STRUCTURE OF WATERIt may interest you to know that water is a universal solvent and is a major constituent of all living organisms. Earth is the only planet where water exists in all its three phases. Availability and absence of water influence the distribution and abundance of plants, animals as well as human societies. The uniqueness of water is due to its structure and properties which are discussed in the following lines.
A water molecule (H2O) consists of two atoms of hydrogen and one oxygen. The hydrogen atoms share their electrons with the oxygen atom. The shared electrons become asymmetrically distributed. The negatively charged electrons are attracted more towards the oxygen nucleus which is more positively charged (8+) than a hydrogen nucleus (I+). Consequently, the hydrogen nuclei develop a smaH (delta) positive charge and the oxygen nucleus a small (delta) negative charge. Such a molecule is known as a polar molecule (Figure shown below). Remember that overall a water molecule is neutral since the number of electrons is equal to the number of protons.