Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Liquid Water at Room Temperature
Name: Aaron L.
Status: N/A
Age: 20s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 11/21/2004

Why is water a liquid at room temperature? At first this question seemed easy enough, but research on the Internet has not provided me any help. Can you help?


Your question is a special case of a more general one: "Why does substance X melt at its melting point?" The answer, which is not much help, is no one knows. An "answer", which really begs the question is that a substance melts when the thermal energy is sufficient to cause molecules to move from their location in the crystal lattice. However, predicting what that temperature is, is not solved.

Vince Calder


The hydrogen bonds in water are chemical bonds that form between molecules containing a hydrogen atom bonded to a strongly electronegative atom. In this case, this strongly electronegative atom is oxygen. It is this hydrogen bonding that makes water from a liquid at room temperature. I hope that this helps.


Bob Trach

Click here to return to the Chemistry Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory