density can sometimes be a tricky ide for students come understand. Friend can"t conveniently estimate one object"s density by simply looking in ~ it. You have to think around the relationship between two the its properties:mass and volume.

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In this activities, students will learn about mass, volume and also density and also their connection to each other by conducting investigations into buoyancy: floating (and sinking) objects supplied in their daily lives.


Dense, Denser, Densest!Up or Down?Three-Layer FloatDensity MysteryBean BuoyancyFloating Rock/Sinking WoodCola vs. Diet ColaBuild a better Bag Boat


demonstrate how the distribution of molecules in a problem determines its density.

Investigate the family member densities that liquids and the loved one densities that solids.

Predict, test and also explain relative thickness by investigate the interactions of liquids and solids.

Demonstrate expertise of the relationship in between density and buoyancy by building a boat.


view individual activities for materials.


Density, fixed & VolumeSimply put, thickness is just how tightly “stuff” is packed right into a identified space.

For example, a suitcase jam-packed through clothes and also souvenirs has actually a high density, when the very same suitcase containing 2 pairs the underwear has low density. Size-wise, both suitcases look at the same, yet their thickness depends on the relationship in between their mass and also volume.Mass is the amount of matter in one object.Volume is the quantity of space that an item takes up in 3 dimensions.

Density is calculated making use of the complying with equation: Density = mass/volume or D = m/v.

Let’s compare three familiar substances to discover the concept of density. If us take the same volume (one cubic centimetre) of foam, wood and also concrete, we deserve to see the each has actually a different mass.


Less Dense, much more DenseIf something is hefty for that is size, it has actually a high density. If an item is light because that its dimension it has a low density.

A pebble is hefty for that size, contrasted to a item of popcorn i m sorry is light for it’s size. Imagine a big bowl the popcorn, contrasted to a big bowl of pebbles, which would feel heavier?

It is straightforward to estimate relative densities if you keep either the volume or the mass of two objects the same.

If you filled one bag with a kg of feathers and also another v a kg of lead you would watch that the feathers take it up much an ext room, even though both bags have the exact same mass. This because feather are much less dense, they have less mass per volume. If you made a copper cube and also an aluminum cube the the same volume and also placed one in every hand, friend would be able to feel that the copper cube would certainly be heavier. Copper has much more mass per volume 보다 aluminum.


How can one substance have more mass per volume 보다 another? There space a couple of possibilities:

Atoms the one substance might be a similar size however have an ext mass than the atoms of another substance.Atoms of one substance can be a comparable mass but be smaller, so an ext of them fit within the very same volume.Atoms the one substance might be arranged in a method that allows an ext of them to fit in the exact same volume.

Any one or a mix of this explanations might be the factor why one substance has a greater density than another. In the instance of copper and aluminum, their atoms are arranged similarly, but copper atom are smaller sized and have much more mass 보다 aluminum atoms, providing it a higher density.


Density, Sinking and also FloatingWhy perform some things float, while rather sink? You can expect heavier objects come sink and also lighter ones come float, yet sometimes the contrary is true. The family member densities of an object and the liquid it is inserted in recognize whether that object will sink or float. Things that has a greater density than the fluid it’s in will sink. An object that has a lower thickness than the liquid it’s in will float.

You deserve to really see relative densities at work when you look at a hefty object floating and also a lighter one sinking. Because that example, imagine putting a little piece that clay and also a large, heavy wax candle in a bath tub of water. Also though it’s lighter, the piece of clay has a higher density than water and therefore sinks. Also though it’s heavier, wax has actually a lower thickness than water, therefore the big candle floats.


Sinking and floating uses to liquids too. Because that example, if you add vegetable oil to water, the oil floats on height of the water because the oil has a lower thickness than the water.

Buoyancy and Archimedes’ PrincipleThe old Greek philosopher Archimedes discovered that when an item is submerged in water, the pushes next (or displaces) an amount of water with the same mass as the object.

The water pushes upward against the object with a pressure (buoyancy) equal to the load of water that is displaced.

Let’s check out Archimedes’ rule by dropping a bowling ball right into a tub of water. As soon as the ball is submerged in the water, it displaces that volume in water. Follow to Archimedes’ principle, the water have the right to “push back” through a force equal come the weight of the water that has been displaced.


A litre the water has a density of 1 kilogram per litre (1 kg/L), so a bowling ball’s worth of water (4.5 L) can push earlier on the bowling ball with a pressure equal come 45 newtons (N). That’s the weight of a 4.5 kg mass. However, the weight of the sphere is much more like 55 N. That’s much more than the buoyant force of the water that displaced, so that sinks.

A beach sphere may have the very same volume together a bowling ball, but it has a much smaller mass. When you a beach ball in a bathtub of water, the displaces the mass of water same to its very own mass—about 0.01 kg. If you to be to try to press the beach ball down and displace more water, the water would push earlier with a pressure greater 보다 the load of the coast ball. The press of the water keeps the beach round afloat.

Buoyancy is the upward force we require from the water to stay afloat. Buoyant pressures are why we feel so lot lighter once we are in a swim pool. Our body are mostly water, for this reason our thickness is reasonably close to the of water. Due to the fact that of this, an average human needs only a small bit extra buoyancy to float. A life jacket offers this extra lift.

Changing DensityYou can readjust the density of a substance by heater it, cooling it, or by including something come it. If an object sinks in water, it’s because the object has actually a greater density 보다 the water. There are two possible ways to make the object float, however:

Increase the thickness of the water so the the water becomes denser 보다 the object. Because that example, an egg will generally sink in a glass the water, because it is denser than water. Adding salt come the water increases the thickness of the water, enabling the egg come float. This experiment likewise works v people, however you require a lot of salt (try the ocean, or even better, the Dead Sea !)
Increase the volume of the object so that the thing becomes less dense than the water. A good example that this is ice floating in water. Ice cream is created by freezing water. As soon as it freezes, it boosts in volume together the water molecules relocate farther apart to accommodate the lattice structure of ice. Due to the fact that the ice is now less thick than water, that floats. This phenomenon additionally explains why pearl float also though they space made of steel. A ship is constructed in together a method that the encloses large amounts of open up space. The delivery still displaces its weight in water, but since of the method the ship is constructed, the takes up much more space than the volume the the water the displaces, so the floats.


Archimedes: Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor and astronomer (c. 287 BC–c. 212 BC).Archimedes’ principle: any object completely or partially immersed in a liquid is lifebuoy by a force equal to the weight of the liquid that is displaced by the object. In various other words, the buoyancy is same to the weight that the displaced fluid.buoyancy: The upward pressure that a liquid exerts on things less dense than itself; the ability to float.density: How very closely packed with each other the molecules of an item or substance are.displace: To press out that the way. For example, when an object goes right into water, it displaces the water.immiscible: can not to be blended together, favor oil and water.ironwood: The name for a large number that woods that have actually a reputation for hardness and high density.mass: The lot of matter in a given space.matter: The problem that renders up all physical things.pumice stone: Lava froth well-known for its tiny mass and low density, despite looking choose a rock.weight: A measure up of the force of gravity on an object.

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volume: The lot of room a substance or object takes up.