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Physics 102/202

Activity Lab

Name ____________________
Partner ___________________
Date_________ Class _______
Part 1: Archimedes' Principle
Equipment: Dial-O-Gram balance, small beaker (150-250ml), metal specimen, string, calipers.

Object: To find the density of an object using Archimedes' Principle.

Method: Using distilled water, a beaker and Dial-O-Gram balance, determine the volume and
density of one of the metal specimens. Use the arrangement depicted in Figure 1. You must first
weigh the sample in air (ignore the buoyant force of air) and then submerge the sample in water
and weigh it again, the difference is the buoyant mass which is equal to the mass of the displaced
fluid. These two measurements (and the fluid density) are all that's required to find the volume
and density of the object. (Note: Ignore any volume markings on the beaker and use the
buoyant force principle). If you are unsure of Archimedes' principle see your text.
Fill in the table below by using the experimental setup shown in Figure 1.
Mass of object in

Mass of object in

Buoyant mass

Volume of fluid

Figure 1
Determine the geometrical volume of the specimen. State your method of measurement,
equipment used, and show your work below.

Compare this with the volume estimated using Archimedes' principle. (% error)

Compare the calculated density of your specimen to that listed in a standard density table for the
particular material of the specimen. (% error)

Physics 102/202
Activity Lab
Part 1B.
Use the specimen that you used in the previous section to find the density of the unknown fluid.
Hint: You should, by this time, know the volume of the specimen. Use the specimen volume
that you determined by Archimedes' principle. Make sure that you show all of your data and
Mass of object in

Mass of object in Buoyant mass


Density of fluid

Determine the density of your unknown fluid by measuring the mass of a 100 ml volume of the
fluid. Compare this to the density calculated using Archimedes Principle using percent

Part 1C.
Use Archimedes' Principle to calculate the minimum mass necessary to sink a small plastic boat.
Show all of your work below.

Measure the boat's mass and determine the amount of mass that you will add to just sink the boat.

Perform the experiment and compare the calculated payload with the experimental payload that
just sank the boat.
Make sure that you show all of your data and calculations.

Questions: Show your work.

1. A barge is shaped like an open box, 12 m wide by 30 m long and 6 m in the vertical
dimension. The barge has a mass of 100,000 kg. How heavy a payload, in kg, can the barge
carry if the maximum draft is to be 2 m? Draft is the amount below water level.

Physics 102/202
Part 2: Reading a manometer to find the absolute pressure in a flask.

Activity Lab

Equipment: manometer (a U tube with liquid in the bottom) (don't touch), barometer (on wall in
SE corner of Lab)
There is a flask in the lab which is connected to one side of a manometer; the other side is open
to the atmosphere. Imagine a disk perpendicular to the axis of the manometer tube and located at
the bottom of the U. What would happen to such a disk if the pressure on one side were
greater than the pressure on the other?
Now think about the pressures on each side of the manometer. On the flask side, there is the
pressure in the flask and the pressure due to the column of liquid on that side of the manometer.
Show that the pressure (Force/area) exerted by a column of liquid with
density is gh.

weight Vg


So the total pressure on the flask side of the barometer is

P1 = P(flask) +
The total pressure on the other side of the manometer, which is open to the atmosphere, is
P2 = P(atm) +
Now, remember our imaginary disk at the bottom of the manometer. The liquid in the
manometer is not moving (or wait until it isnt), so neither would such a disk be moving. Use
this to relate the pressures on each side as calculated above. Subtract out any common factors to
get your final relation, given below. (Show your work)
P(flask) = P(atm) + gh
Determine the absolute pressure (pressure above absolute vacuum) in the flask in Torr, mm Hg,
dynes/cm2, atmospheres and pounds/in2. HINT: You will have to read the barometer in lab to
do this since you will need atmospheric pressure.

1 atm = 760 Torr = 760 mmHg = 1.013 x 10 5

6 dynes
2 =1.013 x 10
2 14.7 lbs / in

1 Pa = 1 N/m2 100 Pa = 1 hPa (from our weird barometer; 1hPa = 1millibar, which is a
common unit used in meteorology.)

Physics 102/202
Activity Lab
How is pressure measured in mmHg?
It used to be common to use mercury in manometers and barometers because of its high density.
One atmosphere of pressure pushed up a column of 760 mm of mercury. Torricelli made a
mercury barometer to measure the atmospheric pressure by sealing off one side of a manometer
and filling the entire manometer with mercury (no air space on the sealed side). A simpler
modification of this, which he used, was to fill a long tube sealed at one end with mercury and
then invert it in a dish of mercury open to the atmosphere. Note that both of these instruments
naturally measure pressure in units of mm Hg.
One can measure the gauge pressure, in mm Hg, by taking the difference in height of a
manometer with mercury as the liquid column. (P = gh; the value for h, in mm, is the number
reported; mercury specifies the value for as 13.6 g/cm3 which, along with the value for the
gravitational acceleration, g, would be involved in calculating actual pressure units in Pa or
Questions: Show your work.
2. Given the following drawing of a manometer find the gauge pressure and absolute pressure in
the container in Pascals and pound/in2. The liquid used is alcohol of density 624 kg/m3. The
barometric pressure is 755 mm Hg.

3. Is the gauge pressure positive or negative in problem # 2?

4. is the absolute pressure positive or negative in problem #2?
Is it possible to have a negative absolute pressure? Discuss: _____________________________

Physics 102/202

Activity Lab

Torricelli's equation (a special case of Bernoulli's Principle).

Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647) first proposed the relationship below.
The speed that a non-viscous fluid will exit a hole which is a distance h below the water level is

v 2gh
Refer to this as the theoretical velocity of the water leaving the tank.
Use a 2-liter soda bottle with hole in the side to check this relationship for three different water
levels, h. Set the bottle on the edge of the sink and allow the water to squirt out into the sink.
Put three marks on the side and measure x as the water level drops to each of these marks.


Starting with x=vt and y=1/2gt for a projectile launched horizontally from a distance y above
the ground derive the experimental velocity formula
Show all steps to your derivation.

Make a graph showing the exit velocity versus height h (water level above the
hole). Plot both experimental and theoretical values of v on this graph. How
do your experimental values of velocity compare to the theoretical values? (Are they always
higher, always lower, or randomly scattered about the theoretical values?)
Give at least two reason(s) explaining why you think that your experimental values compare to
the theoretical values as they do. Make sure your reasoning is consistent with your experimental
results and think about effects considered and assumptions made in the theoretical calculation.