This simulation provides a highly visual, intuitive way for students to explore how density is related to an object's mass and volume. Using a virtual water tank, users drop various objects to see what floats and what sinks. Use the mouse to submerge the object and see how much fluid it displaces. A scale is provided to measure the mass of the objects, with a density table available for view. Students can easily see why the density formula works, especially when they identify the "mystery" objects.

This item is part of a larger collection of simulations developed by the Physics Education Technology project (PhET).

Editor's Note:Scroll down on the page for exemplary lesson plans for grades 6-12, developed by the PhET project specifically to accompany the "Density" simulation.

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.

11. Common Themes

11B. Models

6-8: 11B/M4. Simulations are often useful in modeling events and processes.

6-8: 11B/M5. The usefulness of a model depends on how closely its behavior matches key aspects of what is being modeled. The only way to determine the usefulness of a model is to compare its behavior to the behavior of the real-world object, event, or process being modeled.

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.

6-8: 12B/M7b. Convert quantities expressed in one unit of measurement into another unit of measurement when necessary to solve a real-world problem.

9-12: 12B/H2. Find answers to real-world problems by substituting numerical values in simple algebraic formulas and check the answer by reviewing the steps of the calculation and by judging whether the answer is reasonable.

%0 Electronic Source %D December 30, 2010 %T PhET Simulation: Density %I PhET %V 2019 %N 16 December 2019 %8 December 30, 2010 %9 application/java %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/density

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