Why is water so effective at hydrogen bonding?


Water is one of the most common molecules on Earth and is essential to all life. water is a polar molecule, meaning that it has a positively charged end (the hydrogen atoms) and a negatively charged end (the oxygen atom). This polarity gives water some very special properties.

One of these properties is hydrogen bonding. Hydrogen bonding is when the positively charged hydrogen atoms in one molecule are attracted to the negatively charged oxygen atoms in another molecule. This attraction is not as strong as the covalent bonds that hold the atoms together in a water molecule, but it is strong enough to make water molecules stick together. This hydrogen bonding is what gives water its high surface tension. Surface tension is the force that keeps water droplets together and prevents them from spreading out. It is also what makes water droplets bead up on a surface. Hydrogen bonding is also responsible for water's high boiling point. When water is heated, the hydrogen bonds break and the water molecules start to move around more. However, it takes a lot of energy to break all the hydrogen bonds in a sample of water, which is why water has a high boiling point. Finally, hydrogen bonding is what makes water such a good solvent. When water molecules hydrogen bond with molecules of another substance, they help to break up the other substance and make it more soluble. This is why water is such a good solvent for many different chemicals. So, why is water so effective at hydrogen bonding? Because water is a polar molecule with a strong attraction between the positively charged hydrogen atoms and the negatively charged oxygen atoms. This attraction gives water some very special properties, including a high surface tension, a high boiling point, and the ability to dissolve many different substances.