Why does water have different properties than its constituent elements?

1 Answer
Aug 27, 2017

Because water is a stable molecule, with a large heat capacity......


We represent the synthesis reaction of water by:

#H_2(g) + 1/2O_2(g) rarr H_2O(l) +Delta#

Now this is a redox reaction in that hydrogen has been oxidized, and oxygen has been reduced to form a very stable molecule....And thus the molecular properties ARE distinct from the properties of the elemental reactants.

And moreover, to heat the #H-O# bonds we have to supply much energy, and this tends to quench the energy supplied by a fire when we douse it. This is especially true given that water, for such a small molecule, is EXCEPTIONALLY dense, and is not even a gas under normal conditions.