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Q & A: Density of a muffin?

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Most recent answer: 02/06/2013
Q:
I am doing a science project that includes baking muffins each with a different type of flour; white, wheat and rice. Problem: How do I measure the density of a muffin? is better to use the method of putting in water and measuring it from a measuring cup or cutting in a cube and measuring it from there?
- chantelle king (age 13)
canada
A:
As you probably know, the density is given by the ratio of the mass divided by the volume.  The mass is easy, plop it onto a scale and measure its weight.  The issue is what's the volume?  There are two classic ways, 1. Measure it if the volume is easy to calculate, for example a sphere or a cube or:   2. Use the Archimedes method where you measure the amount of water displaced when you dunk it in water.    I recommend #1 since method #2 makes the muffin soggy and not edible after the experiment. 
So your idea of cutting a cube out the muffin is the correct solution.   If you are really curious and willing to sacrifice a muffin, you might try the other method just to see what happens.


LeeH

(published on 02/06/2013)

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