Temperature Effects on Density

By Michael Keenan; Updated April 24, 2017
The density of sea water depends on the sodium saturation and temperature.

Density is a physical property of substances that compares the relationship between volume and mass. Density is affected by temperature because as temperature increases so does the kinetic energy of the particles.

Kinetic Energy

The more kinetic energy a substance has, the warmer it will be and the faster particles will be moving, which reduces the density of the substance.

Weather

When temperatures rise, the air becomes less dense and rises, which is known as a low pressure system. When temperatures fall, the air becomes more dense and is known as a high pressure system.

Phase Changes

When the change in temperature is significant enough, a substance can change its phase from a solid to a liquid or gas, or condense from a gas to a liquid or solid.

Size

When temperatures increase, objects expand and become larger and therefore the density decreases. When temperatures decrease, objects condense and become smaller so density increases.

Considerations

Temperature can only alter the number of molecules in an area. However, temperature cannot affect how many protons and neutrons are in each atom.

About the Author

Mark Kennan is a writer based in the Kansas City area, specializing in personal finance and business topics. He has been writing since 2009 and has been published by "Quicken," "TurboTax," and "The Motley Fool."