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A little history

In the first century BC, the Roman architect Vitruvius related a

story of how Archimedes, the Greek scientist, discovered that
a goldsmith had tried to cheat King Hiero II
The king had given the goldsmith a particular amount of gold
to melt down and make into a crown. When the crown was
made and returned to the king, the king was suspicious that
the goldsmith had stolen some of the gold and replaced
it with an equal weight of silver.

The king turned to Archimedes for help

In Vitruviuss own words:

"Archimedes happened to go to the bath,
and on getting into a tub observed that
the more his body sank into it the more
water ran out over the tub.
As this pointed out the way to explain the
case in question, he jumped out of the tub
and rushed home naked, crying with a
loud voice that he had found what he
was seeking; for he, as he ran, shouted
repeatedly in Greek,

Eureka, Eureka. meaning I have

found (it), I have found (it).

So, what, exactly, had he found?

He realized that if the bath were completely filled in the
beginning, the volume of water that would overflow
(that was displaced) would have to equal the volume
of the person or object placed into the water!!

He now had a way to measure the volume of

the irregularly-shaped crown
He discovered that the crown displaced more
water than a chunk of gold of equal weight did.
Its volume was greater because it contained
some silver, a metal less dense than gold!!

Imagine a very light, thinwalled sack filled with water

that is in equilibrium in a

Clearly, there must be an _______

upward force
exerted on the sack to balance its weight (the
pull of gravity down)
This upward force is actually
the vector sum of all the forces
acting on the object due to the
surrounding water, and is called
the _________
buoyant force.
Pressure is greater
on bottom of sack!

Archimedes Principle
The magnitude of the buoyant force is given
by Archimedes Principle. It states that A
body fully or partially submerged in a fluid is
buoyed up by a force that is equal to the
weight of the ___________________.
displaced fluid

An Example:

How do boats/ships float?

Obviously the density of a metal rowboat or a
concrete canoe is greater than the density
of water, but they float because they contain
a large amount of empty space. Because of
shape they displace enough water to
their _______,
balance their own weight.

How much water is actually

needed to float a ship?
Not as much as youd think!!!...

Imagine that the canal is filled with water, and then

the ship is slowly lowered into the canal. If the
shape of the canal exactly matches the ship, and if
the canal is slightly larger than the ship, then all
but a thin layer of water all the way around will be
displaced. So. this thin layer between the ship
and the canal is really all that is necessary!!

How do Submarines Dive & Surface?

Does the buoyant force change? ____!
A sub has ballast tanks that can
water or _____.
be filled with _______
To dive, a sub must become heavier, so the tanks
allow _______
water in while venting ____
air out.
To surface, a sub must become lighter. A supply of
compressed air on the sub is used to force ______
back out of the ballast tanks.
Free Science Videos for Kids

Water Bridge in Germany

Six years to build it, 500 million

euros later, and 918 meters long.....
This is a channel-bridge over the River Elbe and
joins the former East and West Germany, as part
of the unification project. It is located in the city of
Magdeburg, near Berlin. The photo was taken on
the day of inauguration.
Did this bridge have to be designed to withstand
the additional weight of ship and barge traffic, or
just the weight of the water?

It only needs to be designed to
withstand the weight of the water!
A ship always displaces an amount of
water that weighs the same as the
ship, regardless of how heavily a ship
may be loaded.

History of Failed Ships

History of Failed Ships

Can an unsinkable ship be designed?
Student Responses

History of Failed Ships

Is it possible for a tragedy at sea to
happen today, even with current
technology? Student Responses

What is Buoyancy?
Buoyancy is the
upward force that a
fluid exerts
on an object less
dense then itself. As mass is added, the boat

displaces more water until the

weight of the displaced water equals
the weight of the boat; then the boat

Summary of Buoyancy and




A 500 Ton ship needs to displace a

volume of 450m3 to avoid sinking

Center of Buoyancy
Is the center of gravity of the displaced water
The center of buoyancy changes as the ship
rolls and pitches
The balance between center of buoyancy and
center of gravity affects stability of the ship

Center of Gravity

Center of Buoyancy

Ship rolled
at a small

Archimedes's principle.
Put picture of floating boy here

An object immersed
in a fluid is buoyed
up by a force equal
to the weight of the
fluid displaced by
the object.

Buoyancy is a force
Buoyancy is a measure of the upward force
a fluid exerts on an object that is submerged.

The water in the

pool exerts an
upward force that
acts in a direction
opposite to the
boys weight.

Volume and buoyancy

The strength of the buoyant force on an object
in water depends on the volume of the object
that is underwater.

As you keep pushing downward on the ball,

the buoyant force gets stronger and
stronger. Which ball has more volume

Weight and buoyancy

Weight is a force, like any
other pushing or pulling force,
and is caused by Earths
It is easy to confuse mass and
weight, but they are not the
Weight is the downward force
of gravity acting on mass.

What is the
rocks weight?
What is the
rocks mass?

Sinking and floating

In air the buoyant force
on the rock is 29.4 N.
When the rock was
submerged, the
scale read 19.6 N.
The difference is a
force of 9.8 N,
exactly the amount
of force the
displaced water

Sinking and floating

These blocks are the same total volume.

Which block has more buoyant force acting on it?
Which block weighs more in air?

Sinking and floating

Buoyancy explains
why some objects
sink and others
Whether an
object sinks or
floats depends on
how the buoyant
force compares
with the weight.

Density and buoyancy

If you know an objects density you can
quickly predict whether it will sink or float.

Which ball will sink in water?

Which ball will float in water?

Density and buoyancy

When they are completely underwater, both balls
have the same buoyant force because they
displace the same volume of water.
However, the steel ball has more
weight since it has a higher density.

10.4 Boats and apparent


Apparent density determines whether an

object sinks or floats.

Apparent Density
An object with an apparent
density GREATER than
the density of water will
An object with an apparent
density LESS than the
density of water will float.