Submit a question to our community and get an answer from real people.

Why does ice float?

Report as

ice floats in water because it is less dense. When water reaches the freezing point, it forms a crystal lattice structure that is greater in volume but has a lower density that liquid water.

Report as

Ice float because it's less dense and solid in liquid water

Report as

It is less dense then water

Report as

Because its less dense than water

Report as

It is less dense than the water

Report as

I think it is less dense/ salinity in water

Report as

It's less dense (:

Report as

Because it has a density of under 1.

Report as

It is less dense than water. The hydrogen bonds cause it to expand at freezing temperatures, which makes it less dense. Kammo is also correct, the hydrogen bonds are the reason the crystal lattice structure forms.

Report as

becasue its light

Report as

The common answer given is that "it is less dense than water". This only begs the question though. The more complete answer is a combination of Archimedes' Principle and Newton's laws of motion. If you need more details, I can elaborate. Otherwise, you may look this up.

Report as
Okay, just in case you weren't satisfied, here is the complete answer:

Archimedes' Principle says that the buoyant force (the force that causes objects to float) is equal to the weight of the fluid that is displaced by the object once it is submerged.
In the case of liquid water, it happens to be more dense than it's solid counterpart -- ice. There are basically two forces at play: the buoyant force and gravity. Gravity acts downward and is proportional to the density of the object and its volume. As stated above, the buoyant force acts upward and is proportional to the volume of the submerged object and the density of the surrounding fluid.
This allows for three possibilities:

(1) density of the fluid > density of the object. This is the case where an object floats (ice in water is just one example). The gravitational force is not strong enough to overcome the buoyant force. Therefore, in this game of tug-of-war, the buoyant force wins and the object floats.

(2) density of the fluid < density of the object. This is the case where the object sinks. Drop a penny into a pool and it sinks. This is because copper is more dense than liquid water. The gravitational force is beating the buoyant force (yes, it is actually operating in this case) in this situation.

(3) density of the fluid = density of the object. This is a rare case, but it corresponds to when the object does not sink or float. Rather, it hovers. Take a water balloon and place it under water and let go. It will not sink or float. The tug-of-war between gravity and the buoyant force is not being won by either side.
Report as
Phew!...
Report as
That's great. I usually think of the density and the Archimedes principle, but had not thought of the 2 Law of Newton. Very good. Accolades.
Report as
Gracias senor
Report as

Less density and has icygen

Report as

probably the shape, the weight,
think of water bugs
doesnt ice expand?

Report as

Lower density than water

Report as

Ice is less dense than water is. Making an ice cube in you drink float.

Report as

probably because the water is denser then the ice

Report as

Ice floats because it is about 9% less dense than liquid water. In other words, ice takes up about 9% more space than water, so a liter of ice weighs less than a liter water. The heavier water displaces the lighter ice, so ice floats to the top. One consequence of this is that lakes and rivers freeze from top to bottom, allowing fish to survive even when the surface of a lake has frozen over.

Report as

because, density of ice is less than water.

Report as

When water freezes the resulting crystals are less dense than water. The ice expands. Because ice is less dense than water it floats.

Report as

Saying frozen water is more dense than water doesn't answer anything. Everything less dense than water floats in water. What we need to be answering is "How does freezing water cause it to lose density?"
Kathy Wollard explains it well here.
http://www.word-detective.com/howcome/waterexpand.html

Report as

it's density is less than water

Report as

cuz Chuck Norris wanted it to

Report as

Because it's density is lesser than that of water.

Report as

Why then do million pound steel ships float? could it be the same reason ice floats i.e. (displacement)??? does ice weigh the same as the water that was melted from it?

Report as

because it is less dense

Report as

It's less dense than water.

Report as

because it is less dense than water when it freezes, u get wut im saying, dont you?

Report as

Ice floats because it is less dense than its liquid form, water. Water is the only substance that has a solid actually less dense than the liquid.

Report as

When water freezes,it becomes more dense than water because it becomes a neatly ordered pattern.

Report as

less dense

Report as

Ice floats on water because it is less dense.When water freezes to ice its density decreases.

Report as

yes, because i wants TOO :) :) :) :) :) :D

Report as

the density is 0.9, is Less than the water.

Report as

It is less dense than water because it's molecules are more spread out.

Report as