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3 questions about water

  1. Nov 10, 2011 #1
    1. Do adjacent water molecules fit together so tightly that water is "continuous" ?
    2. If the answer to 1. is "no", what is in between them ?
    3. What would the surface of a calm puddle look like if magnifed so individual molecules could be seen?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 10, 2011 #2


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    Gold Member

    what does "continuous" mean to you in this context? Molecules are almost nothing but pure emptiness, so what is it that would be "continuous".
  4. Nov 10, 2011 #3
    Maybe I should have asked if it had no gaps instead of using the word "continuous".

    Is the answer to 1. "no" because the molecules are mostly gaps to start with and have gaps between them ?
    Does this mean many things in ordinary life are mostly empty space ?

    Does the surface of calm water appear smooth because of scale - if you could magnify it enough to see individual molecules, would that surface actually be not smooth and even changing shape ?
  5. Nov 10, 2011 #4


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    Water's a lot smoother than many things but I'm sure if you could see down to enough granularity it would be very ragged.

    It's not that "many thing in ordinary life are mostly empty space" it's that EVERYTHING (outside of black holes and neutron stars) is amost pure space.
  6. Nov 10, 2011 #5
    Thank you very much.
  7. Nov 10, 2011 #6
    For number three it would look something like this, the molecules at the top represent evaporation.

  8. Nov 10, 2011 #7


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    Staff: Mentor

    Nice picture, but it shows molecules as solid objects. This is not entirely correct - in some situations they behave like that, in others they don't.
  9. Nov 10, 2011 #8
    I would agree with your comment Borek but to visualize whats happening we could never illustrate it with enough detail to include electrons in their orbitals and such.

    Also it was one of the better images on google and I couldn't find anything clearer.
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