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Chemistry LibreTexts

7: Aqueous Solutions

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  • Water is the most remarkable solvent! The O—H bonds in water are polarized due to the differences in electronegativity between hydrogen and oxygen. When this uneven charge distribution is coupled with the fact that water has a “bent” molecular geometry, the two covalent bond dipoles combine to form a molecular dipole (shown in the electrostatic potential map on the right. This molecular dipole allows water to surround and stabilize ions in solution, making water a powerful solvent for the dissolution of polar and ionic compounds. If we know the amount of solute that we have dissolved in a given volume of solvent, we can define the term molarity, as the number of moles of solute in each liter of solution. Finally, by combining the concept of molarity with what we have learned about simple stoichiometric calculations, we can now approach quantitative chemical calculations in solution.