Characteristics of Water Project

by Cole Bogenschuetz

Adhesion is when different molecules stick to each other. When water is attracted to other substances that is adhesion.  An example of adhesion is water on a spider web or water on pine tree needles.  Adhesion plays a part in capillary action when water "climbs" up the roots of a plant.

Surface Tension is when surface of a liquid resists an external force. An example is when the insects such as the water strider use the surface tension of water to stay afloat on the surface layer of water and even mate there.

Water is known as the universal solvent because it can dissolve more substances than any other liquid. This effects living organisms in many ways.  One example is the transportation of nutrients which are vital to the life of plants and animals.  Another example is water being a universal solvent is during digestion. Water plays a big part of working with enzymes to break down and dissolve molecules of food.

Water is a density anomaly because water is rare in that its solid form of it (ice) is less dense than its liquid form water.  The low density of ice causes it to float on the surface of water just like an iceberg or the ice cubes in a glass of water.  In lakes and ponds,  ice forms on the surface of the water creating an insulating barrier that protects the animals and plant life in the pond from freezing.  Without this insulating layer, plants and animals living there would freeze in a solid block of ice and would die.

The  high specific heat of water is the amount of heat needed to raise its temperature a certain amount.    It takes a lot of heat to it to make water get hot.  Specific heat is the amount of heat required to raise 1 gram of a substance 1 degree Celsius.   "The high specific heat capacity of water has a great deal to do with regulating extremes in the environment.  For instance, our fish in the pond are indeed happy because the heat capacity of the water in the pond means the temperature of the water will stay relatively the same from day to night." (

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