How to Measure the Volume of Marbles

You can use a micrometer to determine the volume of a marble.
••• Midiendo image by andoni from Fotolia.com

You can measure the volume of a marble a couple of different ways. One is by direct measurement of the diameter. Another is by displacement when submerged in water. The latter may be more appropriate if you want to find the volume of a large number of marbles at once. Water displacement is best measured with what is called a “Eureka can,” or overflow jar. Such a can has a side spout that slants downward to localize the displaced overflow.

Individual Marble

    Measure the diameter of a marble with a micrometer. Denote its diameter with the letter D.

    Use the formula 4/3_?_R^3, to solve for the volume. Here, R is the radius, or half of D. ^3 means the radius is cubed.

    Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for several angles of the marble, and average the resulting volume calculations. For a round marble, the results should be the same.

Several Marbles

    Fill a Eureka can until the side spout starts emptying water.

    Weigh in grams the container in which you’ll catch the water overflow from the side spout.

    Drop the marbles gently one by one into the Eureka can. You don’t want to cause waves that would come out of the can; that would lead to an overestimate of the marbles’ volume.

    Weigh the container again. Find the difference from the weight you found in Step 2. This is the weight of the displaced water. Water has a density of 1.00 grams per cubic centimeter. So the weight of the displaced water in grams equals the volume of the displaced water in cubic centimeters.

    Divide the volume found in Step 4 by the number of marbles to get the volume of one marble, if the marbles are all the same size.

    Things You'll Need

    • Micrometer
    • Eureka can

Related Articles

5 Space Science Kits That Are Out of This World
Factors Affecting a River's Velocity
How to Find the Radius of a Cone
How to Float an Egg in Water
How to Calculate the Height of a Cone From the Volume
How to Calculate Average Volume
How to Measure the Volume of a Solid Object
How to Calculate Water Volume
How to Calculate Volume
How to Measure Density of a Floating Object
Difference Between Density & Mass
How to Calculate a 3D Perimeter
How to Determine Density
How to Calculate Buoy Floatation in the Water
The Best Way to Check Density
Ways to Determine Density
How to Calculate Tire Turns Per Mile
How to Convert Pipe Size to GPM
How to Calculate Cube Weight
How to Calculate the Volume of a Cylinder in Ounces
How to Make a Homemade Submarine That Floats & Sinks