# Why is water so widely used as a solvent?

Water is distinguished by (i) its physical size; and (ii) by its involatility, which is absurdly high for such a small molecule. Compare the boiling point of water with those of other small molecules, $N {H}_{3}$, or $P {H}_{3}$, or $C {H}_{4}$. Of course, we can attribute this involatility to the forces of intermolecular interaction. (And also, because it's got a high boiling point, we can give solutions a blast with a heat gun in order to get the solute up.)