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SC.912.L.18.12 Properties of Water

Nature of Science

Molecular and Cellular Biology

Organisms, Populations and Ecosystems

Classification, Heredity and Evolution

What You Need To Know

You need to know the specific properties of water that contribute to Earth's suitability as an environment for life. These include:

  • cohesive behavior
  • ability to moderate temperature
  • expansion upon freezing
  • versatility as a solvent
  • hydrogen bonding and polarity

Example One

Water is essential for life. Its special properties make water the single most important molecule in plant life. Which of the following properties of water enables it to move from the roots to the leaves of plants?

A. Water expands as it freezes.

B. Water is an excellent solvent.

C. Water exhibits cohesive behavior.

D. Water is able to moderate temperature.


Example Two

Large bodies of water, such as lakes and oceans, do not quickly fluctuate in temperature. What is the reason for this phenomenon?

A. Water is an acid.

B. Water is a versatile solvent.

C. Water has a high heat capacity.

D. Water acts as a buffer.


Example Three

Why does ice stay at the top of oceans instead of sinking to the bottom?

A. Ice is colder than liquid water.

B. Ice is less dense than liquid water.

C. Ice is more dense than liquid water.

D. Ice is warmer than liquid water.


Example Four

Water is often called the "universal solvent" because many substances can be dissolved in water. What property of water allows it to be such a versatile solvent? 

A. purity

B. polarity and cohesion

C. high heat capacity

D. expansion upon freezing


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video tutorials.jpg
Crash Course - Water
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History Channel - Properties of Water
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Water Molecules: To Stick or Not to Stick

In Your Book

General Chemistry - Section 2.2, pg. 40

Honors Chemistry - Section 2.2, pg. 33

Additional Activity Links