Q:

# Why does an air bubble rise to the surface of a glass of water?

A:

An air bubble rises to the top of a glass of water because the density of the air bubble is less than that of water. Density is the property of matter that describes how heavy something is in relationship to its volume.

## Keep Learning

Any item in a liquid that has a lower density than the liquid rises. Heavier items sink, unless they are specifically shaped to displace enough water, such as in the case of a boat’s hull.

The rate of ascent of a bubble in water is quite difficult to calculate. The amount of water resistance, which affects the rate of ascent, acting against the bubble depends on the size of the bubble, purity of the water, turbulence in the water, composition of the gas inside the bubble and other factors. In some cases, bubbles large enough break into smaller bubbles, further complicating the ability to predict the speed of the bubble rising. In general, larger bubbles rise faster because the force of buoyancy increases more as the volume of the bubble increases, compared to the water resistance acting on the bubble. A helpful comparison is comparing small dust particles floating slowly down in the sky versus large particles that fall faster.

Sources:

## Related Questions

• A: Ice cubes float in water because ice has a lower density than water. This lower density means that ice weighs less than water in its liquid form.... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: The reason things float or sink in water is due to the object's or material's density. The density of water is 1.0 grams per cubic centimeter at 68 degrees... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: A crumpled piece of paper presents less surface area to be acted upon by air resistance than an uncrumpled piece. Both pieces are subject to the same downw... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
• A: A rotary vane vacuum pump works by using centrifugal force to turn blades against the circular surface of a cylinder whereby pockets of air are pushed from... Full Answer >
Filed Under:
PEOPLE SEARCH FOR