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Archimedes (c. 287 BC to 212/211 BC) lived in the Greek city-state of Syracuse,

Sicily, up to the time that it was conquered by the Romans, a conquest that led to his

death. Of his works that survive, the second of his two books of On Floating Bodies is

considered his most mature work, commonly described as a tour de force.

More than 2000 years ago, Archimedes noticed that objects seem to weigh less

when they were placed in water. This effect produced by liquid or gas causes objects

to float.

When an object is placed in water, the water exerts an upward force or the upthrust

upon the object.

This upthrust is the force produced by water in reaction to the force of the weight of

the object that is introduced in water. This upthrust or the upward force is termed

as Buoyancy. Water puts pressure from all sides of the object to support its weight.

However, the water pressure is highest at its deepest end.

ARCHIMEDES' PRINCIPLE:

WHEN AN OBJECT IS IMMERSED IN A FLUID, THE UPTHRUST ON THE OBJECT IS

EQUAL TO THE WEIGHT OF THE FLUID DISPOLACED.

The buoyancy acting on the object due to water must exactly counteract the weight

of the object, i.e. the two have equal magnitude. So, a partially immersed object

floats in a liquid when the buoyancy acting on it equals the weight of the object.

A large ship at sea floats precisely because the weight of the seawater it displaces,

i.e. buoyancy acting on the ship, equals the total weight of the ship. For a solid piece

of iron, even if Buoyancy is maximized by fully immersing it in water, its weight

always exceeds the Buoyancy of water. That is why it sinks in water.

An equivalent and useful criterion for flotation of any object is that it will float in a

liquid, if the density of the object is less than that of the liquid. This is true, for

example, for wood or ice, both of which have a lower density than water. A solid

piece of iron sinks in water because the density of iron is greater than that of water.

However, a thin walled, hollow ball of iron, with adequate volume of air trapped

within it, floats in water. In this case, the trapped air has lowered the average

density of the ball, so that it is less than that of water.

A given object may sink in one liquid, but float in another liquid. For example, a solid

piece of iron sinks in water, but it will float, partially submerged, in a pool of mercury.

We can thus conclude that mercury must have a higher density than iron, which is

true.

A floating object displaces its own weight of the fluid in which it floats.

Air or any gas surrounding an object also behaves like a liquid, and exerts buoyancy

upon an object. As a result, the apparent weight of an object in air is slightly less

than its “true weight” measured in a vacuum. For many objects we deal with, this

buoyancy effect due to air - which equals the weight of the air displaced by the

object, is quite small when compared to the overall weight of the object itself. So, we

normally tend to ignore the effects of buoyancy due to air.

However, the buoyancy of air becomes strikingly evident when one lets go of sealed,

helium filled balloon. It doesn’t just float in air, but rapidly ascends, defying earth’s

gravity! Clearly, in this case, the buoyancy due to air must exceed the total weight of

the balloon, thereby causing a net upward force on the balloon, and enabling it to

accelerate upwards! This is a vivid demonstration of the upward direction of

buoyancy.

iron, sinks in water, a steel or iron needle remains floating on the water surface. Can

any of you students come up with an explanation for this strange fact?

How does a boat or ship carrying hundreds of pounds worth of stuff float while that

same stuff would sink to the bottom of the ocean if dumped overboard? How come

when you're in a pool and you stretch your body out flat you float. But, if you wrap

your arms around your legs and curl up into a ball you sink?

Well, it all has to do with how much water is pushing against you and a little

scientific principle called buoyancy or floatation. When you stretch out flat more

water pushes against you since your body is laid out flatter

The object must make room for its own volume by pushing aside, or displacing, an

equivalent (or equal) volume of liquid. The object must make room for its own

volume by pushing aside, or displacing, an equivalent (or equal) volume of liquid.

The object is exerting a downward force on the water and the water is therefore

exerting a upward force on the object. Of course the floating object's weight comes

into play also. The solid body floats when it has displaced just enough water to equal

its own original weight.

This principle is called buoyancy. Buoyancy is the loss in weight an object seems to

undergo when placed in a liquid, as compared to its weight in air. Archimedes'

principle states that an object fully or partly immersed in a liquid is buoyed upward

by a force equal to the weight of the liquid displaced by that object. From this

principle, he concluded that a floating object displaces an amount of liquid equal to

its own weight.

Any change in the density of the surrounding water affects the level at which ships float.

Fresh water is less dense than salt water. So a ship floats lower in fresh water than it does

in salt water. Warm water is les dense than cold water , so a ship floats lower in the water

if the temperature rises.

A boat loaded to its maximum in cold, salty water could float dangerously low if sailing

in low warm water. To prevent this , all ships now have 'maxu\imum load' or Plimsoll

lines marked on their side

Referrence:

http://www.spartechsoftware.com/reeko/Experiments/floating.htm

mass of same volume of water

The concept of relative density comes by comparing the density of an object to the

density of water.

It is calculated by weighing the object in air and then placing it in water. The amount of

water that has been displaced when the object was placed in it is then weighed.

This comparison when calculated, gives the relative density of the object.

Mass of liquid

mass of equal volume of water

Also,

Apparent loss in weight of object in water

An object immersed in meths [methanol] will experience less upthrust on it than if it was

immersed in water. It is due to the fact that meths is less dense than water so the meths

displaced by the object weighs less than the same volumes of water yet the volume

displaced by it is greater than the volume displaced by water. This is again, due to the

reason that meths is less dense than water therefore less heavier, so more volume of it

will make for eg, a 2N weight than the volume of 2N of water.

Hence, to displace this larger volume of meths the object floats lower in meths than in

water.

By comparing the density of an object with that of the fluid it is to be immersed in , it can

be found whether it will float or sink in that fluid. The object will only float if its density

is same or less than that of the fluid.

For eg:

• Wood, petrol and ice will float in water

• Hot water will float up in cold water

• Hydrogen gas will float upwards in air

• Hot air will float upwards in cold air

• Steel will float in liquid mercury but sink in water

whether they are floating or not

• The Law of flotation, however, only applies to floating objects.

Both the Law and the Principle are concerned with weight of objects and fluids.

However, when solving problems, one is often dealing with volumes. The connection

between the weigh of a substance and its volume is :

Mass = volume x density

Weight = mass x g

Therefore,

__________________________

|Weight = volume x density x g|

Parts left out in this lecture upon Hydrometers and hot air balloons will be

discussed in class.

END OF LECTURE

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