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What are the properties of water?

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Quick Answer

The properties of water include miscibility and condensation, cohesion and adhesion, high surface temperature, high heat capacity, heat of vaporization, capillary action, varying density, electrical conductivity and compressibility. Water is colorless, odorless and tasteless. In nature, it exists as a liquid, solid and gas. Pure water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit and freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

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Full Answer

Two of the most unique properties of water are cohesion and adhesion. Cohesion is the property of molecules sticking together. Water molecules stay close to each other, owing to the activity that occurs between hydrogen bonds and water molecules. Because hydrogen bonds are always breaking, new bonds are formed with other water molecules. This property gives water many of its unique characteristics that make life possible.

Adhesion is the propensity of unlike particles to stick to each other. Water has high adhesion properties. On smooth glass, water may form a thin film because the adhesive forces between the glass and water are stronger than the cohesive forces.

Water is miscible with many liquids; however, it is immiscible with most oils. In other words, water is a good solvent. Substances that dissolve in water or mix well with it are known as hydrophilic, whereas those that do not dissolve in water, such as fats and oils, are known as hydrophobic.

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