# 11.2 Density  (Page 2/3)

 Page 2 / 3

## Calculating the mass of a reservoir from its volume

A reservoir has a surface area of $\text{50}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{km}}^{2}$ and an average depth of 40.0 m. What mass of water is held behind the dam? (See [link] for a view of a large reservoir—the Three Gorges Dam site on the Yangtze River in central China.)

Strategy

We can calculate the volume $V$ of the reservoir from its dimensions, and find the density of water $\rho$ in [link] . Then the mass $m$ can be found from the definition of density

$\rho =\frac{m}{V}.$

Solution

Solving equation $\rho =m/V$ for $m$ gives $m=\rho V$ .

The volume $V$ of the reservoir is its surface area $A$ times its average depth $h$ :

$\begin{array}{lll}V& =& \text{Ah}=\left(\text{50.0}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{km}}^{2}\right)\left(\text{40.0}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}\right)\\ & =& \left[\left(\text{50.0 k}{\text{m}}^{2}\right){\left(\frac{{\text{10}}^{3}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}}{1\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{km}}\right)}^{2}\right]\left(\text{40.0 m}\right)=2\text{.}\text{00}×{\text{10}}^{9}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m}}^{3}\end{array}$

The density of water $\rho$ from [link] is $1\text{.}\text{000}×{\text{10}}^{3}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{kg/m}}^{3}$ . Substituting $V$ and $\rho$ into the expression for mass gives

$\begin{array}{lll}m& =& \left(1\text{.}\text{00}×{\text{10}}^{3}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{kg/m}}^{3}\right)\left(2\text{.}\text{00}×{\text{10}}^{9}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m}}^{3}\right)\\ & =& 2.00×{\text{10}}^{\text{12}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{kg.}\end{array}$

Discussion

A large reservoir contains a very large mass of water. In this example, the weight of the water in the reservoir is $\text{mg}=1\text{.}\text{96}×{\text{10}}^{\text{13}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{N}$ , where $g$ is the acceleration due to the Earth’s gravity (about $9\text{.}\text{80}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{m/s}}^{2}$ ). It is reasonable to ask whether the dam must supply a force equal to this tremendous weight. The answer is no. As we shall see in the following sections, the force the dam must supply can be much smaller than the weight of the water it holds back.

## Section summary

• Density is the mass per unit volume of a substance or object. In equation form, density is defined as
$\rho =\frac{m}{V}.$
• The SI unit of density is ${\text{kg/m}}^{3}$ .

## Conceptual questions

Approximately how does the density of air vary with altitude?

Give an example in which density is used to identify the substance composing an object. Would information in addition to average density be needed to identify the substances in an object composed of more than one material?

[link] shows a glass of ice water filled to the brim. Will the water overflow when the ice melts? Explain your answer.

## Problems&Exercises

Gold is sold by the troy ounce (31.103 g). What is the volume of 1 troy ounce of pure gold?

$1\text{.}\text{610}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{cm}}^{3}$

Mercury is commonly supplied in flasks containing 34.5 kg (about 76 lb). What is the volume in liters of this much mercury?

(a) What is the mass of a deep breath of air having a volume of 2.00 L? (b) Discuss the effect taking such a breath has on your body’s volume and density.

(a) 2.58 g

(b) The volume of your body increases by the volume of air you inhale. The average density of your body decreases when you take a deep breath, because the density of air is substantially smaller than the average density of the body before you took the deep breath.

A straightforward method of finding the density of an object is to measure its mass and then measure its volume by submerging it in a graduated cylinder. What is the density of a 240-g rock that displaces $\text{89}\text{.}0\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{cm}}^{3}$ of water? (Note that the accuracy and practical applications of this technique are more limited than a variety of others that are based on Archimedes’ principle.)

$2\text{.}\text{70}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{g/cm}}^{3}$

Suppose you have a coffee mug with a circular cross section and vertical sides (uniform radius). What is its inside radius if it holds 375 g of coffee when filled to a depth of 7.50 cm? Assume coffee has the same density as water.

(a) A rectangular gasoline tank can hold 50.0 kg of gasoline when full. What is the depth of the tank if it is 0.500-m wide by 0.900-m long? (b) Discuss whether this gas tank has a reasonable volume for a passenger car.

(a) 0.163 m

(b) Equivalent to 19.4 gallons, which is reasonable

A trash compactor can reduce the volume of its contents to 0.350 their original value. Neglecting the mass of air expelled, by what factor is the density of the rubbish increased?

A 2.50-kg steel gasoline can holds 20.0 L of gasoline when full. What is the average density of the full gas can, taking into account the volume occupied by steel as well as by gasoline?

$7\text{.}9×{\text{10}}^{2}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\phantom{\rule{0ex}{0ex}}{\text{kg/m}}^{3}$

What is the density of 18.0-karat gold that is a mixture of 18 parts gold, 5 parts silver, and 1 part copper? (These values are parts by mass, not volume.) Assume that this is a simple mixture having an average density equal to the weighted densities of its constituents.

$\text{15}\text{.}6\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{g/cm}}^{3}$

There is relatively little empty space between atoms in solids and liquids, so that the average density of an atom is about the same as matter on a macroscopic scale—approximately ${\text{10}}^{3}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{kg/m}}^{3}$ . The nucleus of an atom has a radius about ${\text{10}}^{-5}$ that of the atom and contains nearly all the mass of the entire atom. (a) What is the approximate density of a nucleus? (b) One remnant of a supernova, called a neutron star, can have the density of a nucleus. What would be the radius of a neutron star with a mass 10 times that of our Sun (the radius of the Sun is $7×{\text{10}}^{8}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}$ )?

(a) ${\text{10}}^{\text{18}}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}{\text{kg/m}}^{3}$

(b) $2×{\text{10}}^{4}\phantom{\rule{0.25em}{0ex}}\text{m}$

#### Questions & Answers

explain how a body becomes electrically charged based on the presence of charged particles
Kym Reply
induction
babar
induction
DEMGUE
definitely by induction
Raymond
induction
Raymond
induction
Shah
induction
Korodhso
please why does a needle sinks in water
DEMGUE
induction
Korodhso
induction
Auwal
what are the calculations of Newton's third law of motiow
Murtala Reply
what is dark matter
apex Reply
(in some cosmological theories) non-luminous material which is postulated to exist in space and which could take either of two forms: weakly interacting particles ( cold dark matter ) or high-energy randomly moving particles created soon after the Big Bang ( hot dark matter ).
Usman
if the mass of a trolley is 0.1kg. calculate the weight of plasticine that is needed to compensate friction. (take g=10m/s and u=0.2)
Declan Reply
what is a galaxy
Maduka Reply
what isflow rate of volume
Abcd Reply
flow rate is the volume of fluid which passes per unit time;
Rev
flow rate or discharge represnts the flow passing in unit volume per unit time
bhat
When two charges q1 and q2 are 6 and 5 coulomb what is ratio of force
Mian Reply
When reducing the mass of a racing bike, the greatest benefit is realized from reducing the mass of the tires and wheel rims. Why does this allow a racer to achieve greater accelerations than would an identical reduction in the mass of the bicycle’s frame?
bimo Reply
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nehemiah
why is it proportional
nehemiah Reply
i don't know
Adah
y
nehemiah
what are the relationship between distance and displacement
Usman Reply
They are interchangeable.
Shii
Distance is scalar, displacement is vector because it must involve a direction as well as a magnitude. distance is the measurement of where you are and where you were displacement is a measurement of the change in position
Shii
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Usman
I'm beginner in physics so I can't reason why v=u+at change to v2=u2+2as and vice versa
Usman
what is kinematics
praveen
kinematics is study of motion without considering the causes of the motion
Theo
The study of motion without considering the cause 0f it
Usman
why electrons close to the nucleus have less energy and why do electrons far from the nucleus have more energy
Theo
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praveen
plz what is the third law of thermodynamics
Chidera Reply
third law of thermodynamics states that at 0k the particles will collalse its also known as death of universe it was framed at that time when it waa nt posible to reach 0k but it was proved wrong
bhat
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Rev Reply
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Jeff
I do think so, it will
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lasisi
If a magnet is in a pool of water, would it be able to have a magnetic field?.
Stella Reply
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Jeff
formula for electric current
Chizzy Reply
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Fokoua
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Kudzy
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Fokoua
I=q/t
saifullahi
Current is the flow of electric charge per unit time.
saifullahi
What are semi conductors
saifullahi
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
Mokua
these are materials which have electrical conductivity greater than the insulators but less than metal, in these materials energy band Gap is very narrow as compared to insulators
Sunil
materials that allows charge to flow at varying conditions, temperature for instance.
Obasi
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Fokoua
At what point in the oscillation of beam will a body leave it?
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Fahd Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics. OpenStax CNX. Jul 27, 2015 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11406/1.9
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