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Physics lab - density

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Raw Data and Data Processing

Table 1




m = ± 0.1g



v = ± 0.35cm3


ρ/g cm-3

ρ = ± 0.35 g cm-3

Iron block


3.0 x 101


Copper cylinder




Sample calculation for density (shown for iron block):

Mass/g = (251.7 ± 0.1)g

Relative uncertainty = image00.pngimage00.png        = image07.pngimage07.png       = 3.972983711 x 10-4  = 4 x 10-4


Mass/g = (251.7 ± 4 x 10

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image09.png  = 0.032258064

As we are finding the volume, we need to add the uncertainties of all the measurements, i.e. length, width and height. In this case the material was a cube, where the measurements were the same and even the uncertainties, thus we can multiplied the uncertainty by 3, i.e.

0.032258064 x 3 = 0.0967741935

When converted in percentage we get: 9.677% ≈ 10%

Volume = 3.1cm x 3.1cm x 3.1cm   = 29.791 cm3

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ρavg = image03.pngimage03.png=  image04.pngimage04.png  =  2.9 g cm-3

 ρavg = image05.pngimage05.png = image06.pngimage06.png = image08.pngimage08.png = 0.25 g cm-3

ρavg ±  ρavg = (2.9 ± 0.25) g cm-3

Thus, the average density is equal to the gradient of the black line in the graph. The other two lines show the minimum (red line) slope of the density and the maximum (green line). It is not necessary that their average will be the slope of the black line.

...read more.

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