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Molecular structure of ice

Molecular structure of ice

A504/0023

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Credit

FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY FRANCIS LEROY, BIOCOSMOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Illustration of the molecular structure of ice. Ice consists of, and is formed by, water molecules which have frozen into hexagonal crystals. Here, the three- dimensional hexagonal crystal structure of ice is shown. Each water molecule comprises one atom of oxygen (blue) and two hydrogen atoms (yellow) covalently bonded. In ice, hydrogen bonds (red and white) link the molecules of water into a lattice structure. Ice is seldom pure water, and other molecules may also infiltrate the crystal (seen at lower left, red). The freezing point at which ice forms is 0 degrees centigrade, adopted as a thermometric standard.

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