Table of Density of Common Materials


Use a graduated cylinder or narrow glass to illustrate the different density values of common liquids.
Use a graduated cylinder or narrow glass to illustrate the different density values of common liquids. (photo: Kelvinsong)

This is a table of density of common materials. Density is a measure of the amount of matter per unit of volume. This is the mass divided by the volume of a substance. Generally, gases are less dense than liquids, which are less dense than solids. However, there are many exceptions. For example, ice (a solid) is less dense than water (a liquid). A few gases are heavier than liquids. For example, water is lighter than tungsten hexafluoride gas.

Densities of Common Substances

This table cites density values from lowest density to highest. The SI unit of density is kg/m3. To convert density in g/cm3 to kg/m3, simply multiply by 1000.

MaterialDensity (g/cm3)State of Matter
hydrogen (at STP)0.00009gas
helium (at STP)0.000178gas
carbon monoxide (at STP)0.00125gas
nitrogen (at STP)0.001251gas
air (at STP)0.001293gas
carbon dioxide (at STP)0.001977gas
lithium0.534solid
ethanol (grain alcohol)0.810liquid
benzene0.900liquid
ice0.920solid
water at 20°C0.998liquid
water at 4°C1.000liquid
seawater1.03liquid
milk1.03liquid
coal1.1-1.4solid
blood1.600liquid
magnesium1.7solid
granite2.6-2.7solid
aluminum2.7solid
diamond3.5solid
Earth (planet)5.515solid
steel7.8solid
iron7.8solid
brass8.6solid
copper8.3-9.0solid
lead11.3solid
Earth’s core13solid
mercury13.6liquid
uranium18.7solid
gold19.3solid
platinum21.4solid
iridium22.4solid
osmium22.6solid
white dwarf star2. 1 x 106solid
atomic nucleus2.3 x 1013solid
black hole (4 solar mass)1 x 1015solid

Factors That Affect Density

Density depends on temperature and pressure. It also depends on the way atoms stack together in solids. Some elements have many allotropes or forms. For example, graphite and diamond are both solid forms of pure carbon, but they have different densities and other properties.

The Lightest and Heaviest Elements

Hydrogen is the lightest (least dense) element on the periodic table. This is true even though hydrogen exists as a diatomic gas, while helium is a monatomic gas. The heaviest element on the periodic table is osmium. However, under certain conditions, iridium might be more dense than osmium. It’s possible some synthetic radioactive elements could be even heavier, but their density has not been measured.

References

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