Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from glen, a parent:

After a 5.63-g sample of Wood's metal has been added to the water in a 10-mL graduated cylinder, the new water level is 8.7mL. What was the water level in the cylinder before the sample was added?

Hi Glen.

You will need to assume that the water submerses the Wood's metal entirely to solve this question. You will also need to know the density of the Wood's metal (look in your reference book; I think it is around 10 g/cm3).

Use the density to find the volume of the Wood's metal (volume = mass / density).

Then just subtract the volume of the Wood's metal from the new water level volume to find the original volume. Remember, 1 cm3 = 1 mL.

Stephen La Rocque.

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