ICE What if Ice Did Not Float  Essay

Excerpt from Essay :


What if Ice did not Float?

This is an interesting question that confounded people for many years. In letters between correspondents in different regions of Arabia, the question was bandied, and answered. The thought was that when water froze in a container that it did contract. Thus the void where the water had been formed a vacuum and the heavier air in the outside of the flask caused the water container to implode because of the vacuum that was formed. However, one of the correspondents, the one writing the original query to a more learned colleague, found that the flasks broke out, not in as was indicated in the original explanation. The more experienced of the two did have an explanation of this,

But it is more metaphysical than scientific. He said frozen water creates a space between itself and the container, and that this space desires to be outside of the flask, therefore the flask breaks (Muzaffar, 2009).

Of course, present science has learned that this is not the case. Water does not create a space in a container and thus cause some sort of implosion, it does actually break outward. This is because of the relationship between the covalent bonds internal to the molecule, and the hydrogen bonds that glue molecule to molecule (University of Ohio, 2008). Covalent bonds are strong, and they marry the positively charged Hydrogen atoms to the negatively charged Oxygen atom. These strong bonds are in contrast to the relatively weak hydrogen bonds which are formed to keep the separate molecules in the matrix known as water (Lansing State Journal, 1998). When water loses temperature, it is necessary with the increasing density of the fluid for the hydrogen…

Sources Used in Document:


Lansing State Journal. (1998). Why does ice float? Retrieved November 13, 2010 from

Muzaffar, I. (2009). Why does ice float on the surface of water? Islam & Science, 19(1).

University of Ohio. (2008). Why does ice float? Retrieved November 13, 2010 from

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