This figure shows the boat with rock and the forces involved.

First, the force of gravity for the boat with rock is the combined mass of the boat and rock times the acceleration of gravity, Fg = (mb + mr ) g . Since it’s floating, the Archimedes Principle gives an equal

and opposite force of buoyancy that is equal to the weight of the displaced water, (the weight of the displaced water is just the volume of the displaced water V1 times the density of water ρ w ), so Fb = V1 ρ w g . Setting these forces equal and solving for the m + mr . volume gives V1 = b

ρw

Now, when the rock is thrown out of the boat and sinks, the force Fg will decrease and there will be a new, smaller volume of displaced water for the corresponding force of buoyancy. Setting these new forces equal to each other gives Fg = mb g = Fb = V2 ρ w g . Solving for the new displaced water volume for the boat yields V2 =
mb

ρw

. The rock sinks

and hence displaces its volume in water. The mass of the rock is just its volume times its m density mr = Vr ρ r . Solving for the volume of the rock gives Vr = r .

ρr

The question of whether or not the water mark moves is then determined by comparing the initial volume of water displaced V1 with the new total amount of water displaced V2 + Vr as follows: V1 = V2 + Vr implies the water level of the tank does not change, V1 > V2 + Vr implies the water level drops, and V1 < V2 + Vr implies the water level rises. Substituting the volumes with the above equations gives ( mb + m r ) m b m r > + . (I’ve gone ahead and selected the correct relation). After

ρw

ρw

ρr

multiplying through by the density of water and we end up with ⎛ρ ⎞ (mb + mr ) > mb + mr ⎜ w ⎟ . Since the density of the water is less than the density of the ⎜ρ ⎟ ⎝ r ⎠ rock (it sinks after all) then

ρw < 1 , showing that the initial volume displaced is greater ρr

than the subsequent state where the rock is out of the boat.

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