When attempting to determine the composition of given objects,

it is important to understand the physical properties such as mass, density,

and volume. All matter has mass and in turn plays a role in the other two

properties: density and volume. Volume is a necessary component to using the

gas laws, density is the ratio of mass to volume. Density can also be viewed as

the amount of matter within a given space which aids in discovering the composition

of a given object. It is important to understand these concepts before drawing

any conclusions about the composition of separate objects to be studied.

Finding the mass of any smaller object can be simply

achieved by the use of a balance. The factor of volume can be found in a couple

different ways and the procedure of this particular experiment utilized both.

The simplest procedure involves immersing the object in water and calculating

the difference in water level before and after immersion. The volume of an object

can also be obtained by multiplying the length by width by height; or the use

of the constant ? in the case of a cylinder, a sphere, or cone. From the

combination of the two factors found, the density of the object(s) can be

determined.