How to Meaure Volume

(g) describe how to use a graduated cylinder to measure the volume of a liquid or solid.


A graduated cylinder can be used to measure the volume of liquids and gases. The following is a diagram of a graduated cylinder.



A graduated cylinder gives readings in cm^3, centimeter cube. 

Volume of liquid

Measuring the volume of a liquid with a graduated cylinder is simple. The liquid is poured into the cylinder,
and the reading is taken from the lines marked on the graduated cylinder.While reading the graduated cylinder, you have to keep your eye perpendicular to the meniscus.

The meniscus is the curve at the upper part of the liquid.It is formed due to surface tension, and can cause an error in your reading if you are not careful enough . The following diagram shows the two types of meniscus.


The lines represent the points from where you have to take the reading from the graduated cylinder.

Volume of a solid.

To measure to volume of a solid using a graduated cylinder, you first have to put some liquid in it. Note the reading of the liquid in the cylinder. Let us name the first reading as V1. Now, gently put the solid object in the graduated cylinder so that no water splashes out. The water level will rise. Note the new reading, let us name it V2. 

To get the volume of the solid, subtract V1 from V2. V2-V1=  the volume of the solid.

The reasoning behind this is simple. The solid object displaces the liquid in the cylinder, and takes its place. As a result, the water level rises. This rise in the water level is our volume of the solid object.

NOTE: The solid object must be completely immersed in the water to get the correct reading.






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