What is Density?Applications of density

The thickness of an item is among its many important and also easily-measured physical properties. Densities space widely used to determine pure substances and to characterize and estimate the composition of countless kinds of mixtures. The purpose of this class is to show how densities room defined, measured, and also utilized, and also to make sure you recognize the closely-related principles of buoyancy and specific gravity, and the duties they pat in our lives and also the environment.

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What is Density?

Most the us have actually long taken that "oil is lighter than water", or that iron is "heavier" 보다 sugar. But in making such statements, we are implicitly comparing equal volumes of these substances: after ~ all, we recognize that a cup the sugar will weigh much more than a solitary ordinary stole nail. Mass and also volume are measures of the quantity of a substance, and as such are characterized as extensive nature of matter. The proportion of two comprehensive properties is always an intensive residential property — one that characterizes a particular kind of matter, individually of its dimension or mass. It is this ratio, (mass ÷ volume), that we are came to with in this Module.


Solids, liquids and also gases

In general, gases have the lowest densities, yet these densities are highly dependent ~ above the pressure and temperature which must always be specified. To the extent that a gas exhibits ideal actions (low pressure, high temperature), the density of a gas is straight proportional come the masses that its component atoms, and also thus to its molecular weight. Measure up of the density of a gas is a an easy experimental means of estimating its molecular weight.


Liquids include an intermediate variety of densities. Mercury, gift a fluid metal, is miscellaneous of one outlier. Liquid densities are largely independent the pressure, yet they are rather temperature-sensitive.

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The density variety of solids is rather wide. Metals, whose atoms load together quite compactly, have actually the highest densities, although that of lithium, the greatest metallic element, is fairly low. Composite materials such as wood and high-density polyurethane foam save void spaces which reduce the average density.