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Unformatted text preview: temperatures and the solid form does not float on the liquid form. Ionization of Water We learned earlier that atoms that gain or lose electrons become ions. Hydrogen is the smallest atom, composed of one electron and one proton. It can lose its electron to become an ion. A hydrogen ion , however, is a proton because there are no remaining electrons. The words "proton" and "hydrogen ion" are often used interchangeably in discussion of biological topics. Within water, some of the molecules will temporarily lose a proton and leave the electron behind. The equation below describes this process. H 2 O H + + OH-When water ionizes, equal numbers of hydrogen ions and hydroxide ions (OH-) are formed. The hydrogen ion (H + ) attaches to another water molecule forming a hydronium ion (H 3 O + ). The process is reversible; hydrogen and hydroxide ions can combine to form water....
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- Fall '10