Density
In this lab we will explore common methods for measuring density, mass per volume.
Density =
Mass
Volume
With liquids, one can simply measure the mass with a balance, the volume with a
graduated cylinder (or, for this lab, a measuring cup), and take the ratio of the two.
For solids objects, if it’s a simple shape, you might be able to determine its volume by
measuring its size and find it’s volume mathematically.
The volume of a rectangular
object, for example, could be found by multiplying its length, width and height.
With a
cylinder, you could measure the radius and height and use the equation V =
π
r
2
h
An alternate method for measuring volume, which is especially useful when the shape is
irregular, is an indirect method known as
water displacement
, where you place the object
in a known volume of water.
This will cause the water level to increase by a volume
equal to that of the object.
Materials required
Kitchen scale
Measuring Cup*
Ruler*
Tap water
One of the following: vegetable oil, corn syrup, or motor oil
One of the following: sugar, table salt, or starch
Any rectangular or squareshaped paperback book that weighs less than 500 grams
5075 pennies**
*Preferably one with metric units; otherwise you’ll have to look up the appropriate
conversions.
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 Spring '10
 HOFMANNJOHANN
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