How To Make Water (and Ice)

 

Start with a water molecule: one oxygen bonded to two hydrogen atoms at 109 degrees. Add a second molecule. The ends must join at 109 from the existing bonds AND join with the oxygen (since like charges repel and unlike ones attract). In water form, some hydrogens bond weakly – just "flirt" with the oxygen (creating the fluid properties). When water freezes the bonds are fixed.

waterpic1.jpg
waterpic2.jpg

Join 6 molecules in this manner in a ring shape to get a spiny non-planar hexagon.

waterpic3.jpg
waterpic4.jpg

And now it's winter and we have a whole bunch of ice. It is a lattice of ice molecules, each joined with 3 others.

waterpic5.jpg

Two interesting views show hexagonal and then rectangular symmetries.

waterpic6.jpg
waterpic7.jpg

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.................

January 2009

© All rights reserved