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Why do oxygen atoms split from hydrogen atoms?

why does the oxygen atoms split from hydrogen atoms does it have to do with the conection they both have?

Question asked by Bravo in commenting on the science fair project: http://www.education.com/science-fair/article/w...
In Topics: Science fair, Helping my child with science
> 60 days ago

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Expert

greenprof2
Dec 23, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

Water molecules in the upper atmosphere may absorb enough energy from solar radiation to separate the molecule into H2 and O. The bond is strong so it takes a relatively high amount of energy to do so. This can also be done with electricity in the process called electrolysis.

Michael Bentley, EdD, Expert Panelist
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Additional Answers (1)

chemteacher
chemteacher writes:
Atoms are "stuck" together by the bonds they form. Bonds are nothing more than the interaction of electrons. Electrons will "pair-up", and if each atom has a single, unpaired electron, it will attract another single, un-paired electron from another atom. One of Oxygen's single electrons (oxygen has 2 of them available for bonding) pairs with the one from Hydrogen (so you need 2 hydrogens for each one oxygen), making a bond. When enough energy (heat, light, electricity) is added to a bond, the electron pair splits apart and the bond is broken. Often, these atoms are in the gas state, and find another atom of the same type to re-bond with creating pure gases of each element (hydrogen and oxygen gas).
> 60 days ago

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