Q:

Why do some objects sink while others float?

A:

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.

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.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    Why do some objects float in water and others sink?

    A:

    Objects comprised of material that is denser than water tend to sink; objects with a lighter density tend to float. Since air is lighter than water, hollow objects can float if their total density is less than water. Preventing objects from absorbing water is important.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    How can density be used to identify an object?

    A:

    The National Science Resources Center says that density is one of the characteristic properties of an object, which, when compared to the densities of other known objects, allows an investigator to identify the materials from which it is made. While several materials may have similar densities, this property allows an individual to rule out unlikely candidates and use further tests to confirm identification.

    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 polycarbonate?

    A:

    The density of polycarbonate is 1.2 grams per cubic centimeter, determined by dividing the mass by the volume when the polycarbonate is at standard temperature and pressure (STP) conditions. STP assumes a temperature of 68 degrees Fahrenheit and 1 standard atmosphere unit.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore