9.6.2 Structure of Water

In the gas phase water is a bent molecule with a bond angle of 104.5°, and O–H bond length of 95.7 pm as shown in Fig 9.1(a). It is a highly polar molecule, (Fig).

Its orbital overlap picture is shown in Fig. 9.1(c). In the liquid phase water molecules are associated together by hydrogen bonds.

The crystalline form of water is ice. At atmospheric pressure ice crystallises in the hexagonal form, but at very low temperatures it condenses to cubic form.

Density of ice is less than that of water. Therefore, an ice cube floats on water. In winter season ice formed on the surface of a lake provides thermal insulation which ensures the survival of the aquatic life. This fact is of great ecological significance.

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