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Explain how to measure the volume of an irregular shaped object if it floats in water.

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alvaly13 | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted September 15, 2012 at 6:44 PM via web

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Explain how to measure the volume of an irregular shaped object if it floats in water.

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ncchemist | eNotes Employee

Posted September 22, 2012 at 3:55 AM (Answer #1)

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The displacement of water is an excellent way to measure the volume of a solid provided that the solid does not dissolve in water and that it does not float.  If the object floats then it will not completely submerge itself in the water to fully displace it.  One method to measure the volume of an object that floats in water is to weigh it down with a heavy object.  The important thing is to first measure the water level with the heavy object submerged in it, then measure the water level with the heavy object holding the floating object down under the water.  Find the difference between the two levels and that is the volume.

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