Massing Grown Crystals

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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In order to understand the concept of finding the relationship between mass in air and mass in water, I needed to recognize the format of massing different substances with irregular shapes, sizes, and consistency. For my experiment, I needed the following information to help me understand why and how this project works.

Mass is the amount of matter in an object. In everyday use the word weight is often used incorrectly to mean mass. Mass can also mean "resistance to acceleration". I would measure solids by massing and displacement of water. I would find the volume using displacement of water. I would do this by subtracting the object plus water by the water alone. Having the mass and volume, I can find the density.

Solids are much denser than liquids and gases. Closely packed molecules of solids gives them a definite shape and volume. The molecules are so close that they cannot move freely, like they do in gases.

All they can do is vibrate and spin on the spot. In most solids, the molecules are set in a regular pattern, they are in the form of a crystal. When these crystals are heated, they melt to a certain temperature. This is called the melting point. As a solid melts, its temperature stays at the melting point until there is no more of that solid remaining. Some solids, like glass, have no crystal structure and no particular melting point, but they do become more pliable as it gets warmer. For example a glass blower will heat the glass to a certain degree so that it is so pliable, that they can shape it into objects.

In a liquid, molecules are held only loosely together, allowing it to flow in all directions.

When a solid melts to a liquid, it changes...