The Science of Existence (71-2-2) Polarity


A water molecule is in sum electrically neutral, but the atomic arrangement of a water molecule is not linear, so there is a skew of electrical charges: a slight negative charge at the oxygen atom interface, while the hydrogen atoms are slightly positive. Hence, water is a polar molecule, with an electric dipole moment. This creates a weak and fleeting affinity for hydrogen bonding. That affinity has a cumulative effect, in making water molecules slightly cohesive. Water’s flowing effect owes to hydrogen bonding, which is somewhat like static cling.

By having one hydrogen atom in the drink and the other in the breeze, about a quarter of the water at the interface between a water body and atmosphere straddles the liquid-gas phases. This layer of molecular ambiguity at the interface is extremely thin – 0.3 nanometers – and has no effect on the behavior of water molecules below because of their submerged location.

At extremely low temperatures, a water molecule has quantum tunneling ability forbidden in the classical world. The oxygen and hydrogen atoms are delocalized: present in all 6 symmetrically equivalent positions simultaneously. This only occurs at the quantum level, with no parallel in everyday experience.

The average kinetic energy of water protons at almost absolute zero temperature is about 30% less than it is in bulk liquid or solid water. This is in complete disagreement with accepted models based on the energies of its vibrational modes. ~ Russian nuclear physicist Alexander Kolesnikov