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# Name: __________________________________ Period: ______

## Mr. Saucedo 1. Chem

Calculating the Density of Unknown
Metals

Learning Objective: Students will be able to use the method of density displacement to
correctly identify five unknown metals and then calculate their percent error.

1. Using a squirt bottle, fill up a graduated cylinder with 30.0 mL of water. In order
for this to work you have to be as precise as you can.

2. Grab one cube of each unknown metal. There are five unknowns!! DO NOT MIX UP
THE NUMBERS ON THE METALS.

3. Weigh one cube of the unknown metal on an electronic balance. Record its mass.

4. Place the cube in the graduated cylinder and see how much water is displaced by the
unknown metal. Record the amount of water displaced by the cube. TRY TO BE
PRECISE!!

5. Calculate the density of the metal from your data in steps 3 and 4.

6. Repeat the above procedure 3 times for each unknown metal.

Mr. Saucedo 2. Chem
Unknown #1
Trial
Mass of the
Unknown (g)
Volume of
Sample (mL)
Density of the
Sample (g/mL)
1
2
Average

Unknown #2
Trial
Mass of the
Unknown (g)
Volume of
Sample (mL)
Density of the
Sample (g/mL)
1
2
Average

Unknown #3
Trial
Mass of the
Unknown (g)
Volume of
Sample (mL)
Density of the
Sample (g/mL)
1
2
Average

Unknown #4
Trial
Mass of the
Unknown (g)
Volume of
Sample (mL)
Density of the
Sample (g/mL)
1
2
Average

What do you think the
identity of Unknown
Metal #1 is?

___________________
_
What do you think the
identity of Unknown
Metal #2 is?

___________________
_
What do you think the
identity of Unknown
Metal #3 is?

___________________
_
What do you think the
identity of Unknown
Metal #4 is?

___________________
_

Mr. Saucedo 3. Chem
Unknown #5
Trial
Mass of the
Unknown (g)
Volume of
Sample (mL)
Density of the
Sample (g/mL)
1
2
Average

Actual Densities: What are the identities and actual densities of the unknowns? Ill tell
you this towards the end of the class.

Unknown #1 actually is ____________________ and has a density of _____________.

Unknown #2 actually is ____________________ and has a density of _____________.

Unknown #3 actually is ____________________ and has a density of _____________.

Unknown #4 actually is ____________________ and has a density of _____________.

Unknown #5 actually is ____________________ and has a density of _____________.

Percent Error Calculations: Using the formula below, calculate your percent error. The
actual value is the actual density of each unknown metal. The experimental value
will be your average density for each sample. Show your work for each unknown in the

What do you think the
identity of Unknown
Metal #5 is?

___________________
_

Mr. Saucedo 4. Chem
Final Evaluation: Answer the following in complete sentences.
Were your results close to the expected density values?
What might account for some of the differences in the density values that you
measured and the actual density values of each metal?
If you were to redo this experiment, what are two things that you would change or
do differently?

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All values are measured in g/mL at room temperature

Common Elements

Aluminum..2.70 Mercury 13.60
Brass...8.73 Nickel 8.80
Chromium..7.10 Platinum 21.50
Copper8.94 Silver. 10.40
Gold19.30 Tin. 7.30
Iron.7.80 Uranium 18.70