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Structure of liquid water?

  1. Sep 19, 2013 #1
    Does liquid water have ordered structure?
    I.e., are there significant domains of ordered H2O molecules that maintain crystallinity - translational symmetry - in liquid water at room temperature?
    I guess this is essentially a hydrogen bonded network -
    How big are these domains? Or are they mostly disordered, closely packed molecules without short-range or medium-range order? Is there a temperature dependence to domain size?

    What determines if there are voids or vacancies or free molecules?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 19, 2013 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Define "order" - how would you tell if it was present or not?
    Liquid water is not normally modeled, at room temp, to have any crystalline structure at all.
    The presence or otherwise of voids, vacancies, or free molecules is not normally deterministic ... but I suspect the terms you are using could use tightening: what is the context?

    Something like this:
  4. Sep 23, 2013 #3
    The reason I ask is I found this diagram in a text book and find it very curious -
    Is this a realistic representation of water?


    The text book is "Solvents and Solvent Effects in Organic Chemistry" by Christian Reichardt
    The cited reference [9] is [9] R. A. Horne: The Structure of Water and Aqueous Solutions, in A. F. Scott (ed.): Survey of Progress in Chemistry 4, 1 (1968).
    But I couldn't find a copy of this reference.

    Thanks for your help/opinion
  5. Sep 23, 2013 #4


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    Staff: Mentor

    Define "realistic" :smile:

    In some ways it is realistic, in some ways it is not.
  6. Sep 23, 2013 #5
    I would guess this is not room temp. water. This looks like what I imagine freezing/thawing water to look like.
  7. Sep 23, 2013 #6


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    Staff: Mentor

    Definitely it must be a matter of temperature.
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