How is density measured?


Quick Answer

Density is measured by an object’s mass to volume ratio. The formula, which is expressed as density=mass/volume, quantifies how much matter is packed into the underlying object or space. Density is often measured in kilograms per cubic meter.

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Full Answer

If the mass or volume of an object is not provided, the object must be measured and weighed to determine its density. If the object in question is rectangular- or square-shaped, volume is expressed as (length)(width)(height). If the object is a cube, volume is expressed as (length or edge of any side)^3. For cone-shaped objects, volume equals (radius of cone’s base)^2 X (height of the object). Volume in a spherical object is expressed as 4/3p?(radius)^3.

For irregularly shaped objects, volume is determined by immersing the object in water and measuring the displacement amount. If the object is a powder or liquid, pour it into in a marked container or cylinder. Record the mark at the lowest point of the formed curve to find its volume.

Determine an object's mass by placing it on a balance or spring scale. If the object in question is a liquid, weigh its container first and subtract the total from the weight of the container with the liquid inside.

After recording the object’s mass and volume, simply plug the figures into the D=M/V formula to measure its density.

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