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Topic: SciencePhysics
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Last updated: May 28, 2019

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s1 {font-kerning: none}span.s2 {font: 8.0px ‘Times New Roman’; font-kerning: none}span.Apple-tab-span {white-space:pre}The structure of water is H2O (The Biology Project). Water is a polar molecule, meaning the atoms have an unequal distribution of electrons. This gives atoms positive and negative charges (The Biology Project).  A polar molecule helps form hydrogen bonds.

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Hydrogen bonds are weak bonds that are formed from a hydrogen and a molecule that is polar covalent (Academic Brooklyn). Hydrogen bonds are used to stabilize and establish the structure of macromolecules including proteins and nucleic acids by providing its shape (Academic Brooklyn). In a polar covalent bond, electrons that are shared between certain atoms will spend more time with oxygen than hydrogen (Academic Brooklyn). This would make oxygen have a partial negative charge and hydrogen a partial positive charge (Academic Brooklyn).

Water can bond to itself and other atoms. This creates many properties including cohesion. Cohesion is when water molecules attract to other water molecules (USGS Water Science Schools). Surface tension is a created by cohesion.

Surface tension is a force in which pulls water molecules together to withstand other forces like gravity (USGS Water Science Schools). Surface tension allows objects to float on water. This is due to the “net” like surface created at the top of the water to resist the breaking and stretching of the water (USGS Water Science Schools).

To break surface tension, an object must break apart the hydrogen bonds, the top layer of the water molecule (USGS Water Science Schools).  There are many factors that can affect surface tension, whether it breaks faster or holds longer. Some factors include temperature, chemical additions, and oxidation (CSC Scientific).  Temperature is “a measure of the warmth or coldness of an object or substance with reference to some standard value” (Physics Classroom). Temperature affects the molecules of water. High temperatures will cause molecules to expand while low temperatures cause the molecules to come together (Mansfield Ct).

As temperatures increase, at a certain point, the molecules will “vanish” (CSC Scientific). Due to this, if temperatures decrease, surface tension will increase (CSC Scientific). This also means that as temperature increases, surface tension decreases, having an inverse relationship (CSC Scientific). Chemical additions and oxidation can also affect surface tension. If chemicals are added to a liquid, surface tension characteristics will be changed (CSC Scientific). Oxidation and surface tension have a direct relationship.

The oxygen in the atmosphere causes surface tension to decrease (CSC Scientific).


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