NextPrevious

MacRoscopic Properties: The World We See

Phases of Matter and Intensive Properties

Why does ice float?

Ice floats in water because it is less dense than water, though this is actually a very unusual case in terms of comparing the densities of the solid and liquid phases for a given substance. Most substances increase in density when moving from the liquid to the solid phase of matter, but H2O does the opposite. When water freezes, it forms a network of hydrogen bonds between H2O molecules, and because of the spacing of the molecules in this lattice, ice is less dense and floats in water.

Image


Close

This is a web preview of the "The Handy Chemistry Answer Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App