Water expands by a factor of 112, or roughly 9 percent, when it freezes. Water, unlike most other liquids, forms stronger hydrogen bonds as temperatures drop. This leads to a crystal lattice structure with voids left between molecules. As the molecules arrange themselves in this manner, the substance expands and becomes less dense.Continue Reading
Water molecules normally slide passed one another fluidly and easily, but when the temperature drops to below freezing, the two hydrogen atoms align with their neighbors. This alignment eventually becomes a rigid, crystal structure, leaving openings between the molecules. These open areas are where the overall volume of the substance has increased, or expanded, by approximately 9 percent, which is why ice floats on water and does not sink.
If water did not expand when frozen, Earth would be a different place. If water contracted when frozen, it would be more dense than the surrounding water and sink. This would leave ice submerged and out of reach of sunlight, while freezing fish and animals living at or near the bottom. The submerged ice would also slowly cool the planet, leading to a cold and inhospitable environment for life as it is known today, particularly so for human life.Learn more about States of Matter
Water freezes at zero degrees Celsius under normal conditions. The freezing point is the temperature at which a liquid becomes a solid, according to About.com. The Celsius scale is the official temperature scale for most of the world, although the United States still uses the Fahrenheit scale.Full Answer >
Water evaporates faster at higher temperatures, when its surface area increases and when exposed to moving air. The concentration of water and other substances in the surrounding air and air pressure also affect evaporation rate.Full Answer >
Water boils once the temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 100 degrees Celsius. In contrast, water freezes at 32 F or 0 C.Full Answer >
Water that has been heated to the point that it transforms into its gas form is simply known as water vapor, or sometimes simply as vapor. Water vapor, in its own pure form, is invisible, unlike the water and its solid form, ice.Full Answer >