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Homework Help: Experimental measure of volume

  1. Nov 26, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How does one experimentally measure an irregular object's volume given that said object floats on water?

    3. The attempt at a solution
    It seems to me that the simplest solution to this is to submerge the whole object by pressing down on it to the point that only the object is submerged. I'm thinking that the volume of displaced water would equate to the volume of said object, regardless of densities or forces being applied. Am I correct?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 26, 2011 #2


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    Yeah, that's correct. The volume occupied by the submerged object was previously occupied by water.
  4. Nov 26, 2011 #3
    Thank you for verifying that.
  5. Nov 26, 2011 #4
    Or, perhaps find some other fluid that the material is more dense than, say petrol or similar?
  6. Nov 26, 2011 #5
    Haven't thought of it that way. Makes sense though. Any other fluid that's less dense than water should do the trick of submerging the object. Thanks for that.
  7. Nov 26, 2011 #6


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    If you press the object down under the water, you must take into account the volume of whatever you are pressing it down with! You might want to use something very thin, like a needle but then it becomes difficult to hit the exact center.
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