5 Properties of Water

Updated on June 13, 2016

What are the Main Properties of Water?

This article will discuss the five main properties of water:

  1. Its attraction to polar molecules
  2. High-specific heat
  3. High heat of vaporization
  4. The lower density of ice
  5. High polarity

1. Water's Attraction to Other Polar Molecules

Cohesion

Cohesion, otherwise known as water's attraction to other water molecules, is one of the major properties of water. Water's polarity lends it to be attracted to other water molecules. The hydrogen bonds in water hold other water molecules together. Due to water's cohesiveness:

  • Liquid water has surface tension. This allows for insects, such as Water Striders, to walk on water.
  • Water is a liquid at moderate temperatures, and not a gas.

Adhesion

Water's attraction between molecules of a different substance is called adhesion. Water is adhesive to any molecule it can form hydrogen bonds with. Due to water's adhesiveness:

  • Capillary action occurs. For example, when you have a narrow tube in water, the water will rise up the tube because of water's adhesiveness to the glass "climbing" up the tube.

2. Water's High-Specific Heat

Water can moderate temperature because of the two properties: high-specific heat and the high heat of vaporization.

High-specific heat is the amount of energy that is absorbed or lost by one gram of a substance to change the temperature by 1 degree celsius. Water molecules form a lot of hydrogen bonds between one another. In turn, a lot of energy is needed to break down those bonds. Breaking the bonds allows individual water molecules to move freely about and have a higher temperature. In other words: if there are a lot of individual water molecules moving about, they’ll create more friction and more heat, which means a higher temperature.

The hydrogen bonds between water molecules absorb the heat when they break and release heat when they form, which minimizes temperature changes. Water helps maintain a moderate temperature of organisms and environments.

Water takes a long time to heat up, and holds its temperature longer when heat is not applied.

3. Water's High Heat of Evaporation

Water's high heat of vaporization is the other property responsible for its ability to moderate temperature.

Water's high heat of evaporation is basically the amount of heat energy needed to change a gram of liquid into gas. Water also needs a lot of energy in order to break down the hydrogen bonds. The evaporation of water off a surface causes a cooling effect. Much like among humans—when we get hot, or energy inside our body is breaking chemical bonds, we sweat as a cooling effect. In this case, the same process occurs: as the water evaporates off the the surface of the skin, it cools down the surface.

4. The Lower Density of Ice

At cooler temperatures, the hydrogen bonds of water molecules form ice crystals. The hydrogen bonds are more stable and will maintain its crystal-like shape. Ice—the solid form of water—is less dense than water because of the hydrogen bonds being spaced out and being relatively apart. The low density is what allows icebergs to float and are the reason that only the top part of lakes are frozen.

5. Water's High Polarity

Water is a polar molecule that has a high level of polarity and attraction to ions and other polar molecules.

Water can form hydrogen bonds, which make it a powerful solvent. Water molecules are attracted to other molecules that contain a full charge, like an ion, a partial charge, or polar. Salt (NA+ CL-) dissolves in water. Water molecules surround the salt molecules and separate the NA+ from the CL- by forming hydration shells around those two individual ions.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Mr.AC-130 

      9 hours ago

      who needs there toes SuCc

    • profile image

      Tariq Goode 

      12 hours ago

      i drink tea...so...yeah

    • profile image

      god 

      12 hours ago

      preach it water specialist so don't even try me

    • profile image

      God himself 

      12 hours ago

      preach it

    • profile image

      Angel Termain 

      12 hours ago

      you guys are so dumb

    • profile image

      water specialist so dont even try me 

      13 hours ago

      i only drink water that comes from the utters of god himself not even our god but posiden the god of the sea he gets sea water and purifies it and after he does that he nuts it the water only the best of nuts tho its the type where when he nuts all the women around the world can feel it because hes young dagger dick

    • profile image

      max johnston 

      14 hours ago

      the earth is flat stop being ignorant people

    • profile image

      katlyn long 

      14 hours ago

      i dont know any thing so this hellpes me very much because im retarded

    • profile image

      rj casteneta 

      14 hours ago

      hello max johnson

    • profile image

      hi 

      2 days ago

      In the properties of water what is able to support something

    • profile image

      fems 

      3 days ago

      tanks

    • profile image

      bo 

      3 days ago

      bo eats rice

    • profile image

      Gwapita 

      6 days ago

      Woah !! Thank you owlcation I really learn something

    • profile image

      Sayveon beafore 

      8 days ago

      Thanks my teacher isn’t there all the time in the head

    • profile image

      miyingo charles 

      2 weeks ago

      nyccc

    • profile image

      sage 

      2 weeks ago

      thank you so much this helped so much!

    • profile image

      sadmusicamerica 

      2 weeks ago

      THANKS FOR HELPING ME SINCE MY TEACHER DOESNT EVEN TEACH

    • profile image

      daddy tyrone 

      3 weeks ago

      greate article!

    • profile image

      Sayali 

      4 weeks ago

      Thanks

    • profile image

      Josh 

      5 weeks ago

      Who is the author?

    • profile image

      annon 

      8 weeks ago

      great page thanks! :)

    • profile image

      annon 

      8 weeks ago

      thanks great page! :)

    • profile image

      Sankhadip 

      2 months ago

      It is helpful for me thanks

    • profile image

      Hastings 

      2 months ago

      Thanks it's so helpful

    • profile image

      giselle 

      2 months ago

      thanks for this more helpfull for students

    • profile image

      panyang 

      2 months ago

      this is so helpful, thank you so so much

    • profile image

      James Daddy Flomo 

      3 months ago

      It is very significant to me

    • profile image

      ooooooooooooooooooooooooooobleck 

      3 months ago

      very good very nice I like i

    • profile image

      Suresh pathak 

      3 months ago

      It's very helpful for me thanks !

    • profile image

      Maral Hermione 

      4 months ago

      it just saved my lab report

      1) cohesion

      2) adhesion

      3) thermal

      4) solvent

      Also known as CATS

    • profile image

      woohoo 

      4 months ago

      its helpful for my genius hour project

    • profile image

      Krishna 

      4 months ago

      it is very helpful in making my project

    • profile image

      VISITOR 

      4 months ago

      ITS HELPFUL

    • profile image

      qhw 

      5 months ago

      awesome

    • profile image

      J.N 

      5 months ago

      I really appreciated it. Takes less time for me to look for answers.

    • profile image

      Abbey 

      5 months ago

      THANKS SO MUCH!!! THIS REALLY HELPED ME WITH MY SCIENCE HOMEWORK!!

    • profile image

      themaryl 

      7 months ago

      Very nice. Never to old to learn something you did not know.

    • profile image

      Brianna 

      7 months ago

      Thank you so much! This is very helpful, especially if writing an essay for biology.

    • profile image

      Rabecca mukelabai 

      7 months ago

      It has helped me

    • profile image

      this place sucks 

      7 months ago

      i cant find knoledge

    • profile image

      bella 

      7 months ago

      waters attraction to polar molecules

      waters high specific heat

      waters high heat of evaporation

      the lower density of ice

      waters high polarity

    • profile image

      bhavesh mhamunkar 

      7 months ago

      why waters chemical name dihydrogen oxide is not used in equation

    • profile image

      Ayesha 

      7 months ago

      Thank you for sharing this message.....

    • profile image

      Owlcation bot#201929 

      7 months ago

      Very good Very nice I like it

    • profile image

      Thomas 

      8 months ago

      I liked the information.Thank you

    • profile image

      ShadowAssassin 

      8 months ago

      it was great thx man

    • profile image

      irean 

      9 months ago

      it was not help full sorryyy

    • profile image

      OK ITS HELP FULL 

      9 months ago

      MEH its ok

    • profile image

      Samantha Khumalo 

      9 months ago

      Thank you

    • profile image

      Hi! 

      9 months ago

      GGoooooooddddddddddddddd!!!!!!!!

    • profile image

      someone 

      9 months ago

      awsome

    • profile image

      Yonas Banjaw Beke 

      9 months ago

      I get what I was wanted about water,tanks men.

    • profile image

      brine 

      9 months ago

      no help but thanks

    • profile image

      stamp 

      10 months ago

      I dont understand.

    • profile image

      Cutie kelly 

      10 months ago

      Why do we have wetland In the world so i can get a Boooooooob on my quest

    • profile image

      Angel Marcus 

      10 months ago

      Yes, thank you so much! Science homework has never been this easy!!!

    • profile image

      nuts 

      10 months ago

      ver help good thank u

    • profile image

      Yes 

      10 months ago

      Yes.

    • profile image

      Jesse 

      10 months ago

      This does not help me at all

    • profile image

      kourtney morgan 

      10 months ago

      you should really add more please

    • profile image

      mo 

      11 months ago

      what is the density of water

    • profile image

      your mom 

      11 months ago

      shhh dont tell daddy im searchin up how to get wet ;))

    • profile image

      Dang 

      11 months ago

      This comment section is trash. :/

    • profile image

      the U of D Jesuit Scholor Athlete of the Year 

      11 months ago

      this is great for my bio class it is basically what my teacher is teaching in class rn

    • profile image

      Logan n mitch 

      11 months ago

      Why is water so wet?

    • profile image

      Itz yr boy joseph 

      11 months ago

      Very good but it too long

    • profile image

      N I G G E R D I K 

      11 months ago

      Water makes me so wet 3=========D

    • profile image

      vividucks808 

      11 months ago

      LOVE learning about water and other WET things. -go ducks!

    • profile image

      this helps thank u 

      11 months ago

      this helps thx

    • profile image

      George 

      11 months ago

      This help. Thanks :)

    • profile image

      John Cena 

      11 months ago

      wow who would've known I like orange cream pie??

    • profile image

      ramsey printup 

      11 months ago

      this website didnt help me learn how to drink water

    • profile image

      Marc 

      11 months ago

      Very good but make it short

    • profile image

      Rissa Wolfe 

      12 months ago

      Thanks this helped me a lot.

    • profile image

      jojo 

      12 months ago

      thank you

    • profile image

      slim shady 

      12 months ago

      thank you this website helped so much in biology class.

    • profile image

      me 

      12 months ago

      ty i just dont understand how water could be this good of a meme hit me line if u tryna blow tht vapor

    • profile image

      Bent Dover 

      12 months ago

      Thanks mate, because of you , Im going to ace my biology test. Good Stuff

    • profile image

      james 

      12 months ago

      great content

    • profile image

      Laurel 

      12 months ago

      This helped so much. Thanks :)

    • profile image

      Billy Mays 

      12 months ago

      Is this what caused IRMA?

    • profile image

      Billy Cliton 

      12 months ago

      Useless

    • profile image

      Brandon 

      12 months ago

      Hello! This helped me in my lab in biology tank you.

    • profile image

      Ismael 

      12 months ago

      which water property is important for shape of eye for vertebrates animals

    • profile image

      Mr mugabi 

      12 months ago

      Well explained

    • profile image

      Tronald Dump 

      12 months ago

      So what happens if I build a wall around a droplet of water? And maybe deport it? Will it still stay in a droplet?

    • profile image

      mr. mysterious 

      12 months ago

      it t'was beautiful

    • profile image

      student 

      12 months ago

      nice

    • profile image

      Lp 

      12 months ago

      Thank you for the information, It was very much needed.

    • profile image

      Student 

      13 months ago

      Is waters ability to form droplets caused by it's attractions to polar molecules from hydrogen bonds?

    • profile image

      matthew 

      14 months ago

      how does a water strider float on top of water

    • profile image

      febin 

      14 months ago

      water moves in a circular path when pressure exerts on it.

    • profile image

      Rohit padme 

      14 months ago

      Help me in bio mechanical modalities thank you

    • profile image

      Chris Bajao 

      15 months ago

      what are the three properties of water that makes it vital to our health?

    • profile image

      Parvez 

      15 months ago

      I like it

    • profile image

      harsh 

      16 months ago

      this is very nice discusstion about the properties of water

    • profile image

      naddy wat wat 

      17 months ago

      I did a mock exam and a question on the properties of water was on it and I did not know shit about it as we have never done it before....so this is really helpful

    • profile image

      Darnold Trump 

      18 months ago

      Believe me it's a good article

    • profile image

      bleach 

      19 months ago

      Very nice I like it

    • profile image

      Angelis55 

      19 months ago

      I think this is a good way to learn more about the properties of water.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, owlcation.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://owlcation.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)