Some background: two decades ago, once I did the test leading up to the then mandatory swedish conscription, I had to execute a composed test that was not strictly an intelligence test however apparently tested practical reasoning abilities. It had actually one question I quiet remember: "Which has greater density: water or gasoline?". This question surprised me - at the moment I struggled with it. You can just know the answer. However surely the intent was no to check if girlfriend knew this certain fact, however to test if you can reason your way to the answer. And also I tho wonder what is the logical course of thinking that would lead you to it, offered that friend only understand "common facts" around water and gasoline.

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Simple lookups disclose that the density of petrol is approximately 0.74 +- 0.03 <1> and also that the water is about 1 <2>.

However, even without the lookups i am quite sure, that you currently have seen those vibrant films floating atop a puddle of water, as frequently found at gas stations in merganser days. This instantly tells girlfriend by observation, that gasoline has less density.

Lookups, for example: <1> Wiki ~ above the Density that Gasoline; <2> Simetric top top the Density that Water.

Interesting fact: The submarine Trieste i beg your pardon was used to reach the bottom that the Mariana Trench in 1960 actually had actually gasoline tanks as flotation devices. The gasoline is incompressible choose water and provides the exact same buoyancy at any kind of depth.

If girlfriend spill gasoline on wet pavement, the gas floats ~ above top and makes that cool swirly rainbow pattern.

Therefore water's density is higher.

I'd think 'Does petrol Float top top Water?'. I understand oil does, I'd assume comparable properties. Floats on water = much less dense. /layman

Water should have a greater density because gasoline is made of lengthy carbon structures like many other nonpolar substances, which generally float on water.

That is no why nonpolar substances float. A thick nonpolar substance would sink if after being included to water it to be shaken up. Otherwise the would stay on the surface. This is as result of the strong hydrogen bonds of water i m sorry are difficult to rest up. Thus a thick nonpolar substance would not have the ability to penetrate the water.

Note that i am just referring to liquids, and also a an extremely dense nonpolar liquid might have the ability to sink with water. However, I execute not recognize of any kind of sufficiently dense non-polar liquids.

It's a firefighter's understanding base the they're experimentation here (Do not shot to placed out a petrol fire with water (unless you're blowing turn off the flame)).

I guess they wanted to see if you might use an easy firefighting knowledge to answer the question, and also then maybe hook you into the design corpse?

The only method I can think of thinking it with "common facts" space the following:

if over there is petrol spilled in a puddle, you view it floating

if you make a salad dressing through oil and vinegar, the oil separates as the height layer.

I don't think densities are really something you have the right to reason the end though. Because that example, water is denser in the liquid form than the solid kind because that hydrogen bonding, however that isn't something the you can really reason out if friend didn't have the background for it.

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Have you ever heard the oil spill? This can be a great indicator that gasoline is lighter then water.

Gasoline is only a tiny component of crude Oil, for this reason the analogy isn't necessarily true (although that is in this case)