Challenge questions for students
on Water molecules condensing into a hydrogen-bonded droplet (Energy minimization)
Answer these questions by inspecting the simulation:
- In the final (compact droplet) conformation, what is the distance from donor atom to acceptor atom? (Distances can be measured in Jmol by double-clicking on one atom, moving the pointer to the second atom and then double-clicking on it).
- How do the donor-to-acceptor distances in the water simulation compare with those in proteins?
- In the final (compact droplet) conformation, how many hydrogen bonds does each molecule donate? Accept?
- Why do some molecules participate in more hydrogen bonds than do others?
- In the final (compact droplet) conformation, how many molecules participate in the maximum number of hydrogen bonds that are possible for a water molecule?
- What is the geometric arrangement of the four bonds (two covalent, two noncovalent) in which a single oxygen atom may participate?
- What final (equilibrium) shape would the droplet adopt if it contained far more molecules?
- What term describes the force that compels the droplet into this shape, and resists deforming this shape?
- In molecular terms, what produces the above-mentioned force?
- Why is an oil droplet easier to deform than a water droplet?
Answers are available to teaching faculty who inquire with an email to
providing evidence of their faculty positions, such as by reference to a school or college website listing faculty.
Questions written by Eric Martz