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Lab #1: Determination of Mass, Volume and Density

In order to achieve reasonable results in experimentation, proficiency in the use of the SI
(metric) system and with the measuring instruments commonly found in the laboratory is
essential. In this laboratory exercise the density of a solid, a pure liquid and several
solutions will be determined. Accurate results will indicate proper use of the instruments
utilied in this laboratory exercise.
In chemistry lab measurements, the SI unit of mass is the gram (g), and the unit of volume
is the milliliter (m!). "or the volume of the solids, the unit (cm
) is commonly used
interchangeably with m!. In this experiment all volumes will be expressed in m!.
$ensity, li%e color, odor, solubility, melting point, and boiling point is a physical property of
a substance. &herefore, density may be used in identifying a substance. &he density of a
substance is defined as mass per unit of volume. &he density of a solid or the density of a
liquid are both expressed as grams per milliliter (g'm!).
(old (Au) has a much higher density than aluminum (Al). &his means that a gold cube has
greater mass than an aluminum cube of the same sie. )eview the information provided in
the table below for equal volumes of aluminum and gold.
*easured +uantity Aluminum (old
,olume -... m! -... m!
*ass /.0. g -1.0 g
$ensity /.0. g'm! -1.0 g'm!
&he density of a solution composed of two substances is not the same as the density of
either substance in the solution. &he density of solutions vary with the concentration of the
solution (a value that indicates the quantity of solute dissolved into the solvent). In this
case sodium chloride, 2a3l, is the solute and water, 4/5, is the solvent.
&he concentration of a solution can be described in terms of the solution6s percentage
composition on a weight basis. "or example, a 7...8 2a3l solution contains 7... g of 2a3l
(solute) for every -.. g of solution.
-. &o determine the density of a solid and of several solutions of varying concentration.
/. &o determine the concentration of an un%nown solution using a graph of densities.
Part A: The Density of a Solid
-. 5btain a solid of un%nown density and record its identifying number. $etermine and
record the mass of the solid to the nearest ...- g.
/. $etermine the volume of the solid using the displacement method. 9ut about 0. m!
of water into the -.. m! graduated cylinder. In order to do this accurately you must
read the bottom of the meniscus in the graduated cylinder at eye level. )ead and
record the volume of the distilled water to the nearest ..- m!.
Read here!
44 correct
45 incorrect
#. &ilt the graduated cylinder and carefully slide the un%nown solid into the cylinder.
:. Again read and record the volume of the water in the graduated cylinder to the
nearest ..- m!. &he difference in the volume readings (volume of the water
displaced by the solid) is equal to the volume of the solid.
Part B: The Density of a Liquid
-. $etermine the mass of a clean, dry -. m! graduated cylinder to the nearest ...- g.
/. "ill the -. m! graduated cylinder to approximately the 0 m! mar% with distilled
water. $etermine and record the volume of the distilled water to the nearest ...-
#. $etermine the combined mass of the cylinder and the water to the nearest ...- g.
:. 3alculate the density of the water and record this as the density of a .8 solution.
7. )inse the s ame -. m! graduated cylinder with a small amount of 7...8 2a3l (aq).
&hen fill the graduated cylinder to approximately the 0 m! mar% with 7...8 2a3l
(aq). Accurately determine the volume of the solution to the nearest ...- m!.
;. $etermine and record the mass of the cylinder and solution to the nearest ...- g.
"rom these data you can determine the net mass of the solution. <se the same
balance for all mass determinations in 9art =.
0. )inse the graduated cylinder out with a small amount of distilled water. )epeat steps
7 and ; for the -...8, -7..8, /...8 and un%nown solutions, rinsing out the
graduated cylinder with distilled water and the solution about to be massed after
each trial. $etermine the net mass for each solution. If there are drops of solution
above the level of the solution being massed, the cylinder must be emptied, rinsed
and dried.
Data and Calculations
Part A
-. 3alculate the density of the un%nown solid from the determination of mass and
volume of the solid. >ou must list the number found on your solid in the data
Part B
-. 3alculate the density of each of the solutions, from .8 (distilled water) to
/...8 including the un%nown solution from the determinations of the net
masses and volumes.
/. 3onstruct a graph which shows density versus concentration for the distilled water,
7...8, -...8, -7..8 and /...8 2a3l (aq). (<se .8 as the concentration for
the distilled water.) $raw a straight line that best fits the points as you have
plotted them.
#. $etermine the concentration of the un%nown 2a3l (aq) by plotting the density of
the solution on the appropriate axis. )ead this to the best fit line and then read
down to the ?x@ axis giving the solution concentrations. &his should be the
concentration of the un%nown 2a3l (aq) solution.
Sample Data and nalysis Table
Part A
Solid A *ass
Part B
Solution *ass of
*ass of graduate
and 2a3l (aq)
*ass of 2a3l
,olume of
2a3l (aq)
$ensity of
... 8
7... 8
-... 8
-7.. 8
/... 8
Summarie the results you have obtained in the laboratory exercise.
i. State the density of the un%nown solid and the densities of pure distilled water as
well as each of the 2a3l (aq) solutions including the un%nown.
ii. $iscuss how the graphical method used in this experiment allowed for the
identification of the concentration of the un%nown solution.
iii. $iscuss probably sources of error in your results.
3onclusion (i.) can be shown in a data and analysis table similar to the one above.
Directions for !raphin"
)efer to the handout entitled ?&he !aboratory )eport@