Integrated SequencePhysics Chemistry Organic Biology

Web Resources

Cornell University - Water as a solvent
Good comprehensive introduction to the solvent behavior of water.

  click if a link is broken

Special points of emphasis

Work, Energy, and Power


Intermolecular Forces


Chemical Thermodynamics and the Equilibrium State



The polarity of water allows it to dissolve ionic substances. With a large dipole moment (large dielectric constant), water molecules weaken the electric field between ions, greatly easing their separation in the solution process. The dissocation of ions corresponds to the formation of hydrates, as the ions hold several water molecules attached to itself. A dissolved ion resides within a hydration sphere. Ions will often retain associated water in crystals, the water of crystallization.

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