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Archimedes Principle and Buoyancy Lab

Experimenter: Group Member: Instructor: Course + Section: Physics 2750 KK Date of Lab: 4/12/2013

Abstract: The purpose of this lab was to use Archimedes principle to calculate the density of various objects and to verify this principle by comparing these values with the calculated density values. We carried this objective out in three different parts of the experiment. In the first part we used to Archimedes principle to find the density of different wooden blocks by taking their mass and the depth of the block submerged when placed in water and compared these values with the calculated density from measuring the volume of the blocks and found the percent difference to be 8.26%. In the next part we found the density of a metal pendant by finding the mass of the hanging pendant and comparing this with the apparent weight of the pendant when it was submerged in water. With these values we could find the buoyant force on the pendant, giving us the volume, the density, and ultimately allowed us to find what material the pendant was made out of (steel) with a percent difference between the two of only 1.73%. In the final part we placed two masses, one wood and one aluminum, on a spring and noted the distortion from the equilibrium position of the spring and then repeated this calculation when the masses were submerged in water. With this information we found the spring constant with (33 N/m) and without (30.4 N/m) water, with an acceptable 7.9% difference between these two experimental values.

Data and Analysis: Data sheet and graph are stapled to this paper.

Conclusions: We successfully applied Archimedes principle to multiple objects and in several different scenarios to find the densities of each object. Throughout the lab we used differing analysis methods, such as submerged depth measurement, weight vs. apparent weight analysis, and measuring the effect of buoyant force on distortion of a spring.

In the first part of the experiment we measured the total height of five different wooden blocks and found their mass. We then moved the blocks into a cup of water and looked at the depth that the blocks were submerged. Using this information we calculated the density of the blocks using the equation p = pf(hf/H). We then also used the equation p = m/Hs to find density a different way and compared these values, with a percent difference on our best measurement being 8.26%. Since these values are so close, we know that we have found experimental evidence that verifies Archimedes principle. We calculated the uncertainty in this part of the experiment to be equal to +-.00475 g/cm3. In the second part of the experiment we found the mass of a pendant using a triple beam balance. After this we submerged the hanging pendant in a cup of water and found the now reduced apparent of the pendant, which now accounted for the buoyant force applied to the pendant. We used the buoyant force equation FB = mfg we were able to calculate the volume of the water displaced, and finally, the density of the pendant. After this, we calculated the mass and volume (by finding the amount of water they displaced when submerged) of several samples of different metals to find what material the pendant was made out of. We accurately concluded that the pendant was made out of steel, with our calculated density of the pendant being 7.714 g/cm3 and the density of the steel sample being 7.85 g/cm3 with a percent difference of only 1.73%. Clearly we did this part of the lab very precisely and obtained values that helped verify that Archimedes principle held true. In the final part of the experiment we placed a spring at the bottom of a cylinder and placed two masses on top of it, one at a time (the first being wood and the second being aluminum). We looked at the distance that the masses displaced the spring from equilibrium position and then filled the graduated cylinder with water to see how the distortion changed when a buoyant force was introduced. In this part of the experiment we found the spring constant to be very similar in both scenarios, as we would expect even when Archimedes principle is involved. We found the spring constant with water (33 N/m) and without water (30.4 N/m), giving us a small 7.9% difference between these two experimental values. With regard to the egg experiment, the egg (barely) floated on the saturated salt solution, because the salt made the density of the water to be greater than that of the egg when normally the egg would sink in water. When the was placed in a cup with both salt water on bottom and salt water on top, the egg floated slightly higher above the salt water surface because of the added buoyant force form the tap water. We may have incurred error in many forms throughout this experiment. In the first experiment we gathered error when we were reading the depth of the submerged block, because the block did not float evenly, causing the calculated density of the blocks to be slightly higher than their actual density. Additionally, the blocks most likely absorbed water when they were placed in

the cup of water, causing their apparent densities to be inflated. In the second experiment we may have caused some error when we spilled some water on the balance, causing the apparent mass to be slightly higher than it normally would be. Also, if the pendant touched the sides of the cup while measuring the apparent mass this would have skewed the data. In the third part, we most likely obtained random error from the deformities in the spring, since the spring constant was not the same all the way throughout the distorted spring.