Editor selections by Topic and Unit

The Physics Front is a free service provided by the AAPT in partnership with the NSF/NSDL.

Detail Page

Item Picture
content provider: the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
written by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre
This is a set of nine experiments that introduce students to the concept of density and provide practice in measuring it. Many students have difficulty understanding density as a quantity derived from mass and volume. Learners often enter college with deeply-entrenched misconceptions, such as the erroneous idea that gases have no mass. These classroom labs were developed to promote correct ideas of density, and to demonstrate differing techniques for measuring density in solids, liquids, and gases.

Specific topics include: density of regular solid shapes, measuring density and weight of liquids, measuring the average density of a student, weighing a sample of air, and more.

This item is part of a much larger collection of physics/astronomy experiments, sponsored by the UK's Institute of Physics and funded by the Nuffield Curriculum Centre.  
SEE RELATED ITEMS BELOW for a link to the full collection.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Cooperative Learning
Fluid Mechanics
- Statics of Fluids
= Density and Buoyancy
General Physics
- Properties of Matter
- Middle School
- High School
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Laboratory
= Lesson/Lesson Plan
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- Lesson Plan
- Activity
- Laboratory
- New teachers
  • Currently 0.0/5

Want to rate this material?
Login here!

Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2006 The Nuffield Foundation
Additional information is available.
density experiments, density labs, derived quantities, hands-on, measurement, physical quantities, practical physics
Record Cloner:
Metadata instance created February 9, 2011 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 16, 2020 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
June 9, 2010

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

1. The Nature of Science

1B. Scientific Inquiry
  • 6-8: 1B/M1b. Scientific investigations usually involve the collection of relevant data, the use of logical reasoning, and the application of imagination in devising hypotheses and explanations to make sense of the collected data.

4. The Physical Setting

4D. The Structure of Matter
  • 6-8: 4D/M2. Equal volumes of different materials usually have different masses.
  • 6-8: 4D/M3ab. Atoms and molecules are perpetually in motion. Increased temperature means greater average energy of motion, so most substances expand when heated.
  • 6-8: 4D/M8. Most substances can exist as a solid, liquid, or gas depending on temperature.
  • 6-8: 4D/M10. A substance has characteristic properties such as density, a boiling point, and solubility, all of which are independent of the amount of the substance and can be used to identify it.

12. Habits of Mind

12B. Computation and Estimation
  • 6-8: 12B/M3. Calculate the circumferences and areas of rectangles, triangles, and circles, and the volumes of rectangular solids.

This resource is part of a Physics Front Topical Unit.

Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model
Unit Title: Properties of Matter

Density is a derived quantity -- we measure two other quantities (mass and volume) and then calculate density. to help first-time learners understand this connection, we recommend this set of nine classroom labs. Students will measure and weigh solid blocks & liquids, and gain practice in using the graduated cylinder. They also weigh a sample of air and measure the average density of a student!

Link to Unit:
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, (2006), WWW Document, (https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density).
Nuffield Curriculum Centre, Practical Physics: Measuring Density (2006), <https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density>.
APA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. (2010, June 9). Practical Physics: Measuring Density. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density
Chicago Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Measuring Density. June 9, 2010. https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density (accessed 23 June 2024).
MLA Format
Nuffield Curriculum Centre. Practical Physics: Measuring Density. 2006. 9 June 2010. Nuffield Curriculum Centre. 23 June 2024 <https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Nuffield Curriculum Centre", Title = {Practical Physics: Measuring Density}, Volume = {2024}, Number = {23 June 2024}, Month = {June 9, 2010}, Year = {2006} }
Refer Export Format

%Q Nuffield Curriculum Centre %T Practical Physics: Measuring Density %D June 9, 2010 %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density %O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source %A Nuffield Curriculum Centre, %D June 9, 2010 %T Practical Physics: Measuring Density %V 2024 %N 23 June 2024 %8 June 9, 2010 %9 text/html %U https://spark.iop.org/collections/measuring-density

Disclaimer: ComPADRE offers citation styles as a guide only. We cannot offer interpretations about citations as this is an automated procedure. Please refer to the style manuals in the Citation Source Information area for clarifications.

Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

Practical Physics: Measuring Density:

Is Part Of Practical Physics

A link to the full collection of experiments developed by the Practical Physics organization.

relation by Caroline Hall

Know of another related resource? Login to relate this resource to it.
Save to my folders



Related Materials

Similar Materials