Why does the ice floats?(attach image for better understanding)

Why does the ice floats?(attach image for better understanding)


1 Answers

25757 Points
5 years ago
Dear Aditya

Ice floats on water because density of ice is less than water. In common language we can say ice floats on water because it is lighter than water.

Any solid when place in a liquid buoyancy force that is equal to the weight of volume of liquid displaced by it. An object with density less than that of the liquid is able to displace volume of water that is less than volume of the object. AS a result such object floats on the liquid. A solid, which has higher density than the liquid, displaces volume of liquid which is equal to the volume of the solid. But the buoyancy force exerted on the solid by this is less than the downward gravitational force acting on the solid because of its weight. As a result the solid sinks to the bottom. A solid with density exactly equal to the liquid will be able to remain suspended any where within the liquid, without rising to the top of the liquid or sinking to the bottom.

While on this subject, it is worthwhile explaining the phenomenon which makes ice lighter than water. All solids and liquids including water expand when heated and shrink when cooled. As a result, density of any substance is higher at lower temperature. However, water between temperature 0 degrees to 4 degrees centigrade presents an exception to this universal rule. In this temperature range, water expands when cooled. As a result the density of water at 0 degrees as well as that of ice at 0 degrees is lower than the water.





Arun (askIITians forum expert)

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