1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

What are some different ways to find the thickness of aluminum foil?

  1. Feb 5, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    What are some different ways to find the thickness of aluminum foil?

    2. Relevant equations

    I have already calculated it by using the method that requires us to find the volume, given the density, and dividing it by area. So i need new ways to do this same problem.

    3. The attempt at a solution
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 5, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Welcome to PF.

    What if you have enough thicknesses to measure?
  4. Feb 5, 2009 #3


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    There are different ways to measure weight and volume, can you think of a few?

    There is a more advanced way that you probably wouldn't think of -- go to www.wikipedia.org and search on Skin Depth. See if that gives you any ideas...

    Also, "Aluminum Foil" may have a non-aluminum coating on it... you should read a bit about commercial aluminum foil to see if there are any other layers present that may cause your measurements to be less accurate.... (maybe get extra credit for figuring that part out...?)
  5. Feb 5, 2009 #4


    User Avatar
    Homework Helper

    Fold until thick enough to measure accurately. Cut fold edge away with scissors. Measure and divide by number of layers.
  6. Feb 6, 2009 #5
    You might be able to measure it directly with a micrometer.
  7. Feb 6, 2009 #6
    Less practically for you, but:

    - Beta-ray backscatter
    - X-ray fluorescence

    If it's a coursework project, you could certainly mention them!
  8. Feb 6, 2009 #7
    "What are some different ways to find the thickness of aluminum foil?"

    Write the manufacturer.

    Ask someone in PF to measure it for you.

    Bring in some really thin foil off a candy wrapper, and complain about it, until your teacher measures it for you.

    Measure it's resistance.

    Measure it's tensil strength.

    Make an aluminum airplane and compare it's sink velocity to a paper airplane of the same dimensions.

    Meaure it's heat capacity.

    Transmutate one square inch of it into phosphorus with alpha radiation and weigh the phosphorus.

    Make really big balls of it using half a roll of Renolds Wrap, and throw them it at your older brother until he exclaims, "Do you know how much that weighs?" Ask, "No, how much?" Retreat to your room with a worksheet and calculator.
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  9. Feb 6, 2009 #8
    It's so obvious so I assume it's already implicitly expressed elsewhere, but good ol' Archimedes Principle is a good port of call.
  10. Feb 6, 2009 #9
    You might examine a thin cross-section under a high-powered microscope and calculate the thickness based on the magnification and focal length.
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook