Gold and Sand Density Lab

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Background: As you saw in the film, Indiana Jones tried to steal the gold idol without triggering the booby trap -- and failed. He thought he could replace the gold idol on the pedestal with a bag of sand of equal volume. This plan didn’t work. Your job is to figure out why.

I. Purpose:

II. Prelab Questions:


III. Procedure:

  1. Obtain a sample of sand and record its mass.
  2. Measure the volume of the sand using a graduated cylinder.
  3. Record your results in the class data sheet.
  4. Plot the data in a graph, making sure mass is on the y axis and volume is on the x axis. You will need a title, axis titles (including units), a scale on each axis, data points, and a best fit line.

IV. Data:

Mass of sand (g)


Volume of sand (mL)


V. Post Lab Questions:

  1. What is the slope of the line (density) obtained from the class data? Include units in your answer. Slope=(y2-y1)/(x2-x1,)
  2. The density of gold is 19.3 g/cm3. If the idol had a volume of 1500cm3, what was its mass in grams? 1mL=1cm3
  3. Indiana Jones needed to swap the idol with a bag of sand that had the same mass. What volume in milliliters of sand did he need to use (based on the density of sand you calculated)?
  4. The accepted value for the density of sand is 2.3 g/mL. What is the percent error for your experiment?
    Percent Error = (Experimental Value - Actual Value) / Actual Value x 100

V!. Conclusion: