# What is Specific Gravity?

What is specific gravity? Specific gravity is a measure that tells us how dense a substance is compared to water. It helps us understand whether something will float or sink in water.

#### How Does Specific Gravity Work?

1. Comparing to Water: Water has a specific gravity of 1. If a substance has a specific gravity less than 1, it will float on water. If it’s more than 1, it will sink. Imagine dropping a piece of wood and a rock into a pond. The wood floats because its specific gravity is less than 1, while the rock sinks because its specific gravity is more than 1.
2. Calculating Specific Gravity: To find the specific gravity of a substance, you compare its density to the density of water. The formula is:Specific Gravity=Density of the SubstanceDensity of Water\text{Specific Gravity} = \frac{\text{Density of the Substance}}{\text{Density of Water}}Specific Gravity=Density of WaterDensity of the Substance​
3. Density: Density is how much mass a substance has in a given volume. For example, if you have a small block of metal and a big piece of sponge, the metal block might be heavier because it’s denser.

#### Why is Specific Gravity Important?

1. Science and Engineering: Specific gravity is used to identify substances and understand their properties. For example, scientists use it to study minerals and engineers use it to design materials for buildings and machines.
2. Everyday Life: Knowing the specific gravity of liquids helps in many industries, like making beverages or fuels. It ensures that products are made correctly and safely.
3. Health: In medicine, specific gravity is used to test body fluids like urine. It helps doctors understand more about a person’s health.

#### Examples of Specific Gravity

• Oil: Oil has a specific gravity less than 1, which is why it floats on water.
• Gold: Gold has a high specific gravity, which makes it much heavier than many other materials of the same size.

#### Fun Fact

Did you know that ice has a specific gravity less than 1? That’s why ice cubes float in your drink!

So, next time you see something floating or sinking in water, remember that specific gravity is the reason behind it. It’s a simple yet powerful way to understand the world around us!