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Q: Properties of solids ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Properties of solids
Category: Science > Chemistry
Asked by: sunkistd-ga
List Price: $2.00
Posted: 28 May 2003 12:56 PDT
Expires: 27 Jun 2003 12:56 PDT
Question ID: 209898
What is a material, other than water, whose solid form can float on its liquid form?
Subject: Re: Properties of solids
Answered By: skermit-ga on 28 May 2003 13:54 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

The reason why ice floats on water is because it expands as it cools
due to some interesting crystaline structure stuff which is a little
over my head. Suffice to say, it's a very unique property which is
often assumed as the only compound to exhibit such a quality. Gallium
metal actually does the same thing because of similar properties:

From the Mineral Information Institute:
"Gallium has some physical properties that are worth noting. Like
water, gallium expands as it freezes which means it becomes less

Search Strategy:

"not +the only" "expands when it freezes" on google groups:

Additional Links:

Mineral Information Institute information on Gallium:

This was a VERY tough question because most people assume that water
is the only compound to have this property, and although I knew it
wasn't, it was hard to find a source, or train of evidence to prove
otherwise. I actually had to sift through countless religious debates
with ice as a proof of God. Enjoy your answer, and thank you for
asking the question.


Clarification of Answer by skermit-ga on 28 May 2003 14:02 PDT
I'll also refer you to another researcher's answer which I found
later, and has other sources with more materials which behave this
way, including another source for gallium.

sunkistd-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
You rock.

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