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Introduction to Density

Introduction

The purpose of this experiment is to understand the meaning and significance of the density

of a substance. Density is a basic physical property of a homogeneous substance; it is an intensive

property, which means it depends only on the substance's composition and does not vary with size

or amount. The determination of density is a nondestructive physical process for distinguishing one

substance from another. Density is the ratio of a substance's mass to its own volume.

m mass

d =

=

! !olume

"n the metric system the unit of density for a li#uid or solid is measured in g$m% or g$cm

&

. The cm

&

volume unit used with solids is numerically e#ual to m% volume unit used with li#uids. That is, ' m%

= ' cm

&

. "n this experiment you will determine the density of several li#uids and compare the

physical properties of those li#uids.

(hich is heavier, a pound of aluminum or a pound of lead) The answer, of course, is neither,

but many people confuse the words *heavy* and *dense.* *+eavy* refers to mass only. Density is

the mass of a substance contained in a unit of volume. %ead is a very dense metal and contains a

large #uantity of matter in a small volume, while aluminum, being much less dense, contains a

smaller #uantity of matter in the same volume.

The volume of ,-.- grams of lead is '... m%. The mass of lead contained in each m% is its

density.

Density of lead = /ass = ,-.- g = ''.& g$m%

!olume '... m%

The volume of ,-.- g of aluminum is ..0' m%.

Density of aluminum = ,-.- g = ,..- g$m%

..0'm%

1rom the definition of the gram and the milliliter, we can see that one m% of water at 0

o

2 would

have a mass of exactly one gram. The density of water, then, is one g$m% at 0

o

2. 3ince the

volume occupied by one gram of water varies slightly with temperature, the density also varies

slightly with changes in temperature.

The mass of any ob4ect is determined by comparing its mass with the mass of 5nown ob4ect or

ob4ects 6i.e., it is weighed7. The volume of a li#uid is measured using a graduated cylinder, a pipet,

or some other volumetric apparatus. The volume of a regular solid 6e.g. a cube or a sphere7 may

be determined by measuring its dimensions and then calculating it using the correct mathematical

formula. The difficulty in determining the volume of an irregular solid in this manner is obvious.

The method commonly used is to measure the change in the volume of water when the ob4ect is

immersed in the water. The ob4ect displaces a volume of water e#ual to its own volume. "f the

solid material is soluble in water, another li#uid, in which the solid is insoluble, is used 6e.g. carbon

tetrachloride for salt7.

Procedure

(Part 1) Density of water:

"n any chemistry experiment, it is always advisable to calibrate your instruments and to practice any new

techni#ue. The density of water can be found in the 282 +andboo5 of 9hysics and 2hemistry. :ou will learn the

techni#ue for measuring the density of any li#uid by experimentally determining the density of water then comparing it

to the actual value obtained from the 282 +andboo5. :ou will need to pay close attention to the proper use of a

graduated cylinder and a balance.

(eigh a clean dry ,;<m% or ;-<m% graduated cylinder. 8emove it from balance and add ';.- m% of distilled water and

read the volume to the nearest -.' m% 6carefully observe the bottom of the meniscus7. 8e<weigh the graduated

cylinder now containing water. 2alculate the mass of water and the density of the water using the e#uation, d = m$!.

=s with any experiment, you should always chec5 how accurate your experimentally obtained value is compared to the

*true* or accurate value. This experimental error is also 5nown as percent error and it describes the percentage the

experimental value is off from the actual value.

actual value < experimental value

> error =

x '--

actual value

"f you used the graduated cylinder and balance correctly, you should have an experimental error less than '>. "f your

error is greater that ,> repeat the above experiment until you have a small percent error.

(Part 2) Density of househod i!uids:

6'7 ?btain some rubbing alcohol 6also called isopropyl alcohol7. :ou will probably find the density of rubbing

alcohol in the 282 +andboo5 under isopropyl alcohol. (eigh a dry ,;<m% graduated cylinder. 8emove it from balance

and add '- m% of rubbing alcohol and read the volume to the nearest -.' m% 6carefully observe the bottom of the

meniscus7. 8e<weigh the graduated cylinder now containing alcohol. 8ecord the weight of alcohol then calculate the

density of the alcohol using the e#uation, d = m$!.

6,7 ?btain either cottonseed oil or corn oil. %oo5 up the actual density in the 282 +andboo5. (eigh a dry ,;<

m% graduated cylinder. 8emove it from balance and add '- m% of oil and read the volume to the nearest -.' m%

6carefully observe the bottom of the meniscus7. 8e<weigh the graduated cylinder now containing oil. 8ecord the weight

of oil then calculate the density of the oil.

6&7 8epeat the process with vinegar. Do not loo5 up the density in a reference boo5. "t probably is not reported

since vinegar is a mixture and not a pure substance. ?n the report sheet, record the weight of vinegar then calculate

the density of vinegar. Dispose of these test tubes in the sin5 and wash the test tubes with soap and water. 3crub the

oil test tubes well.

(Part 3) Determination of the density of soids"

?btain an un5nown solid 6either two metal pieces or two sets of pennies, refer to option ' or , below7 from your

instructor and weigh it to the nearest -.-' g. "f the ob4ect can not be weighed directly, weigh a bea5er or weighing

boat, place the ob4ect into the bea5er$weighing boat and then re<weigh. @ext add about ,;<&; m% of water to your

graduated cylinder and record the volume to the nearest -.'<m%. /a5e sure the ob4ect is completely submerged.

9lace the sample carefully in the filled graduated cylinder, being careful not to lose any water. 8ecord the level of the

water after addition of sample, to the nearest -.' m%. 2alculate the density of the sample.

(OPTION 1) Asing the /erc5 "ndex or 282 +andboo5 of physics and chemistry, loo5 up the density of the following

metals. :our un5nown solid may be one of these metals. . 8eport the density and calculate your experimental error

# Cu $e P% &n 'n (eow )rass &tainess &tee

(OPTION 2) The solid un5nown may also be copper pennies from different years. ?btain two sets 6each set

containing about '- pennies7 from two different years. 1ollow the same directions as above except after placing the

pennies into the graduated cylinder, remember to gently tap the sides to free any trapped air bubbles. 3hare your data

with & to 0 other groups then ma5e a graph showing the change in the density of pennies over the years.

Experiment 3 - Density Name_________________

(Part 1): Density of water

1. Look up the actual density of ater! ________________ "hat are the units# _____________

2. "ei$ht of a dry 2%&mL $raduated cylinder ' ________________

(. )olume of ater added to $raduated cylinder ' ________________

*. "ei$ht of $raduated cylinder and ater. ' ________________

%. +ass of ater in the $raduated cylinder ' ________________

,. -alculate the density of the ater usin$ the e.uation/ d ' m0).

1ho your ork here! density = ________________

2. -alculate your e3perimental error. ' _________________

(Part 2): Ruin! a"co#o" or isopropy" a"co#o"

1. Look up the actual density of isopropyl alcohol! _____________

2. "ei$ht of a dry 2%&mL $raduated cylinder ' ________________

(. )olume of alcohol added to $raduated cylinder ' ________________

*. "ei$ht of $raduated cylinder and alcohol. ' ________________

%. +ass of alcohol ' ________________

,. -alculate the density of the alcohol usin$ the e.uation/ d ' m0).

1ho your ork here! density = ________________

2. -alculate your e3perimental error. ' _________________

$ottonseed oi" or corn oi"

1. Look up the actual density of the oil! ________________

2. "ei$ht of a dry 2%&mL $raduated cylinder ' ________________

(. )olume of oil added to $raduated cylinder ' ________________

*. "ei$ht of $raduated cylinder and oil. ' ________________

%. +ass of oil ' ________________

,. -alculate the density of the oil usin$ the e.uation/ d ' m0).

1ho your ork here! density = ________________

2. -alculate your e3perimental error. ' _________________

%ine!ar

1. "ei$ht of a dry 2%&mL $raduated cylinder ' ________________

2. )olume of 4ine$ar added to $raduated cylinder ' ________________

(. "ei$ht of $raduated cylinder and 4ine$ar. ' ________________

*. +ass of 4ine$ar ' ________________

%. -alculate the density of the 4ine$ar usin$ the e.uation/ d ' m0).

1ho your ork here! density = ________________

Part 3& Density of so"ids

1ample 5. or date of pennies _________________ _________________

"ei$ht of container and sample. _________________$ _________________$

"ei$ht of container _________________$ _________________$

"ei$ht of sample _________________$ _________________$

)olume of ater _________________mL _________________mL

)olume of ater and sample. _________________mL _________________mL

)olume of sample _________________mL _________________mL

6ensity of sample _________________$0mL _________________$0mL

1ho -alculations 7elo

('P()'* 1)

)dentity of meta" _____________ True density ____________$0mL Percent error_____________ 8

)dentity of meta" _____________ True density ____________$0mL Percent error_____________ 8

('P()'* 2)

+oo, up t#e density of pure copper&__________________

-#at trend is indicated y t#e !rap# of density .s& year/

0ypot#esi1e #ow t#e trend in density compares to t#e compositiona" c#an!e in pennies/

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