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Q & A: salt water

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
2 Hydrogen atoms and 1 oxygen atoms make clear water. But if you disolve salt into water is it still H2O or is it a new compound entirely?
- Jamal (age 11)
Washington D.C.
A:
I dunno.

You know what's there. Most of the water molecules look very much like they would have if there weren't any salt around. The ones that are near salt ions are of course somewhat different than they would have been otherwise. If you put a lot of salt in, all the water molecules are in somewhat different environments.

Why worry about the words?

Mike W.

(published on 10/22/2007)

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