Water molecules break bonds and insert themselves between sugar molecules, causing sugar cubes to dissolve in water. The positively charged oxygen ions in water combine with the negatively charged hydroxyl groups in sugar, forming a hydration shell around the sugar molecule.
Dissolving sugar molecules in water is a physical change because new chemical products are not formed. When sugar dissolves in water, it loses its form but not chemical properties. Hot water dissolves sugar faster than cold water because hot water moves molecules quickly, allowing water molecules to occupy spaces efficiently between sugar molecules. Water is described as a universal solvent because it dissolves many molecules and compounds.