Measuring Volume

Math can tell you how to determine the volume of a simple object (a ball or a block), but for those everyday objects that defy physical description (a pen, a stapler, one of your Hot Wheels® cars), the water displacement method is the way to go. And you can thank Archimedes for this discovery. When asked to determine whether the crown for King Hiero II was actually made of pure gold (instead of a mix of gold and silver), he was at a loss to come up with a solution. Supposedly though, while taking a bath, he noticed the level of water rise and came up with a way to uncover the actual mass of the crown. It’s been said that he got so excited over his discovery that he leaped up and began running naked through the streets shouting Eureka (Greek for “I have found it!”). Though I would advise against running through the neighborhood in your birthday suit, you should try this experiment at home. All you need is a measuring cup, some water, pencil and paper, and a toy or object that will fit into the cup.

Archimedes infographic


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