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What element has the greatest density?

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Quick Answer

Iridium, with a calculated density of 22.65 grams per cubic centimeter, is the densest element, but osmium, with a density of 22.61 grams per cubic centimeter, is nearly identical. Density can vary depending on factors such as temperature and pressure. Under some conditions, osmium may appear denser than iridium.

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Density is found by dividing the mass of a substance by the volume it occupies. Iridium and osmium are both roughly twice as dense as lead. Water is considered to have a relative density of 1, meaning substances with a relative density of less than 1 tend to float in water, while substances with a relative density greater than 1 tend to sink. Hydrogen, the most common element in the universe, is also the least dense, with a relative density of about 0.07 when compared to water.

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