The History Of The Chemical Makeup Of Water

1160 words - 5 pages

During the Earth’s known existence, many raise questions to a substance that is a vital necessity to our life here. Some even may claim that the start of our lives may have occurred and begun in a single drop of this universal solvent. This mysterious compound, which may have led to our development and the survival of our existence what, is it? This is H2O, or as we call it, Water. This vital life form covers over 70 percent of the Earth, and makes up about 70 percent of our body as well. We know all of this though, so what is the history behind the thing that keeps me functioning? I will need to look at: who discovered water, how it received its identity, the discovery of its chemical make-up, and its vitality to us. There is so much left uncovered about this major part of our lives. Many know of water but people don’t know what it is.
We as humans knew of the existence of water before we ever began to study it, but a few scientists can be credited with the discovery of its composition. Antoine Laviosier discovered, through electrical experiments, that Hydrogen and Oxygen could be made from water. He made this discovery during the time of the 1770s. The credit of its composition can be given to James Watt in 1783 or Henry Cavendish in 1781. Henry “experimented with hydrogen and oxygen and mixed these elements together to create an explosion (oxyhydrogen effect).” James suggested the composition, while Henry recombined the element of Hydrogen and Oxygen but didn’t publish it until years later after Watt. In the year the years after there came an amazing discovery done by a man named Jöns Jakob Berzelius, and one known as Amadeo Avogadro. Avogadro and Berzelius fixed the atomic weights of these two elements and gave us, what we know today, H20.
So how did we go from H2O to water? Like many things we know, H2O was named based on the properties it had. “The Indo-European root of water is *wed-, "wet." The form *wod-, in a suffixed form *wod-ōr, became *watar in Germanic and eventually water in modern English.” In this case it was named by its physical property of being wet and eventually led to the development through the changing of words and the translations to what we know as water.
Water is a strange substance known for its unique properties. It’s the only compound that exists in all physical forms: solid, liquid, or gas. It is also the only one to occur in all of these states at the temperatures here on earth. Without one of these special characteristics it would alter its boiling point to 70 degrees Celsius below zero. This would, for us, make us nonexistent. There would be no liquid water to supply the need of our body.
That property is a special bond that we all have studied, hydrogen bonding. This bond can occur between Hydrogen and the one like so in this molecule, Oxygen. When these types of bonds occur there is a slightly positive charge, Hydrogen, and a slightly negative charge, Oxygen. The 2 minus charge...

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