4th December 2019


Why does water expand?

The orderly, crystalline way in which the hydrogen-bonds form causes density to decrease because each water molecule is held away from its neighbors at a distance equal to the length of the hydrogen bonds. Thus water expands as it freezes, and ice floats atop water.

So, how much does water expand when it turns to steam?

The density of liquid water is approximately 0.96 grams per cubic centimeter at 100 C at atmospheric pressure. The density of water vapor at 100 C at atmospheric pressure is about a factor of 1600 less, and so water expands by a factor of 1600 when it turns into steam at atmospheric pressure.
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