Concept

Relative density

Summary
Relative density, or specific gravity, is the ratio of the density (mass of a unit volume) of a substance to the density of a given reference material. Specific gravity for liquids is nearly always measured with respect to water at its densest (at ); for gases, the reference is air at room temperature (). The term "relative density" (often abbreviated r.d. or RD) is often preferred in scientific usage, whereas the term "specific gravity" is deprecated. If a substance's relative density is less than 1 then it is less dense than the reference; if greater than 1 then it is denser than the reference. If the relative density is exactly 1 then the densities are equal; that is, equal volumes of the two substances have the same mass. If the reference material is water, then a substance with a relative density (or specific gravity) less than 1 will float in water. For example, an ice cube, with a relative density of about 0.91, will float. A substance with a relative density greater than 1
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