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Water Chemistry

These are articles and other features relating specifically to water and aqueous solutions. Get facts about water chemistry, learn about water purification and water quality, and understand the chemistry of aqueous solutions.
  1. Heavy Water (3)
  2. Water Quality File (17)

Water Chemistry
Water is the most abundant molecule on the Earth's surface and one of the most important molecules to study in chemistry. Here's a look at water chemistry.

Why Is Water a Polar Molecule?
Water is a polar molecule. Here is the explanation for why water is a polar molecule and why water is a polar solvent.

Why Is Water the Universal Solvent?
This is an explanation of why water is called the universal solvent and what properties make water good at dissolving other substances.

How Much of Your Body Is Water?
Have you ever wondered how much of your body is water? The percentage of water varies according to your age and gender. Here's a look at how much water is inside you.

Reverse Osmosis
Learn about reverse osmosis and find out how it is used to purify water.

Drowning in Freshwater versus Saltwater
Drowning in freshwater is different from drowning in saltwater. In fact, more people drown in freshwater than saltwater. This is because of the chemistry of the water. Here's how it works.

Does Bottled Water Go Bad?
Most bottled water has an expiration date stamped on the bottle, but does the bottled water actually go bad? If so, how long is bottled water good? Here's the answer to this common question.

Snowflake Photo Gallery
Snowflakes take many forms. This is a photo gallery of snowflakes and ice crystals.

What Is the Clean Water Act?
Here's a look at what the Clean Water Act is and how this legislation is intended to address water pollution.

Can You Drink Too Much Water?
It's important to drink plenty of fluids, but can you overdo it? Learn the truth about water intoxication and hyponatremia.

Chemistry of Hard and Soft Water
Do you have hard water or soft water? Both? Do you know why? Get the definitions for hard and soft water, learn about their chemistry, and examine the pros and cons of each type of water.

What Is Fluoride?
Are you confused about the difference between fluoride and fluorine or simply want to know what fluoride is? Here's the answer to this common chemistry question.

Bend Water with Static Electricity
Use static electricity to bend a stream of flowing water. This is an easy science activity that illustrates how opposite electrical charges attract each other.

Does Hard Water Boil at a Higher Temperature?
Does hard water boil at a higher temperature than normal water? Here's the answer to the question and the explanation behind it.

Buffers are an important concept in acid-base chemistry. Here's a look at what buffers are and how they function.

Can Hot Water Freeze Faster Than Cold Water?
Can hot water freeze faster than cold water? You may have heard this question and wondered how, if it's true, it could even be possible. Here's the answer to the question.

Cloud in a Bottle Demonstration
Here's a quick and easy science project you can do: make a cloud inside a bottle. This simple project uses water vapor and smoke from a match to help form a cloud.

Do You Add Sulfuric Acid to Water or Water to Sulfuric Acid?
It's important to add sulfuric acid to water and not water to concentrated sulfuric acid. Here's an explanation of why you don't want to make a mistake and some mnemonics that might help you remember how to play it safe in the chemistry lab.

Does Adding Salt Lower the Boiling Point of Water?
Does adding salt lower the boiling point of water? You may have heard this and wondered if it was true. Here is a look at the science behind salt and boiling water.

Fireworks in a Glass
Fireworks are a beautiful and fun part of many celebrations, but not something you want kids to make themselves. However, even very young explorers can experiment with these safe underwater fireworks.

How To Remove Fluoride from Drinking Water
This is a list of methods that can be used to remove fluoride from drinking water. There's also a list of methods that do not remove fluoride and suggestions for ways to minimize fluoride exposure. References for the fluoridation controversy are included.

How Do I Remove Iodine from Drinking Water?
Many processes may add iodine and radioactive iodine to water. If iodine is a concern, it is easy to remove from your water.

Is There a Pool Urine Detector or Pool Urine Indicator Dye?
Have you ever wondered whether there really is such a chemical as a pool urine detector or pool urine indicator dye? Such a dye supposedly clouds the water or produces a color when someone urinates in a swimming pool. Does a urine indicator really exist?

Measurement of Heat Flow - Coffee Cup & Bomb Calorimeters
A calorimeter is a device used to measure the quantity of heat flow in a chemical reaction. Learn about two of the most common types of calorimeters, the coffee cup calorimeter and the bomb calorimeter, and find out how to use them to calculate heat flow and enthalpy change.

Melting Snow & Ice with Salt
You know salt is sprinkled on roads and sidewalks to melt ice and prevent it from refreezing, but do you know how it works? Learn about freezing point depression and colligative properties and find out about the pros and cons of several de-icers.

Reactions in Aqueous Solution
These are worked examples of calculations for determining limiting reactant, theoretical yield, number of moles, and mass in grams for reactions in water solutions.

Reactions in Water or Aqueous Solution
Let's review some important types of reactions that occur in aqueous solution and take a look at the rules that are used when writing balanced equations for water reactions.

Snowflake Chemistry
Here are answers to common questions about snowflakes. Learn how snow forms, what shapes snowflakes take, why snow crystals are symmetrical, whether no two snowflakes really are alike, and why snow looks white!

Solubility of Ionic Compounds in Water
Here's a table of the solubility rules for common ionic solids in water, as well as an explanation of the main factors which affect solubility.

Solubility Product Constants at 25 Degrees Celsius
This is a table of the solubility product constants for some common ions in aqueous solution at 25 degrees Celsius.

Sports Drinks - Better than Water?
Are you exercising or sweating away under a summer sun? Find out what beverage to drink to get and stay hydrated. Do you think water is best? Are sports drinks worth the money? What about a beer? Here's what you need to know.

Supercooling Water
You can cool water below its stated freezing point and then crystallize it into ice on command. This is known as supercooling. These are step-by-step instructions for supercooling water at home.

Titration Basics - Acids Bases and Buffers
Grasp the basic chemical concepts of titration, a technique used to determine the molarity of an acid or a base.

Water Filters that Remove Fluoride
This is a compilation of online vendors and manufacturers of water filters designed to remove tap water. A variety of filter types and price ranges are covered. Tabletop, undersink, and refrigerator models are all available.

What Is Activated Charcoal and How Does it Work?
Activated charcoal isn't the same as your average barbeque briquette! It's a special type of carbon. Learn what activated charcoal is and why it is used in filters and medicines.

What Is the Coastal Dead Zone?
The coastal dead zone makes news headlines from time to time because it's implicated in fish death and may be a consequence of global warming and pollution. Do you know what the dead zone is?

What Is the Freezing Point of Water?
What is the freezing point of water or the melting point of water? Are the freezing point and melting point the same? Are there any factors that affect the freezing point of water? Here's a look at the answers to these common questions.

What Is the Greenhouse Effect?
Learn what the greenhouse effect is and how it is related to climate.

What Temperature Does Water Boil?
At what temperature does water boil? What determines the boiling point of water? Here's the answer to this common question.

What Was Project Stormfury? Can Cloud Seeding Dissipate Hurricanes?
One way scientists have tried to lessen the severity of hurricanes is by seeding the clouds with silver iodide. This research program was Project Stormfury. Learn whether cloud seeding worked and why the program was discontinued.

Why Does Ice Float?
Learn about hydrogen bonding and density to understand why ice floats on water.

Why Does Salt Melt Ice?
You know that you can sprinkle salt on an icy road or sidewalk to help keep it from becoming icy, but do you know how salt melts ice? Take a look at freezing point depression to understand how it works.

Why Does the Pool Turn Blonde Hair Green?
Do you think it's the chlorine in the swimming pool that turns blonde hair green? Guess again.

Why I Oppose Fluoridation of Public Drinking Water
Anne Helmenstine's reasons for opposing the fluoridation of public drinking water.

Why Is It Harder to Rinse off Soap with Soft Water?
Soap lathers better in soft water, yet it's harder to rinse off than if you rinsed with hard water. Why? The answer lies in understanding the chemistry of soft water and soap.

Why Is the Ocean Blue?
Have you ever wondered why the ocean is blue? Have you ever wondered why the ocean is sometimes another color, like green, instead of blue? Here's the science behind the color of the sea.

Why Is the Ocean Salty?
Have you ever wondered why the ocean is salty? Have you wondered why lakes might not be salty? Here's a look at what makes the ocean salty and why other bodies of water have a different chemical composition.

Learn what hydronium is and where hydronium is found.

Ice Cube on a Wire
Pull a wire through an ice cube without cutting the cube! This trick works thanks to a phenomenon called regelation, in which the ice melts from the pressure of the wire and freezes up after the wire passes. Here's how to put a wire through an ice cube or hang the ice on wire.

Learn about the phenomenon of superheating, where a liquid may be heated in excess of its boiling point without boiling.

Drinking Too Much Water - Video
Can you drink too much water? This video examines whether or not it's possible to drink too much water and the consequences of excessive water consumption.

Is Heavy Water Radioactive?
Heavy water contains deuterium, an isotope of hydrogen with a proton and a neutron for each deuterium atom. Is this a radioactive isotope? Is heavy water radioactive?

What Is Heavy Water?
You may have heard of heavy water and wondered how it was different from ordinary water. Here's a look at what heavy water is and some heavy water facts.

Heavy Water Facts
Heavy water is deuterium oxide or water in which one or more of the hydrogen atoms is a deuterium atom. Get facts about heavy water, including its chemical and physical properties.

What Is the Density of Water?
The density of water is its weight per unit volume, which depends on the temperature of the water. While you can round the density to 1 gram per milliliter, here are more precise values for you.

Are Icebergs Made of Fresh Water or Salt Water?
Learn whether icebergs are made of fresh water or salt water and why.

What Is the Mpemba Effect?
Have you ever wondered whether hot water really can freeze more quickly than cold water and if so, how it works? If so, then you need to know about the Mpemba Effect.

Is It Safe to Reboil Water?
Have you ever wondered what happens to water chemistry when you reboil water? Is it still safe to drink? Here's the answer to the question.

Can You Drink Distilled Water?
Distillation is one method of water purification. Is distilled water safe to drink or as good for you as other types of water? The answer depends on a few different factors.

What Is the Melting Point of Water?
The melting point of water is not always the same as the freezing point of water! Here is a look at the melting point of water and why it changes.

Interesting Water Trivia Quiz
How much do you know about water? Test your knowledge with this water trivia quiz.

Water Quiz Script
Water Quiz Script

How To Make Ice Spikes in your Freezer
Ice spikes are tubes or spikes of water ice that form rarely in nature, but you can make them in your own freezer quite simply. Here's what you do.

Is Water a Compound?
Have you ever wondered whether or not water is a compound? Here's the answer to the question and the explanation for it.

What Is Distilled Water?
Here's an explanation of what distilled water is and how it's made.

Can You Drink Rain Water?
Here's a look at whether or not it's safe to drink rain water and the steps you can take to make it better for drinking.

How Much Water Vapor Is in the Earth's Atmosphere?
Have you ever wondered how much water vapor is in the Earth's atmosphere or what the maximum amount is that air can hold? Here's the answer to the question.

Is It Safe To Eat Snow?
Learn whether or not it's safe to eat snow.

Why Is Water Less Dense Than Ice?
Learn why ice is less dense than liquid water.

What Is the Difference Between Ice and Snow?
Learn about the difference between ice and snow, two forms of solid water.

How To Make Distilled Water
These are step-by-step instructions for making distilled water at home.

Toxic Chemicals from Peeing in the Pool
Learn about the toxic chemicals produced by urine in treated swimming pool water.

What Is the Most Abundant Salt in the Sea?
Find out what the most abundant salt in the sea is.

Strong and Weak Electrolytes
Learn what strong, weak, and non electrolytes are and get examples of each type of chemical species.

Is It Safe To Drink Water from a Hose?
Water from a garden hose may seem cool and refreshing, but you've probably been warned not to drink it. Here's a look at how safe it is and the chemicals that might be in the water.

Can You Drink Too Much Water If You Are Thirsty?
When you are thirsty, you can drink a lot of water. Find out whether it is possible to drink too much.

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