The Density of Metals Lab
BACKROUND: Density is a constant relationship between the mass and volume of a specific type of matter. Measurements of both mass and volume can be obtained for a metal sample. The relationship can be shown graphically by plotting the volume of a sample on the horizontal x-axis and the mass of the sample along the vertical y-axis. Plotting the values for several samples, a linear relationship can be seen for a density (slope=density).
PURPOSE: During this lab, you will investigate several questions about density. 1) What are the densities of metals A and B? 2) Does the density of a piece of metal depend on its size? 3) According to percent error calculations, which of the methods of determining density is the most accurate? 4) Can you identify the metals by their densities?
PRE-LAB QUESTIONS: 1) The volume of the water in the cylinder below is 43mL.
2) The volume of the metal shot and the water in the graduated cylinder is 73mL.
3) The volume of the metal added to the graduated cylinder is 29mL.
- Metal cylinders - Graduated cylinders - Calculator
- Water - Electric Balances
SAFETY: No metals should be left in the sinks. When adding metals to the glass graduated cylinders, be extra careful and slide them gently.
1) Weigh both metals on a scale separately to find the mass of both metal A and metal B
2) Fill the graduated cylinder with 15mL of water
3) Slide metal A into the graduated cylinder
4) Subtract the original volume in the cylinder from the current volume in the cylinder
5) Repeat the last two steps for metal B
6) Find the density of both metals by dividing the mass over the volume of each metal
7) Use the calculated densities to find the percentage of error