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Measuring mass without a balance

  1. Jul 12, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    You are to design, build and test a method to accurately measure the mass of an object. You cannot directly weigh the object but must use experimental data to determine your result. You cannot build any type of spring balance or beam balance. You are to determine your method of gathering information and how to analyse data to determine the mass.

    The object will be a premeasured amount of sand in a specimen jar. The mass force of both the object and its container will be considered the force that you are to determine. The mass of the object will be between 50g and 200g. You will be provided with 4 x 50g masses and a 50g mass carrier to calibrate your device on the day

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I thought the easiest way to find the mass would be to fill a beaker to the top, put the object in, and measure the water that overflowed. The last sentence in the question made me think twice about that method. I am on the right track or not?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 12, 2011 #2
    How about this:

    http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/SLAMMD.html [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 5, 2017
  4. Jul 12, 2011 #3
    that helps, but i am unsure to how i could use that in relation to my experiment. i know F=ma, but how could i find the acceleration?
  5. Jul 12, 2011 #4
    Is this a question from the current International Physics Olympiad? If so, I would consider it cheating and request this thread be closed.
  6. Jul 13, 2011 #5
    yes , your are doing correct ,
    the mass of an object can be measured through the specific gravity experiment .
  7. Jul 13, 2011 #6


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