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What other substances besides Water, will in their solid state float in their liquid state?
Example, Ice is a solid and floats in its liquid state water.
- Johann Muckler (age 15)
Kearney HS, San Diego,CA
Ice floats in water because it is less dense than water. So any substance that has a lower density in its solid state than in its liquid state will float. While a number of compound materials (like salts and alloys) have this property, only 5 elements on the periodic table are known to have a density that is greater in their liquid phase.
Element____Solid Density____Liquid Density____Melting Temp.
Thanks for the question,
(republished on 07/25/06)
Follow-Up #1: Molecular distances in liquid and solid phases
Many text books show molecules in the liquid state to be significantly further apart than in the solid state. Am I right in thinking that this is an error? The change of density on melting does not appear to be huge for most materials, and liquids are incompressible.
- David Thomas
Bingo! Youíve got the right idea in focusing on the density. Probably the text book illustrations are trying to emphasize that the molecules in a liquid state are not aligned in rigid crystalline arrays. Curiously, ice, the solid state of water, is less
dense than the liquid state. Donít ask me why, youíll have to ask Mike.
Beats me. /Mike
(published on 12/07/07)
Follow-up on this answer.