the title could be misleading but that is actually what I will write about. What happened to me this week in the school was pretty interesting. We were in chemistry class and it was nothing too unusual. Then at one point the teacher said something what sounded to me very illogical, this would not be for the first time, last time the teacher said that plasma has to do a lot with absolute zero -_-.
What happened this day was very suprising to me, it was this reaction below:
Two molecules of water will change into hydroxide and hydronium. This process will go back because of chemical equlibrium.
Why? When I saw this on the chalkboard I thought that this is some kind of crap, but actually it is very interesting. At first I thought that she just forgot to write some kind of catalyzator but no, this is equation.. it seemed to me that she wants me to believe that water just alone changes to base and acid.
Now this actually really happens. The problem is that the concetration of such ions is
This is not much since one mol is the number of carbon-12 atoms in 12 grams while this is much more space in decimeter and there is not many moles in there (10−7).
How this happens? Well you may ask, why should water do this? Is it not stable? Well this is because of random fluctuations inside the molecules which may cause such thing. For every ten hours this happens approximitely once per molecule of water. The process takes only few femto seconds which is quite cool and after sometime I guess that it will just return while other molecules will do this again (because there are both acidic and basic ions they will cancel out so water is neutral).
This is important since this is why water is conductive, because there are ions even in pure water. This process is called self-ionization or autoprotolysis.