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Why Does Ice Float

  woodchip 14:46 24 Mar 2013

Water reaches its maximum density at 4°C (40°F). As it cools further and freezes into ice, it actually becomes less dense. On the other hand, most substances are most dense in their solid (frozen) state than in their liquid state. Water is different because of hydrogen bonding. So how did that come about. as it lets fish and other living thing survive under it

  rickf 14:58 24 Mar 2013

And to follow it results in the density of ice being lower than that of water.Stand corrected if I am not. But I seem to remember this from my Science lectures when doing my 'O' Levels many many years ago.

  john bunyan 14:58 24 Mar 2013

Water molecules have two hydrogen and one oxygen atoms. The oxygen atom attracts the negative charge from the hydrogen ones in the liquid state. As it freezes the negative charge pushes the atoms in the moecule apart so the frozen molecules are less dense than the liquid one, so ice floats.

  lotvic 15:09 24 Mar 2013

So if you add some antifreeze to the water, how does the antifreeze work to alter things?

  john bunyan 15:21 24 Mar 2013

Ethylene glycol has a freezing point of -40 deg C so depending of dilution level in water it reduces the mixture's freezing point.

  Forum Editor 16:21 24 Mar 2013

Chronos the 2nd's response - pasted from this source provides the correct answer.

If you're going to paste more than a few lines of copyright protected material from another website into a forum post it's good practice to acknowledge the source - either with a typed attribution or a direct link to the original text.

  wee eddie 16:26 24 Mar 2013

Lucky for us that it does float.

If it sank, life, as we know it, would not exist on this planet.

And the 4'C anomaly helps us as well!

  bumpkin 16:48 24 Mar 2013

Lighter than water

  lotvic 16:56 24 Mar 2013

4'C anomaly - is that the one where it sinks to the bottom?

  bumpkin 17:17 24 Mar 2013

Lotvic, only if you remove the water.

  morddwyd 18:29 24 Mar 2013

That's why I was always failing exams. I would have given a two word answer "Specific gravity".

I would then be told that I should have explained specific gravity, and I would point out that's not what I was asked, and I'd lose the few marks I had been given anyway!

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