posted by Ana .
Water is a small molecule consisting of 3 atoms joined together. (they give the structure of H20.
Alcohol is a large molecule consisting of 9 atoms joined together. (they give alcohol structure)
using this information make a hypothesis that explains the decreased volumes found when mixing the two into a mixture.
I think its the same thing as the basket ball/tennis ball question.
So the water molecules fit in between the alcohol molecules? or do they attach to the structures?
There can be hydrogen bonding between water molecules, between alcohol molecules, AND between alcohol & water molecules. So you might see some "attaching" although those hydrogen bonds are only about 1/20 as strong as regular covalent bonds (and with all of the kinetic motion going on those bonds are being made and broken by the thousands). I think it's the fit between more than any attaching. Also, I'm not sure attaching to one another would save any space while water fitting into holes created by alcohol molecules does save space.