Is oil less dense than water?
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Q:

Is oil less dense than water?

A:

Quick Answer

Oil is less dense than water. This can be seen when water is poured into a container with oil, in which case the water sinks to the bottom, and the oil stays on top.

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Full Answer

Since oil and water have such different densities, they do not mix. If a container with equal quantities of oil and water is shaken, the oil breaks up into little droplets rather than mixing with the water. When an oil spill occurs in the ocean, the oil always floats on top in patches. In the case of a fire, it is a bad idea to throw water on burning oil or grease. Rather than mix and dilute the oil, the water can make the fire worse.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why doesn't oil dissolve in water?

    A:

    Oil will not dissolve in water because water forms a polar covalent bond and oil forms a non-covalent bond. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, in chemistry molecules dissolve with other molecules that share similar characteristics.

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  • Q:

    Why don't vegetable oil and water mix?

    A:

    Oil and water don't mix because of a difference between the molecular structure of both substances which causes like molecules to bind tightly to other like molecules, leading to a quick separation between oil and water when the two are mixed. Oil floats above water because it is less dense. These two factors combine to make the two substances separate easily and behave in a predictable manner.

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  • Q:

    Why doesn't oil and water mix?

    A:

    Oil and water don't mix because water molecules have a small positive charge at one end, and a small negative charge at the other end, so they stick to each other. But oil molecules are without charge, which causes them to be attracted to each other more than water.

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  • Q:

    How are density and buoyancy related?

    A:

    Buoyancy is the tendency of an object to float in a fluid if the object is less dense than the fluid. The phenomenon was first discovered by Archimedes and is explained by the upward force a fluid exerts on an object immersed in said fluid.

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