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How to calculate volume using water displacement

Kelly Lambert

on 18 September 2012

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Transcript of Volume

Volume is... Let's start by defining volume - How much SPACE something takes up! In elementary school, you probably found volume using the formula: length x width x height.

Or you may have measured liquid volumes using a graduated cylinder. When you use a graduated cylinder, liquid forms a curve. You always want to measure from the bottom of the curve. That point is called the meniscus. SOMETIMES you have an object with a weird shape.
In science, we call that an IRREGULAR object. To find the volume of an irregular object, you use a graduated cylinder, just like you would to measure a liquid.

You start by filling the graduated cylinder up to a specific amount. The amount isn't important, as long as you record what it is. For this example, let's use 65 ml. When we drop the hammer into the graduated cylinder, the water moves to make room for the hammer. The water level rises because the hammer has moved the water up, to a different PLACE.

In science, we call that disPLACEment. To figure out the volume of the hammer, we just have to figure out how much the water moved.

What was the volume of the water without the hammer?

What was it after the hammer was added? Okay, so the water started at 65 ml, and it moved up to 69 ml.

How to we figure out the difference? Good! We subtract.

69 - 65 = _______ Great! The water level moved up by 4 ml.

What made it rise like that? Excellent!

The volume of the hammer must be 4 ml. In this picture, what is the volume of Spongebob Squarepants? Now you try: *** Make sure to read the numbers on the graduated cylinder carefully! *** Example problems and pictures copyright C. Stephen Murray

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