, and other types of precipitation. Water eventually returns to the ocean as precipitation that falls directly into the sea and as precipitation that falls on land and flows to the ocean through rivers.  

Less water evaporates over the land than falls onto land as precipitation. Evaporation of water from the land happens directly from lakes, puddles, and other surface water. Also, water also makes its way into the atmosphere via a process called transpiration.   A drop of water may spend over 3,000 years in the ocean before evaporating into the air, while a drop of water spends an average of just nine days in the atmosphere before falling back to Earth.    

Water has an amazing ability to adhere (stick) to itself and to other substances. The property of cohesion describes the ability of water molecules to be attracted to other water molecules, which allows water to be a "sticky" liquid.  

Hydrogen bonds are attractions of electrostatic force caused by the difference in charge between slightly positive hydrogen ions and other, slightly negative ions. In the case of water, hydrogen bonds form between neighbouring hydrogen and oxygen atoms of adjacent water molecules. The attraction between individual water molecules creates a bond known as a hydrogen bond.  Water  is vital for all known forms of life, despite not providing food, energy or organic micronutrients. Its chemical formula, H2O, indicates that each of its molecules contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms, connected by covalent bonds. The hydrogen atoms are attached to the oxygen atom at an angle of 104.45°.  

A number of natural states of water exist.  Water, a substance composed of the chemical elements hydrogen and oxygen and existing in gaseous, liquid, and solid states. It is one of the most plentiful and essential of compounds.  Water also exists on other planets and moons both within and beyond the solar system. In small quantities water appears colourless, but water actually has an intrinsic blue colour caused by slight absorption of light at red wavelengths. The dynamic interactions of water molecules. Individual H2O molecules are V-shaped, consisting of two hydrogen atoms (depicted in white) attached to the sides of a single oxygen atom (depicted in red).     

Opposites attract, so this lopsided charge difference allows bonds to form between the hydrogen and oxygen atoms of adjacent H2O molecules. Each H2O can bind to a maximum of four neighbors through these so-called hydrogen bonds. Although short-lived and much weaker than the covalent variety, hydrogen bonds contribute significantly to water chemistry because they are extremely abundant in H2O.   Although the molecules of water are simple in structure (H2O), the physical and chemical properties of the compound are extraordinarily complicated, and they are not typical of most substances found on Earth. For example, although the sight of ice cubes floating in a glass of ice water is commonplace, such behaviour is unusual for chemical entities. 

Interesting ! 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
15th Jan 2023. 

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