Why ice floats on water?

Cold water is heavy but ice, which is another form of cold water, floats on water despite being a solid—how does it happen?



As water gets colder, its volume decreases and it becomes heavier but this process continues only upto a certain temperature, which is 4°C. This is the temperature at which the density of water is maximum and the volume is minimum.

When water takes the form of ice, its volume increases, i.e., it covers more space in this form. The mass, however, remains unchanged when water is converted into ice. Neither anything added nor taken away from it. So the mass remains unchanged while the volume increases, which is quite apparent. It means that when water changes into ice, its density decreases. Anything, whose density is less than the density of water, floats on water and since the density of ice like that of wood, cork, etc. is less than the density of water, it too floats on water.

There are various advantages as well as disadvantages of this phenomenon. In a very cold country, the river waters get frozen due to extremely low temperature. But, as a matter of fact, it is only the upper surface of the river that gets frozen and becomes solid. The water beneath it remains in the liquid form and thus, the flora and fauna are saved from total annihilation. But on the other hand, those who travel by sea can alone tell you the grave dangers involved due to the large floating icebergs— the large chunks of ice—in the sea. These icebergs, whose larger parts are immersed in water, when come underneath the ship, act as sharp knives cutting and damaging the hull of the ship easily.

Checkout another experiment.

Why ice floats on water? Why ice floats on water? Reviewed by Wrestling Mirror on June 02, 2021 Rating: 5

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