Ice Floats - Chemistry Project
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Ice Floats

ice water

To see that ice takes up more room than water does, stick a piece of tape to a glass of water. Fill the glass with water up to the tape, and put it in the freezer. When the water is frozen into ice, take it out. Is the water at the same level it was at before?

Because ice takes up more room than water, it is less dense: ice has more space between the molecules than water does. That makes ice float on top of water. Try putting an ice cube in water to see.

It's a good thing for us that ice floats, because otherwise when the top of the oceans froze, that ice would sink to the bottom, and then the new water on top would freeze and sink to the bottom, and pretty soon the oceans would be frozen solid and we would have no water to live on.

Another project with ice
More about ice

Bibliography and further reading about ice:

Ice
Atoms
Chemistry
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Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram or Twitter.
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