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archimedes lab

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You are on page 1of 3

Names ___________________________

Date___________

_________________________________

Short Description:

Archimedes' principle states that an object submerged in a fluid is buoyed by a force that is equal to the

weight of the displaced fluid. In this lab, you are to do two experiments involving Archimedes principle

involving 1) a metal block submerged in water and 2) a helium-filled balloon.

Equipment: Vertical long rod, clamp, force sensor, metal block+string, plastic beaker, balance

plastic cup, balloon, small weight, He tank (machine shop), water.

Preliminary questions

1. A the metal object is suspended by a string from a spring

scale (the force sensor) which measures its weight.

What is the weight of the object W(a) in case (a) ?

2. A beaker partly filled with water sits on a balance. Now a piece of aluminum is lowered into the water

and held by a string (with your hand for example) so that it does not touch the bottom of the beaker. No

water overflows. Does the weight measured by the balance go up, go down, or stay the same?

Set up DataStudio with the force sensor and display a graph of force vs. time. Zero the force reading by

pressing the tare button on the side. Next, hang the metal (either aluminum or copper) from the force

sensor and record the weight of the metal for a few seconds. Then place the metal into the cup of water

until its submerged. (Place the cup on the table and adjust the height of the force sensor so the block

doesnt touch the bottom of the beaker). Stop the measurement, and find the average reading in air and

in the water:

Weight Air_____________

Weight Water_____________

Now find the density of the metal from the knowledge of its weight (in air), the buoyant force and the

density of water water = 1,000 kg/m3

metal = _________

How does your measured density compare with the accepted value?

Use the beaker with water, the balance and the metal block, no force sensor. Measure the weight of the

baker (with the water in it) using the balance. Next, holding with your hand the string, suspend the metal

block into the beaker sitting on a balance. Does the weight of the beaker change when the metal is

submerged?

WBeaker _____________

How does this number compare with the results from Procedure A?

Question: Would your result be different if you lowered a piece of copper, of the same volume, instead

of aluminum into the water? Explain.

The lifting capacity of a helium-filled balloon is given by the difference of the buoyant force acting on it

and the weight of the helium in the balloon. If an object is suspended by a string from the balloon floating

in air at a constant height, then the lifting capacity is:

FB WHe = mb g + ms g + mo g

(2)

where FB = AirVb g , WHe = HeVb g , mb = balloon mass, mo = hanging object mass and ms = string

mass (you can neglect it). Hang a small mass mo from the balloon such that it floats in air without rising

or falling. You can use paperclips or whatever object you prefer. After equilibrium is reached, remove

the hanging mass mo and measure it with the scale. Record mo and mb as well by weighing a similar

uninflated balloon (or ask to the TA for the weight of the balloon)

mo_________________

mb __________________

Calculate the net weight in Newtons, the RHS of equation (2): ______________

Estimate the volume of the balloon using a ruler and assuming the balloon is a sphere.

Vb = ______

The density of helium is 0.179 kg/m3 and the density of air is 1.29 kg/m3. Now calculate the lifting

capacity (in Newtons), the LHS of equation (2): ___________

How does the calculated lifting capacity compare with the net weight of the load?

Question: How many helium filled balloons like the one you used in this lab would be required to lift

you into the air?

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