Water is an aqueous solvent. Or maybe it is THE aqueous solvent. When polar solids like sucrose or NaCl are added to water they dissolve to a very high degree. But what's happening at the molecular level? In the case of NaCl, this salt is dissociating into it's respective ions; they are Na+ and Cl-. Why does this happen? Each ion is surrounded by a shell or sphere of water molecules. The water binds with each of these ions because of their strong negative or positive charges. The shell kinda looks like multiple hands gripping a basketball, in the sense that they are both spherical things having their outer surface touched and held by a multitude of smaller entities.
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