Why Does Ice Floats on Water?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: September 25th, 2023

As a child, you must have wondered why does ice floats on water? Well, as an adult, you can understand the logic behind it. First, you must understand that the density of any object is the factor that determines whether that object will float or sink in water. Since ice is a solid form of water and solids are denser than liquids, one would assume that ice should sink in water. But this doesn’t happen. Keep reading to learn why.


Ice floats on water because it has a lesser density than water

Did you know that ice is 9% less dense than water? This is the reason why does ice floats on water. Water has a density of 1.0 gm/cubic cm, whereas the density of ice is about 0.931 gm/cubic cm. This is because the hydrogen molecules formed when the water freezes are spaced farther apart, decreasing the overall density and causing the ice to float. 

In other words, ice has a cage-like structure with many empty spaces between the particles. Therefore, the density of ice is less than that of water which causes the ice to float on water.


Why Does Ice Floats on Water?

The reason why does ice floats on water is that the density of ice is less than the density of water. And a substance that has a lower density will float when put in a substance with a higher density.

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