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Manlapaz, Sarih S.

Physics Department, Mapa Institute of Technology

ssmanlapaz@mymail.mapua.edu.ph

Abstract

Archimedes Principle states any fluid applies a

buoyant force to an object that is partially or

completely immersed in it: the magnitude of the

buoyant force equals the weight of the fluid that

the object displaces. In performing the first part

of the experiment what we did was we recorded

the weight in air and the weight in water of the

two soilds. Proceeding to the second part of the

experiment what we did was we chose one of

the two metals and we recorded its weight while

submerged into the two unknown liquids. For

the third part of the experiment what we did

was measure the density of the two unknown

liquids with the use of a hydrometer. For the

last part of the experiment what we did was we

first recorded the weight in air of the cork, the

weight of cork in air and sinker in water.

I. Introduction

Archimedes dicovered that the weight of a body

in air minus its weight in liquid is equivalent to

the weight of the liquid displaced by the body.

When a body or an object is fully or partly

submerged in a liquid, that body experiences an

upward force called buoyant force. Also the

displaced liquid is the volume of liquid equal to

the volume of the body below the waters

surface. Density is a characteristic physical

property of a substance which means that there

are no two materials have the same density.

Specific gravity is defined as the weight of the

body compared with an equal amount of pure

water at 4

O

C wherein water is densest.

II. Theory

The buoyant force is described by Archimedes

principle as: an object, when placed in a fluid,

is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of

the fluid displaced by the object. The principle

applies to an object either entirely or partially

submerged in the fluid. The magnitude of the

buoyant force depends only on the weight of

the displaced fluid, and not on the objects

weight. Using Archimedes principle, you can

deduce that an object:

1. Will float in a fluid if the objects

density is less than the fluids density

(P

O

<P

f

)

2. Will sink if the objects density is

greater than the fluids density (P

o

>P

f

).

3. Will remain in equilibrium at a given

submerged depth if the objects density

is exactly equal to the fluids density at

that depth(P

o

=P

f

).

The buoyant force on a floating object F

b

is

related to the properties of the displaced fluid

by:

F

b

= m

f

g = p

f

V

o

g

Where p

f

is the density of the fluid,V

o

is the

volume of the submerged part of the object, is

the acceleration due to gravity, and m

f

is the

mass of the floating object. The volume of the

submerged part of a cylinder oriented vertically

is equal to its cross-sectional area A multiplied by

the height of the submerged part, so the buoyant

force on it is:

F

b

= m

f

g = p

f

Agh

This is a linear relationship between F

b

and , so if

you lower the cylinder into a fluid as you

measure its weight, then plot F

b

vs. h , the slope

of the plotted straight line will be p

f

Ag , i.e.,

directly proportional to the density of the fluid.

This is a cool way to determine the density of an

unknown fluid. You can determine the density of

an unknown solid object in a similar fashion. Its

easy to measure the mass of an object, but

unless it has a regular shape its not so easy to

measure its volume. But Archimedes showed us

how to measure volume by measuring weight.

When the object is completely submerged in

water, its weight (but not its mass) will decrease

by an amount equal to the upward buoyant force

the water exerts on it. So

W

o

= W

A

- W

w

Where W

o

is the loss of weight of water, W

A

is

the weight of an object in air and W

w

is the

weight of an object in water.

This upward force is also equal to the weight of

the displaced water, or

W

o

= W

w

= m

w

g = p

w

gV

w

Where m

w

is the mass of an object in water and

p

w

is the density of water.

But the volume of the water is equal to the

volume of the object, so

V

w

= V

o

=

Therefore, the density of the object is

P

o

=

=

You can also determine the density of an

unknown liquid without measuring the

submerged height of the solid object. With an

object with density greater than that of the

unknown liquid, first weigh it in air, then when it

is submerged in the liquid, and then when it is

submerged in water. By an analysis identical to

that for the density of a solid object, you can

show that

P

o =

()

()

P

w

Specific gravity is defined as the weight of the

body compared with an equal amount of pure

water at 4C (4C is the temperature at which

water is densest). It also tells the number of

times a certain material is denser than water.

Specific gravity has no unit. The specific gravity of

a substance is the ratio of that substance to the

density of water. Mathematically:

SG

S

=

Where SG

s

is the specific gravity of a substance,

P

S

is the density of the substance and p

w

is the

density of water.

III. Methodology

A. Setup

Fig. 1 Experimental Setup 1

Fig. 2 Experimental Setup 2

Fig. 3 Experimental Setup 3

B. Materials

1 digital balance

1 hydromete

1 set of weights

2 pieces of a 250-ml graduated cylinder

2 pieces of a 250-ml beaker

piece of cork, a meter of string

2 pieces of metal specimen.

C. Procedure

In this experiment, we used a digital balance a

simple two-button operation and visual menu

prompts that allow students to begin weighing

with minimal instruction; a piece of hydrometer

that has an ability to find the density of various

fluids by putting the float and chain into the fluid,

and measuring the amount of chain which floats;

two pieces of 250-ml graduated cylinders

glassware that can hold liquids; three pieces of

250-ml beaker; one piece of cork, string and

metal specimen. (See figure 1).

The first part of the experiment deals with the

determination of the specific gravity of an

unknown solid sample heavier than water.

Where, the first metal sample (the gold one) at

one side of a platform balance was suspended

and found its weight in air (W

A

).

Afterwards, we submerge the sample completely

in a beaker of water and measure its weight

while it is in water (W

w

). We computed for the

loss of weight of the sample using (eq. 3).

Additionally, the specific gravity is also

determined using the equation: G = W

A

/ W

A-

W

w

.

We repeat the same procedures using the other

sample (the white one) and compared the

experimental value with the actual values. We

identified that sample 1 was brass and sample 2

was a aluminium. Moving on to the second part,

which is the determination of the specific gravity

of an unknown liquid sample.

We choose the aluminium as our metal sample

to be used again in this part. We adjusted the

string that is slightly tied up on the hook in such a

way that the aluminum would be submerged

completely in the first liquid sample and

recorded its weight in liquid. Again, using (eq. 3),

we find the loss of weight of body in liquid and

determined the specific gravity using the

equation: SG = W

A

-W

L

/ W

A

-W

W

. Following the

same procedures, we changed the liquid sample,

compared the experimental with the actual

values and finally identified the liquid samples.

Before proceeding in the third part, we make

sure that the liquids were transferred into two

separate thoroughly dried graduated cylinders.

The results gathered from the second part can be

seen using another apparatus which is by a

hydrometer.

Whereas, it is placed inside the graduated

cylinder, letting it float and record the reading. A

higher specific gravity will result in a greater

length of the stem above the surface while lower

specific gravity will cause the hydrometer to float

lower.

Completing the whole experiment, which is the

determination of specific gravity of a solid lighter

than water; for this, the corks weight was

recorded and being able to suspend from a string

together with the sinker weve chosen (brass).

We find the weight with just the sinker

underwater, W

CA-SW

, and with both sinker and

cork underwater, W

(S+C)w

. Considering the given

weights, we compute for the loss of weight of

cork using (eq. 3). Lastly, we determined the

specific gravity of the cork using the equation:

SG = W

A

/ W

CA-SW

- W

(S+C)w

.

IV. Results and Discussion

In the first part of the experiment, the specific

gravity was determined using the weights of two

unknown metal samples in air and their weight in

water. These two things are the only data

needed for the determination of specific gravity

because of the efficiency brought about by

deriving the formula.

Observing the data gathered from Table 1, it

shows that the first and second metal has a

specific gravity of 8.53 and 2.729, respectively.

From the comparison of the specific gravity of

known objects, the two sample metals are brass

and aluminum. Furthermore, although the mass

of brass is greater than the mass of aluminum,

the aluminum can displaced greater amount of

water compared to brass because brass is denser

than aluminum. The same procedure was done

for the second part of the experiment but only

one metal sample was used and it was

submerged in two unknown liquid samples.

Observing the data gathered in Table 2, it

shows that in the two unknown liquid samples,

the weight of the sample metal in air is greater

than the weight of the sample metal in water.

The reason for this is that because of the upward

buoyant force, water exerts an upward force,

which is the buoyant force, making the tension

due to weight of the sample metal smaller.

Having the specific gravity of 0.8 and 0.98,

respectively, determination of the name of the

unknown liquids will be easy. The unknown

liquids are alcohol and water, respectively.

Additionally, it can be seen that the loss of

weight in liquid is lesser in alcohol than in water.

Although it is not obvious that it is equal to the

buoyant force of the liquid. Moreover, the trend

goes that when loss of weight in liquid increases,

then specific gravity also increases. So when the

liquid is more buoyant, then the liquid has higher

density. It has a greater force to rise up the

object immersed on it. Furthermore, brass which

is less dense than water has a displaced mass

lesser than water. Moving on, the third part is

the determination of specific gravity of unknown

liquids using hydrometer.

The percent error calculated was 0 % so the

specific gravity gathered was accurate.

For materials lighter than water, it is difficult to

determine its specific gravity using Archimedes

principle since the object will just float in water.

In order to do this, a sinker was used.

The overall volume displaced by the cork and the

sinker will be the volume of the two components.

Since mass and density of the sinker is known,

we could easily substitute the value for the

determination of the density or specific gravity of

the unknown. When the weight of the cork in air,

the weight of sinker alone and with the cork at

water, we can compute for the specific gravity of

the cork. The loss of weight of cork is simply the

buoyant force exerted by the water to the cork.

The graph above perfectly illustrates the

relationship between force and displacements

direct proportionality. The line graph is going

towards the upper right of the coordinate plane

and therefore has an increasing slope.

The last part of the experiment was about the

determination of the work done on the spring

which is a pure computation.(See table 2)

V. Conclusion

Archimedes principle states that a body, when it

is completely or partially immersed in a fluid

experiences a buoyant force, which is equal to

the weight of the fluid it displaces. This principle

is a law that can be used to explain up thrust or

buoyancy. Buoyant force is an up thrust or

upward force exerted by a fluid on an object

immersed init resulting in the apparent loss of

weight of the object.

In this experiment, we determined the density

and specific gravity of solids and liquids following

Archimedes principle. Density and specific

gravity of materials are unique on each object

that makes it as a tool in the identification of the

material. Density is the ratio of the mass per unit

volume. While, specific gravity is the ratio of the

density of the material with the density of the

reference liquid which is water. When an object

is submerged in liquid, there is a buoyant force

present in water pushing up the object. This

buoyant force causes the object to lessen its

weight. Furthermore, the buoyant force is also

the weight of the liquid displaced by the object.

The weight loss of liquid is in equivalent

magnitude to buoyant force. We could derive for

the formula on determining the specific gravity

from buoyancy and the net force of the system.

By that method, the density of the object can be

readily determined. Thats why, specific gravity

would be the measure of the relative density of

the object compared to water. Considering

Archimedes principle in real world, it helps to

function the submarines, hot air balloons, ships

and the like.

VI. References

[1] Halliday, Fundamentals of Physics, 9

th

edition.

[2]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes_princ

iple

[3]http://www.brightstorm.com/science/physics

/oscillatory-motion/archimedes-principle

[4]http://www.physics247.com/physics-

tutorial/archimedes-principle.shtml

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