When ice placed in water melts, does the overall volume of water increase, stay the same, or decrease? — AB, Riverside, CA
The volume decreases. That’s because ice at 32° F (0° C) is less dense than water at that same temperature. As the ice melts to form water, the density of its molecules increases and the overall volume of material decreases. This situation, in which the solid form of a material is less dense than the liquid form of that material, is virtually unique in nature and explains why ice floats on water.