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Lonely Proton

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1
    I like the human example better than the general Wikipedia, so here goes the question:

    We all know water is polar yes? Meaning the Oxygen nucleus attracts the electrons more than the Hydrogen nuclei.

    So my question being, if you could in theory increase that attraction, make that attraction stronger, enough so that the oxygen has a complete grip on those electrons, and probably enough to repel the Hydrogen protons, what would happen?

    Would the Hydrogens stay at all costs with it's electrons, or would it simply leave? And then what would the oxygen atom which would be stable wouldn't it?

    If this seems an obvious question, my defense is that I come from a school where knowing what a proton is, gets you an A.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2007 #2


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    Water is ionized slightly, even if pure; i.e. some molecules split into H+ and OH-.
  4. Jan 24, 2007 #3

    Meir Achuz

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    In an acid like HCl, there are a large nujmber of H+ ions where the electron has left the proton. The relative number of H+ ions is described by the PH.
  5. Jan 25, 2007 #4

    Gib Z

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    We usually seem to think of reactions as going one way. In actual truth, many real life reactions happen both ways.

    For, as mathman said, *Water is ionized slightly because the reaction: [tex]OH^{-} + H^{+}[/tex] To [tex]H_2O[/tex] works both ways. The vast majority goes to H20, but some go backwards to Hydroxide and Hydrogen ions. To find out the exact ratio of the reactions, you need to do some calculations to work out a value commonly represented by K.

    * When I said water, it was ordinary everyday water. Pure Water is exactly that, 100% H20. It is not practical, but if it is called PURE water, then thats what it is.

    A H+ is simply a lone proton. High numbers of these causes acidity, which is why it is described by pH, Potency of Hydrogen.

    Basically, to your question, The proton would leave, and a hydroxide ion will be left over.
  6. Jan 25, 2007 #5
    Ah, that would make sense. We only covered pH as Hydronium and Hydroxide.
    I never really thought of water having a two-way reaction. And I wasn't sure if you could actually remove the proton by itself.

    That said, is it possible to remove Both hydrogen protons?
  7. Jan 25, 2007 #6


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    Electrolysis does that, at one terminal you get hydrogen gas, at the other oxygen gas.
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