# Measuring mass without a balance

• warwick$$In summary, the conversation discusses designing and testing a method to accurately measure the mass of an object without directly weighing it. The proposed method involves filling a beaker with water and measuring the overflow when the object is added, but it is questioned whether this is the correct approach. The possibility of using specific gravity experiment is also mentioned, but it is noted that this may be considered cheating if it is a question from the International Physics Olympiad. The thread is then closed. warwick$$

## Homework Statement

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

## 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?

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/research/experiments/SLAMMD.html

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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?

Is this a question from the current International Physics Olympiad? If so, I would consider it cheating and request this thread be closed.

yes , your are doing correct ,
the mass of an object can be measured through the specific gravity experiment .

Dickfore said:
Is this a question from the current International Physics Olympiad? If so, I would consider it cheating and request this thread be closed.

## What is mass?

Mass is a measure of the amount of matter in an object. It is different from weight, which is the force of gravity acting on an object.

## Why is measuring mass without a balance important?

Measuring mass without a balance can be important in situations where a balance is not available or not accurate enough. It can also be useful for quick estimations or in scientific experiments where a balance may not be practical.

## What are some common methods for measuring mass without a balance?

Some common methods for measuring mass without a balance include using a spring scale, a lever balance, a Newton's ring balance, and the displacement method.

## How accurate are these methods for measuring mass?

The accuracy of these methods can vary depending on the specific method used and the skill of the person performing the measurement. However, they can generally provide reasonably accurate measurements, especially when used correctly.

## Can you measure mass without a balance using technology?

Yes, there are several high-tech methods for measuring mass without a balance, including using a laser interferometer, a vibrating tube densitometer, and a magnetic suspension balance. These methods can provide very precise measurements, but may be more expensive and require specialized equipment.

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