Q:

Why do some objects sink while others float?

A:

Quick Answer

Whether an object sinks or floats depends on its density and the density of the liquid into which it is placed. If the object has a greater density than the liquid, it sinks. If it has less density, the object floats.

Know More
Why do some objects sink while others float?
Credit: GollyGforce - Living My Worst Nightmare CC-BY 2.0

Full Answer

Scientists call the ability of an object to float its buoyancy. The key factor that determines an object's buoyancy is whether its molecules are densely packed together or are loosely packed. An object that has a high density, such as a lead, is going to sink because it has higher density than water, while an object with loosely packed molecules, such as wood, is able to float.

Learn more about Chemistry

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the density of milk?

    A:

    The milk from bovines has a standardized density of 1.04 milligrams. However, air temperature and breed of cow can affect the density of milk.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the density of aluminum?

    A:

    Aluminum has a density of 2.7 grams per milliliter. An element in the boron group, aluminum is a very light metal, but it is dense enough to sink in water. It is the third most abundant element in the Earth’s crust and is the most abundant metal overall.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the density of cooking oil?

    A:

    The density of cooking oil varies depending on the kind of cooking oil used. For example, while canola oil has a density of 7.62 ounces per U.S. cup, corn, peanut and olive oil all have a density of 7.9 ounces per U.S. cup.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the density of rubber?

    A:

    The density of rubber is dependent upon the kind of rubber; hard rubber has a density of 74 lb/foot cubed, while soft commercial rubber has a density of 69 lb/foot cubed and pure gum rubber has a density of 57-58 lb/foot cubed. The term "rubber" has had many meanings over the years, including as a reference to a horse towel in 1598 and a polished brick in 1744 before it came to mean the elastic substance used today.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore