Liquids generally have lower density as compared to solids. But ice floats on water. Explain why?


Chemistry is the study of the structure and the transformation of matter. The word that is often considered to be synonymous with matter is substance but in chemistry, a substance has a much more limited definition. Chemistry concerned with the analysis of structural behaviour. Chemistry helps with the composition, structure and states of materials and the process that happens when various forms of matters undergo changes.


Particles are tightly or closely packed in solids and the distances between the particles are tiny and so compressing them is difficult. Metal has a fixed form and length, because of its rigid structure, solid particles can only vibrate in their mean position and are unable to move and the attraction force between particles is also very weak.


Particles are less closely packed in a liquid state of matter compared to solids, taking the shape of the container in which they are stored. Liquids are difficult to compact because particles have less space to travel between them. Liquids have a fixed volume but no fixed shape and the diffusion rate in liquids is higher than that of solids and the force of attraction between the particles is weak compared to solids.

States of water

Water can exist in three different physical states. Water does exist in the form of ice or snow in the solid-state. Water exists as water vapour or steam, in the gaseous state and it exists in the form of water in its liquid state.

The density of ice is less than water. Liquids generally have lower density as compared to solids but ice floats on water. When water freezes to form ice, some empty spaces are created. As a result, volume increases for the same mass of water.

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  1. When water freezes to form ice, some empty spaces are created. It happens because of hydrogen bonding between the hydrogen of one water molecule and oxygen of another water molecule.

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