Give Now

A Moment of Science

Sugar?

Did you ever wonder why sugar dissolves in a cup of coffee? Why not have the sugar just float in the middle of the cup, without dissipating into the coffee?

It’s because of the way water molecules interact with molecules in other substances. A water molecule has powerful magnetic properties, because of the two positively charged hydrogen atoms stuck to a negatively charged oxygen atom.

A water molecule can actually break apart the bonds that hold together sugar molecules and insert itself in between them. This is what’s happening on a molecular level when you see the sugar cube getting wet and crumbling apart. Water molecules are busily inserting themselves between sugar molecules. Eventually they come between all the sugar molecules, dissolving the sugar cube.

Stay Connected

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from A Moment of Science:

Support for Indiana Public Media Comes From

About A Moment of Science

Search A Moment of Science