Water and Ice

alchemy for water
Alchemical Symbol for Water

Physical Chemistry of Water: Water is unique, almost magical stuff. Were it not so ubiquitous we would be more awed by it. It is very unlike closely related chemical compounds.

Lawrence Henderson, in his book Fitness of the Environment, pointed out how absolutely critical water is to life and how life could probably never have evolved without it. Today's searches for life on Mars are really just searches for the water in which it might have evolved.

This section explores the physical chemistry of water and how its structure accounts for many of the characteristics of water.

alchemy for moving water
Alchemical Symbol for Moving Water

Water in Motion: In a river water is in motion. This section describes how water moves. It relates the characteristic movement patterns of water back to the physical chemistry of water and looks ahead to how these movement patterns affect everything from the morphology of the river to the structure and ecology of the creatures living in the river.

alchemy for ice
Alchemical Symbol for Ice

River Ice: Ice can be fascinating stuff as is the water it comes from. Life depends on the unusual characteristics of water and one of these is that when it gets cold enough to turn into a solid, the solid floats. Almost all other chemical compounds, when they become cold enough to turn from the liquid to the solid, get denser - and therefore sink.

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