Why should we care?
Because water is the most important molecule on this planet.
With the water molecule we have:
Avoidance of chemical extremes (water is able to buffer acids, bases, and high levels of ions).
Water can transport of matter from one place to another as well as from one environment ton another (rivers, oceans, etc)
Understanding H2O through understanding the H : H bond
Through understanding how hydrogen atoms join together to form H2, we can better appreciate the H:O:H bonds of water.
In effect, the hydrogen atom is much more comfortable joining an oxygen atom than staying with a sister hydrogen atom.
How solid is the H : H bond?
About five hundred years ago, it was found that hydrogen gas could be produced by adding acids to metal.
At first, H2 was thought to be a type of "inflammable air". It was only later that it was defined as a discrete substance; A gas that produced water when burned in air. Hence the name Hydrogen, or the "creator of water".
Inert yet explosive
The ability to produce large quantities hydrogen gas cheaply allowed flight with gas-filled dirigibles, like the Zeppelins. Unfortunately, even though careful safety measures were taken to prevent the ignition of the hydrogen gas during flights, disaster struck in 1937 with the Hindenburg disaster.
In spite of this, the use of hydrogen expanded to become a standard fuel. Hydrogen produces energy when it is combined with oxygen. This reaction generates electricity and energy in fuel cells and internal combustion engines.
Some of the questions that are important to answer for the "H : H" bond:
- Why is hydrogen gas relatively inert unless it is heated?
- Why does a hydrogen atom's electron live in a spherical orbital?
- How do electrons form a solid 2 electron bond, when they are always moving around?
- How solid is the 2 electron "H : H" bond?
Hydrogen: Creating a "solid" bond.
In this course, you will learn the following:
- how small and very fast entities behave. This sets the stage for explaining how electrons behave in s orbitals.
- Visualizing how the hydrogen atom's lone electron produces a spherical s orbital.
- How two hydrogen atoms come together to create a "solid" 2 electron bond.