Is solid water more or less dense than liquid water? Why?

1 Answer
Aug 15, 2016

Solid water is LESS dense than liquid water. Why? Because God wanted it that way.


The density of ice is #0.9168*g*cm^-3# at #0# #""^@C#, The density of liquid water is #0.9999*g*cm^-3# at #0# #""^@C#. That the solid phase is less dense than the liquid phase is an highly unusual phenomenon. If it were the other way round, as is usually observed for phase transitions, ice-bergs would sink rather than float, and this planet's oceans would probably be ice-bound.

How to remember ice is less dense than water? Think TITANIC! Ice bergs should be more buoyant on sea water than on fresh water. I confess that I have no idea as to the composition of water in an ice berg. Is an ice berg fresh water? Probably not. It is possibly less saline than sea water, but what do I know without data?