Solve It Sunday: A Question of Displacement

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It is hopefully clear that a floating boat displaces a volume of water, and that the weight of the boat is equal to the weight of the water it displaces.

Obviously, then, placing a boat into a partly filled tank of water means that the level of water will rise. It therefore follows that if you place a lead weight into the boat, the water level will rise further.

So what will happen if you then drop that same lead weight over the side of the boat, into the water? Will the water level rise, fall, or stay the same?

This is an easy one to test out of you have a piece of paper and a few pennies.

Best of luck, and as always, answer is in the comments.

One thought on “Solve It Sunday: A Question of Displacement

  1. ANSWER BELOW

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    The water level will fall. The lead is heavier than the water, which is why it sinks. When floating — thanks to the boat — it displaces water equal to its weight, but when submerged, it displaces water equal to its volume. Since it is heavier than water, its volume in water is less than its weight in water

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