There is no life without water. In this chapter, water will be used to review some very basic ideas in chemistry, particularly as applies to cell and molecular starrkingschool.netlogy. What is water? H2O. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom (Figure (PageIndex1)). Together they form a molecule of water. They are defined as a molecule by the presence of strong chemical bonds connecting each atom.
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Sharing electrons is not the only way to create bonds between atoms. Ionic bonds are created when an atom donates or receives an electron, rather than sharing one. When an atom gives up an electron, the electrical balance between the numbers of positively charged protons in its nucleus and negatively charged electrons is upset, and the overall atom now has a positive electrical charge. Similarly when an atom receives an extra electron, the balance in a neutral atom is upset, and the atom becomes negatively charged. An ionic bond is formed when one atom donates an electron to an adjacent atom, creating an ionic pair, one positively and one negatively charged. The electrical attraction between the oppositely charged atoms holds them together.