Challenge questions for students
on Water molecules condensing into a hydrogen-bonded droplet (Energy minimization)

Answer these questions by inspecting the simulation:

  1. 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).
  2. How do the donor-to-acceptor distances in the water simulation compare with those in proteins?
  3. In the final (compact droplet) conformation, how many hydrogen bonds does each molecule donate? Accept?
  4. Why do some molecules participate in more hydrogen bonds than do others?
  5. In the final (compact droplet) conformation, how many molecules participate in the maximum number of hydrogen bonds that are possible for a water molecule?
  6. What is the geometric arrangement of the four bonds (two covalent, two noncovalent) in which a single oxygen atom may participate?
  7. What final (equilibrium) shape would the droplet adopt if it contained far more molecules?
  8. What term describes the force that compels the droplet into this shape, and resists deforming this shape?
  9. In molecular terms, what produces the above-mentioned force?
  10. 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.

Totally Valid HTML 4.01 Questions written by Eric Martz