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When an object is immersed in water, it pushes water aside. The buoyant force of water on the object reduces the weight of the object. In this experiment, you will determine and compare the buoyant force on an object and the weight of the water pushed aside (displaced) by the object for three objects. The Greek mathematician Archimedes first studied this relationship during the third century B.C.


  • Use a Force Sensor to measure the weights of objects in and out of water.
  • Determine the weight of water displaced by each object.
  • Compare buoyant force to the weight of water displaced for each object.
  • Use the results of the experiment to explain why objects sink or float.

Sensors and Equipment

This experiment features the following sensors and equipment. Additional equipment may be required.

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This experiment is #11 of Exploring Physical Science. The experiment in the book includes student instructions as well as instructor information for set up, helpful hints, and sample graphs and data.

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