Volume of an Irregular-shaped Object
The word mass is used to tell how much matter there is in something. Matter is anything you can touch physically. An electronic scale or triple beam balance can be used to tell the mass of an object. Volume is a measure of how much space an object occupies. When measuring the volume of a liquid, a graduated cylinder can be used. Measurement is the collection of quantitative data (numbers). Measurements are not only numbers. They must always contain a unit of measurement. In the Metric System, the gram (g) is the basic unit of measurement for mass. The basic unit of measurement for the volume of liquids is the milliliter (ml). The density of an object can be determined by dividing the mass by the volume (D = M/V). From a density calculation, we may tell whether a substance will float or sink in another liquid. A less dense substance will float on one that is denser. An example is oil floating on water. Oil is less dense than the water.
For solids that have an irregular shape, the displacement method must be used to determine their volume. When using the displacement method, you must first measure the starting volume of the liquid. Then add the object and record the change in volume. This gives the volume of the irregularly-shaped object.
The density of objects can be determined by a method known as water displacement.
Triple beam or electronic balance
Results & Data
Data Table 1