Molecules exhibit diverse point group characteristics

The two lone pairs repel each with a greater force than they do for the O-H bonds. As a consequence, the O-H bonds are pushed much closer to each other to form a wage-shaped structure (fig. 1) with an angle much less than 109o.

Considering the structure in the figure above (fig. 1), it is evident that a molecule of water has a line of symmetry that can be traced through the water molecule, acting as a bisector of the angle between the two O-H bonds. Another line of symmetry that is visible on a three-dimensional structure is that which forms a mirror image containing three atoms. Moreover, the molecule remains uninterrupted when turned at an angle of 180o, portraying that the molecule has a two-fold rotation plane. Both mirror planes “contain the rotation axis, and this type of symmetry belongs to the point group C2v” (Utz 3). A point group is defined by the number of symmetry atoms that are organized in a particular fashion. Molecules exhibit diverse point group characteristics which can serve as a model for classification. Those molecules that belong to a common group exhibit analogous spectroscopic behavior. Just like it has been mentioned before, H2O belongs to point group Cv2. This group includes compounds like CH2=O and CH2Cl2.

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One interesting topic that continues to baffle chemists is the science of equilibria, a science that analyzes acid-base behaviors. Water molecule is unique in the sense that they can form either a weak acid or base. This is owed to the fact that it has the ability to “accept (H3O+) or donate a proton (OH–)” (Utz 5). As such, water is considered to be amphiprotic. This behavior basically renders water a buffer solution.

In a conclusion, this essay has highlighted some physical/chemical properties of water that make it a unique compound. These properties influence the behavior of water in chemical reactions.

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