Applications of Buoyancy: floatation Virtual Lab

Join Dr. One at the lake and learn what it takes to make an object float or sink. Find out how the density of a liquid does significantly impact the buoyancy of an object and how much of a floating object is submerged below the surface.

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  • Description
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About the Applications of Buoyancy: floatation Virtual Lab

Boats, ships, submarines, or a pleasant swim at the lake are all possible because of the buoyant force. In fact, buoyancy is the upward force we need from a liquid to stay afloat.In this simulation, you will learn that the fluid density and the submerged volume of an object both influence the buoyant force. Do you think you will be able to help Archimedes design a perfect swimsuit for Dr. One and help her enjoy a trip of ultimate relaxation at the lake?

Floating and sinking objects

Join Dr. One in our virtual lab and experiment with the weights of objects and how this influences their position in a liquid. You will have three balls with different weights at your disposal and a tank filled up with a water sample you collected from the lake. 

During this experiment, you will investigate how the densities of both the object and the fluid affect buoyancy. You will also understand what exactly causes something to float or sink, and the relation between the buoyant force and the object’s weight for a floating object. 

Play with different liquid densities

You will have the possibility to fill up the tank with three different liquids. This experiment will explain how the fluid’s density affects the submerged volume of an object. You won’t just intuitively guess the position of the balls in the tank, but you will also evaluate the submerged volume of the balls using equations. You will look at how the submerged fraction of an object relates to the ratio between the densities of the object and the fluid it is immersed in. But don't worry! Dr. One will be there to explain and guide you through the terms of each equation. 

The shape-shifting ball 

It is time now to understand if the shape of an object can also influence its ability to float or sink. You can find this out by playing with a magic ball, which is able to change shape with the click of a button. Will you be able to solve this mystery? You will need this last piece of information to be able to help Dr. One float on her vacation!

Help Archimedes

At the end of this simulation, you will use your knowledge on the buoyant force to help Archimedes design a perfect swimsuit for Dr. One, and allow her to enjoy a trip of ultimate relaxation at the lake. Of course, you will be able to test your piece of art and see if it works!

Get started now

Join Dr. One at the lake and learn what it takes to make an object float or sink. Find out how the density of a liquid does significantly impact the buoyancy of an object and how much of a floating object is submerged below the surface.

Techniques in lab
Learning objectives

At the end of this simulation, you will be able to...

  • Predict whether an object will float or sink in a liquid, using the concept of buoyant force and equilibrium (possibly with a force diagram).
  • Calculate the submerged fraction of floating objects.
Simulation features

Length: 20 Minutes
Accessibility mode: Available
Languages: English (United States)

Examples of related standards

EHEA Short Cycle

FHEQ 4

US College Year 1

NGSS

PS2.A-M1

IB

Physics 2.2

AP

Physics 1 Unit 2.3

Physics 1 Unit 3.2

Physics 2 Unit 1.3

Collaborator(s)
Grossmont College (Dr. Philip Blanco)