How to Calculate the Weight of a Liquid

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Density is a basic physics concept that most students can expect to encounter in high school. It describes the weight of something with respect to the amount of space it takes up, or volume. More dense objects take up less space for the same amount of weight than less dense objects. For example, if you had a pound of lead and a pound of feathers, the pound of lead would take up much less space than the pound of feathers because it is more dense. You can use the concept of density to calculate the weight of a liquid.

Things You'll Need

  • Graduated cylinder
  • Calculator
  • Pour your liquid carefully into a graduated cylinder. Make sure that you choose a cylinder that is big enough to accommodate all of your liquid.

  • Read the lines on the graduated cylinder to determine the volume of your liquid. If the top of the liquid ends between two lines, estimate the last digit. For example, if the top of your liquid ends between 15 and 16 milliliters, you can put it down as 15.5 milliliters.

  • Look up the density of your liquid. You may need to find this information in a physics textbook or online. For example, the density of isopropyl alcohol is 0.786 grams per centimeter cubed.

  • Multiply the density of your liquid by its volume. In the example, 15.5 x 0.786 = 12.183. You have 12.183 grams of isopropyl alcohol.

Tips & Warnings

  • The conversion works because one milliliter is equal to one cubic centimeter.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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