ACS Publications. Most Trusted. Most Cited. Most Read
My Activity
CONTENT TYPES

Using Soda Cans To Teach Physical Science Students about Density

View Author Information
Department of Physics and Astronomy, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Department of Chemistry, Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro, TN 37132
Cite this: J. Chem. Educ. 2009, 86, 2, 209
Publication Date (Web):February 1, 2009
https://doi.org/10.1021/ed086p209

    Article Views

    692

    Altmetric

    -

    Citations

    LEARN ABOUT THESE METRICS
    Other access options

    Abstract

    In this experiment, physical science students measured the mass of several soda cans, measured the mass and volume of water displaced when these cans were placed in water, and determined whether these cans sank or floated in water. Then, the students plotted graphs of the mass of displaced water versus the volume of displaced water, the mass of the soda cans versus the mass of displaced water, and the mass of the soda cans versus the volume of displaced water. The slope of the first graph provides the density of the displaced liquid (water). The second graph shows that the mass of displaced water equals the mass of the soda can for the floating cans (Archimedes’ principle), but the mass of displaced water is less than the soda can’s mass for the sinking cans. The slope of the floating cans in the third graph represents the density of the displaced liquid and the average volume for the sinking cans yields an average volume for all of the cans. Using this average volume for the soda cans, students calculate the density of each soda can and determine that objects whose densities are less than the liquid will float in it while objects whose densities are greater than the liquid will sink in it (the principle of flotation).

    Read this article

    To access this article, please review the available access options below.

    Get instant access

    Purchase Access

    Read this article for 48 hours. Check out below using your ACS ID or as a guest.

    Recommended

    Access through Your Institution

    You may have access to this article through your institution.

    Your institution does not have access to this content. You can change your affiliated institution below.

    Cited By

    This article is cited by 4 publications.

    1. Issa Zongo, Moussa Bougouma, Cécile Moucheron. Proposal for a Didactic Tool on Teaching Practices Related to the Selective Sorting of Plastic Waste According to Relative Density in High Schools: Case Study in Burkina Faso. Journal of Chemical Education 2023, 100 (3) , 1118-1127. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.2c00629
    2. Donna M. Chamely-Wiik, Jerome E. Haky, Deborah W. Louda, and Nancy Romance . SQER3: An Instructional Framework for Using Scientific Inquiry To Design Classroom Demonstrations. Journal of Chemical Education 2014, 91 (3) , 329-335. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed300689n
    3. Michael J. Sanger . JCE Classroom Activity #108. Using Archimedes’ Principle To Explain Floating and Sinking Cans. Journal of Chemical Education 2011, 88 (3) , 272-273. https://doi.org/10.1021/ed100861h
    4. Darcy A.A. Taniguchi, James Rohr, Sam Ridgway, Kathryn Schulz. Two Beakers, Five E’s, Twenty Pennies, and Archimedes’ Principle. The Physics Teacher 2019, 57 (3) , 138-141. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5092468

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    Pair your accounts.

    Export articles to Mendeley

    Get article recommendations from ACS based on references in your Mendeley library.

    You’ve supercharged your research process with ACS and Mendeley!

    STEP 1:
    Click to create an ACS ID

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    Please note: If you switch to a different device, you may be asked to login again with only your ACS ID.

    MENDELEY PAIRING EXPIRED
    Your Mendeley pairing has expired. Please reconnect