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# Density and Specific Gravity

Goals
Calculate the density of a substance from measurements of its mass and volume. Calculate the specific gravity of a liquid from its density. Determine the specific gravity of a liquid using a hydrometer.

Discussion
A. Density of a Solid To determine the density of a substance, you need to measure both its mass and its volume. You have carried out both of these procedures in previous labs. From the mass and volume, the density is calculated. If the mass is measured in grams and the volume in milliliters, the density will have the units of g/mL. Density of a substance = B. Mass of substance g of substance = Volume of substance mL of substance

Density of a Liquid

To determine the density of a liquid, you need the mass and volume of the liquid. The mass of a liquid is determined by weighing. The mass of a container is obtained and then a certain volume of liquid is added and the combined mass determined. Subtracting the mass of the container gives the mass of the liquid. From the mass and volume, the density is calculated. Density of liquid = C. Mass (g) of liquid Volume (mL) of liquid

Specific Gravity

The specific gravity of a liquid is a comparison of the density of that liquid with the density of water, which is 1.00 g/mL (4C). Specific gravity (sp gr) = Density of liquid (g / mL) Density of water (1.00 g / mL)

Specific gravity is a number with no units; the units of density (g/mL) have canceled out. This is one of the few measurements in chemistry written without any units.

From Laboratory Manual for General, Organic, & Biological Chemistry, Karen C. Timberlake. Copyright 2002 Pearson Education, Inc., publishing as Benjamin Cummings. All rights reserved.

## Density and Specific Gravity

Using a hydrometer The specific gravity of a fluid is determined by using a hydrometer. Small hydrometers (urinometers) are used in the hospital to determine the specific gravity of urine. Another type of hydrometer is used to measure the specific gravity of the fluid in your car battery. A hydrometer placed in a liquid is spun slowly to keep it from sticking to the sides of the container. The scale on the hydrometer is read at the lowest (center) point of the meniscus of the fluid. Read the specific gravity on the hydrometer to 0.001. See Figure 1.

D.

## Graphing Mass and Volume

When a group of experimental quantities are determined, a graph can be prepared that gives a pictorial representation of the data. After a data table is prepared, a series of steps are followed to construct a graph.

Lab Information
Time: Comments: 3 hr Tear out the report sheets and place them beside the procedures. Round off the calculator answers to the correct number of significant figures. Dispose of liquids properly as directed by your instructor.

Related Topics: Mass, volume, prefixes, significant figures, density, specific gravity

Experimental Procedures
A. Density of a Solid

GOGGLES REQUIRED!

Materials: Metal object, string or thread, graduated cylinder A.1 Mass of the solid Obtain a solid metal object. Determine its mass and record.

## Density and Specific Gravity

A.2 Volume of the solid by displacement Obtain a graduated cylinder that is large enough to hold the solid metal object. Add water until the cylinder is about half full. Read the water level carefully and record. If the solid object is heavy, lower it into the water by attaching a string or thread. While the solid object is submerged in the water, record the final water level. Calculate the volume of the solid. Volume of solid = Final water level initial water level

A.3 Calculating the density of the solid Calculate the density (g/mL) of the solid by dividing its mass (g) by its volume (mL). Be sure to determine the correct number of significant figures in your calculated density value. Density of solid = Mass (g) of solid Volume (mL) of solid

A.4 If your instructor indicates that the solid is made of one of the substances in Table 1, use the density you calculated in A.3 to identify the metal from the known values for density. Table 1 Density Values of Some Metals Substance Density (g/mL) Aluminum 2.7 Brass 8.4 Copper 8.9 Iron 7.9 Lead 11.3 Nickel 8.9 Tin 7.3 Zinc 7.1

B.

Density of a Liquid Materials: 50-mL graduated cylinder, two liquid samples, 100-mL or 250-mL beaker

B.1 Volume of liquid Place about 20 mL of water in a 50-mL graduated cylinder. Record. (Do not use the markings on beakers to measure volume; they are not precise.) B.2 Mass of liquid The mass of a liquid is found by weighing by difference. First, determine the mass of a small, dry beaker. Pour the liquid into the beaker, and reweigh. Record the combined mass. Be sure to write down all the figures in the measurements. Calculate the mass of the liquid. Taring a container on an electronic balance: The mass of a container on an electronic balance can be set to 0 by pressing the tare bar. As a substance is added to the container, the mass shown on the readout is for the substance only. (When a container is tared, it is not necessary to subtract the mass of the beaker.)

## Density and Specific Gravity

B.3 Density of liquid Calculate the density of the liquid by dividing its mass (g) by the volume (mL) of the liquid. Density of liquid = Mass (g) of liquid Volume (mL) of liquid

Repeat the same procedure for another liquid provided in the laboratory. C. Specific Gravity Materials: Water, liquids used in part B in graduated cylinders with hydrometers

C.1 Calculate the specific gravity (sp gr) of each liquid you used in B. Divide its density by the standard density of water (1.00 g/mL). Specific gravity = Density of a substance (g/mL) Density of water (1.00 g/mL)

C.2 Read the hydrometer set in a graduated cylinder containing the same liquid you used in the density section. Record. Some hydrometers use the European decimal point, which is a comma. The value 1,000 on a European scale is read as 1.000. Record specific gravity as a decimal number. D. Graphing Mass and Volume Materials: Metal pieces such as aluminum, copper, or zinc or pennies (pre-1980 or post1980) 50-mL graduated cylinder

In this graphing activity, we will show the relationship between the mass and volume of a substance. The volume and mass of five different samples of the same substance will be measured. After the data for the samples are collected, the mass and volume of each sample will be used to prepare a graph. The density (g/mL) will be visually represented on a graph. D.1 Place about 2025 mL of water in a 50-mL graduated cylinder. Carefully record the initial volume of water. D.2 Place the cylinder and water on a top-loading balance and determine their mass. Record. Use the same balance to complete the experiment. D.3 Add two or three pieces of metal or pennies. Record the new level of the water. Record the new mass. Subtract the initial volume of water from this water level to determine the volume of the metal pieces or the pennies. If you did not tare the cylinder and water originally, determine the mass of the metal pieces or pennies by subtracting the initial mass from this combined mass. Add some more pieces of metal or some more pennies to the cylinder. Each time record the resulting water level and the new mass. Repeat this process for a total of five sets of data. D.4 Prepare a graph by plotting the mass (g) of the metal pieces or pennies on the vertical axis and the volume (mL) of the metal pieces or pennies on the horizontal axis. Use a ruler to draw a line through the points you have plotted. If some of the points fall off the line, run the line between them so you have as many points above the line as you have below the line. Draw a smooth line through the points. D.5 The slope of the line on the graph represents the density of the metal. Mark two places on the line. Divide the difference between the two mass values by the difference of the two values for volume. Mass (2) Mass (1) = Volume (2) Volume (1) g mL = density of metal or pennies

## Density and Specific Gravity

Report Sheet
Date ___________________________ Section _________________________ Instructor _______________________ Pre-Lab Study Questions 1. What property of oil makes it float on water? Name _________________________________ Team _________________________________ _________________________________

2. Why would heating the gas in an air balloon make the balloon rise?

A.

## Density of a Solid _____________________

A.1 Mass of the solid A.2 Volume of the solid by displacement Initial water level (mL) Final water level with solid (mL) Volume of solid (mL) A.3 Calculating the density of the solid (Show calculations.)

## ____ _________ ________

Questions and Problems (Show complete setups.) Q.1 An object made of aluminum has a mass of 8.37 g. When it was placed in a graduated cylinder containing 20.0 mL of water, the water level rose to 23.1 mL. Calculate the density and specific gravity of the object.

## Density and Specific Gravity

Report Sheet
B. Density of a Liquid Liquid 1 ___________________ ___________________ Liquid 2 ___________________ ___________________ B.1 Volume of liquid Type of liquid Volume (mL) B.2 Mass of liquid Mass of beaker Mass of beaker + liquid Mass of liquid B.3 Density of liquid De ns ity (Show calculations for density.) ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ____ ____ _____ _ _____ ___________________ ___________________ ___________________ ___ _________ _______

C.

## Specific Gravity ____________________ ___________________

C.1 Specific gravity (Calculated using B.3) C.2 Specific gravity (Hydrometer reading)

___________________

___________________

How does the calculated specific gravity compare to the hydrometer reading for each liquid?

Questions and Problems (Show complete setups.) Q.2 What is the mass of a solution that has a density of 0.775 g/mL and a volume of 50.0 mL?

Q.3 What is the volume of a solution that has a specific gravity of 1.2 and a mass of 185 g?

## Density and Specific Gravity

Report Sheet
D. Graphing Mass and Volume

D.1 Type of metal Initial volume of water (mL) D.2 Initial mass of cylinder + water (g)

________________________ ________________________ ________________________ Total Volume of Metal (mL) ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL

D.3 Mass of Metal Pieces Final Volume ______________ g ______________ g ______________ g ______________ g ______________ g D.4 Graph ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL ________________ mL

Mass (g)

Volume (mL)

D.5

## Mass (2) Mass (1) Volume (2) Volume (1)

= =

_________________ g/mL

## Density and Specific Gravity

Report Sheet
Questions and Problems

Q.4 An IV pump delivers the following volume of saline solution over 4 hours. Volume (mL) 0 50 100 125 150 200 Time (hours) 0 1.0 2.0 2.5 3.0 4.0

200

150

50

2 Time (hr)