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AS the water is cooled down below 4 deg C it starts expanding ( Anomalous Expansion of Water).it becomes solid and form the ICE. My question is once it becomes ICE, does it follow the behavior of solids? Will it start contracting as the temperature is reduced further? Will the volume of ICE reduce and become heavier?

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The normal pattern for most compounds is that as the temperature of the liquid increases, the density decreases as the molecules spread out from each other. The ice structure takes up more volume than the liquid water molecules, hence ice is less dense than liquid water. The volume of ice will increase and its density will decrease if kept for a longer time at 0 degree Celsius or below it. However, the mass remains the same.

The liquid state in many other substances is caused by the fact that their molecules have more kinetic energy and want to spread out and flow AWAY from each other. When they become cold, they freeze to a denser solid state because their molecules lack the kinetic energy to drift away from each other and flow, so they get stuck close together. In water, the hydrogen bonds are actually causing the water molecules to be attracted to each other, so when they have kinetic energy and can flow, they want to flow CLOSE to and right past other water molecules. When water freezes, its molecules lose energy and get stuck in a lattice structure in which they are farther apart from each other than in their liquid state, thus making ice less dense than water. The water molecules' low energy in their solid state prevents them from fulfilling the attraction of the hydrogen bonds and moving close to each other.

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    $\begingroup$ My question is -why does the ICE does not behave as a solid, which should contract as the temperature is reduced below 0 Deg C. If there is a contraction of ICE then its density must increase and it should sink.! $\endgroup$ – Mohan Mone Apr 23 at 0:08
  • $\begingroup$ @MohanMone Good question! I've edited the answer, hope that helps. $\endgroup$ – Tapi Apr 23 at 17:26

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