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Measuring density

To find the density of an object you have to measure its mass and its volume .

The mass of an object can be found using a balance or a set of scales.

The volume of an object can be found in two ways:

  • If the object is a regular shape like a cuboid then its volume can be calculated with a formula such as $$\text{volume} = \text{height} \times \text{width} \times \text{length}$$
  • If an object is not a regular shape then its volume can be measured by placing it in a liquid. This method is called displacement.

Pour some water into a measuring container and record its volume. Place the object into the container with the water and record the new volume. The difference between these two values is the volume of the object.

The volume of a small irregular piece of plastic is measured. This allows the density to be calculated.
The volume of a small irregular piece of plastic is measured. This allows the density to be calculated.