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Physics Lab 5


This experiment will let you do “virtual” direct measurements of the mass and volume (via water displacement) and indirect measurements of density for a variety of “objects”.


  • Go to https://allaplusessays.com/order
  • Use the virtual scale and graduated cylinder to find the mass and volume of each object.
  • Drop each object in the pail to see if it sinks or floats (density = 1 g/cc).
  • Calculate the density of the objects (mass divided by volume).

Fill the table below. Type “YES” if the object floats, and “NO” if the object does not float. Rank Number the objects from lowest density to highest density.


mass (g)

volume (ml)

Density (g/ml)

Does it float?


Blue Square

Blue Triangle

Red Square

Red Oval

Pink Square

Purple Oval

Green Triangle

Grey Triangle

Tan Rectangle

Red/Black Rectangle


1. Do you notice any correlation (pattern) between the density of an object and the ability of the object to sink or float?

2. Which object has the greatest volume? The least volume?

3. Which object has the greatest mass? The least mass?

4. Which object has the greatest density? The least density?

Second extra-credit – Sinking and Floating Soda Cans:

Imagine a hot summer day. You’re at a picnic and go to the ice chest where the sodas are staying nice and cool. Which cans are floating in the ice water, and which have sunk to the bottom?

Fill a sink almost to the top with water. Place a can of regular soda into the water. Make sure that no air bubbles are trapped under the can when you place it in the water. Does it sink or float? Repeat the experiment with a can of diet soda. Does it sink or float? Hint: try different brands…

Explain the results.

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