Water – Hydrogen Bonding/Surface Tension

Hydrogen Bonding occurs when the positive region of a water molecule attracts a negative region of another molecule. One of the things that hydrogen bonding affects is surface tension.

The surface of the water acts like skin, while the inside molecules force a pull from the outside – creating a sphere shape. In the body of the liquid, water molecules form hydrogen bonds with other molecules surrounding them. This allows insects to walk on water, and smaller objects, such as a paper clip, the ability to float. Surfactants are used to reduce the surface tension and break the water. Detergents and soaps are examples of this.

The benefit of surface tension to the environment by helping in the role of vapor pressure. Since there is such a strong pull on the inside dealing with the water molecules, molecules that do end up leaving the pull and entering into the “vapor stage” have a large chance of being pulled back in. This helps to not have a bunch of rain all the time, and gives us lakes, ponds, oceans, etc.

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