Water has a solid volume greater than its liquid volume.

This question is in two parts.

1) Are there other materials that have solid volumes greater than liquid volumes? 2) What about the structure of a molecule makes its solid volume greater than its liquid volume?


1 Answer 1


There is a bunch of such materials; among the elemental compounds, they include silicon, gallium, germanium, and bismuth. As for the properties... well, it just so happens that their crystal structure contains a little too much of empty space. Crystal packing is a tricky thing, it can't be predicted with certainty even with the most sophisticated methods.

  • $\begingroup$ Antimony as well in the elements. $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 20, 2016 at 23:18
  • $\begingroup$ Yeah, that too. Oh, and then there is gray tin (though it does not survive until melting). $\endgroup$ Feb 20, 2016 at 23:48
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ Indeed. The water being unique is a meme that really needs to die... $\endgroup$
    – Jon Custer
    Feb 21, 2016 at 0:55

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