Q:

Why do steel ships float?

A:

Quick Answer

When someone compares the density of water to the density of the air and steel of the boat, the boat is much lighter, allowing it to float. Before water displaces the boat, only a very small part of the boat has to submerge into the water.

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Full Answer

The fact that the boat floats is due to Archimedes' principle. With this principle, when an object pushes water away, the water puts force back onto it equal to the weight of the object. This allows the object to float. This is also what happens when someone sits in the bathtub and, as they sit, the water gets pushed away.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Why do boats float?

    A:

    A boat floats because the weight of the water it displaces is less than the weight of the boat itself. When an object is placed in a fluid in gravity, both the fluid and the object are pulled downward, but because the object is displacing the fluid, they are, essentially, competing for the lower position. If the object has more density than the fluid, it will be able to push it out of the way and will sink to the bottom. If not, it will only push its own weight of fluid out of the way, and the rest will float above the surface.

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  • Q:

    How do boats float?

    A:

    Boats float because their shape and weight allow them to displace the equivalent weight of water as the boat without allowing the water to overflow into the boat. Scientists use Archimedes' Principle to explain this phenomenon. According to HowStuffWorks, Archimedes stated that an object in a fluid experiences an upward force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the object.

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  • Q:

    What are some factors that affect the density of water?

    A:

    Temperature and salinity both affect the density of water. As the temperature of the water decreases, the density of the water increases.

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  • Q:

    What is the density of water in English units?

    A:

    In English units, the density of water is 1.936 slugs per cubic foot. A slug is different from a pound because the slug measures the mass of a unit, but a pound measures the force of the unit in relation to gravity.

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