Density is theamount of matter in a given unit of volume. It can be measured in gramsper cubic centimeter (g/cm3). It is a measure of how tightlypacked the atoms of a substance are. When we say that ice is less densethan water, we mean that the water molecules are more tightly packed when theyare in the liquid state. The formula for determining density is

or

One always hears that muscle is denser that fat.This means that I can work out, not lose weight and still lose inches offmy waist. This is because 1 poundof muscle will take up less space than 1 pound of fat.

Mass is typically measured in grams.Volume is typically measured in ml which is the same thing as cm3(or cubic centimeters of cc. 1 ml =1 cm3 = 1 cc)

The density of water is 1.00 g/ml.

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The density of some common elements are shown below:

Densities of selected elements

 element density (g/cm3) appearance aluminum 2.70 silvery white, metallic antimony 6.68 silvery white, metallic cadmium 8.64 silvery white, metallic carbon (graphite) 2.25 black, dull chromium 7.2 steel gray, difficult cobalt 8.9 silvery gray, metallic Copper Gold 8.92 19.3 reddish, metallic yellow, metallic iron 7.86 silver, metallic lead 11.3 silvery-bluish white, soft, metallic manganese 7.2 gray pink, metallic Nickel Platinum 8.9 21.4 silver, metallic silver, metallic silicon 2.32 steel gray, crystalline silver 10.5 silver, metallic tin (gray) 5.75 gray tin (white) 7.28 white metallic Zinc 7.14 bluish white, metallic

Sample problem:A solid has a mass of 128 g. Itis a rectangular solid 1.0 cm by 2.0 cm by 3.0 cm.What is the density of the solid and what metal is it?

Volume = length x width x height = 1cm x 2 cm x 3 cm = 6 cm3 or 6 ml.

D= M/V = 128 g / 6 ml=21.4 g/ml

The metal must be platinum!

One can see the usefulness of densities for determiningtypes of metals at this les-grizzlys-catalans.org site: