Finding the Volume of a Trash Bag
Date: 2/12/96 at 19:3:58 From: tc2094 Subject: find the volume of a trash bag Hi, I'm a 7th grader. How can you find the volume of a trash bag? I have to have a bag that is 3 cubic feet. Can you help?
Date: 2/13/96 at 17:7:11 From: Doctor Ethan Subject: Re: find the volume of a trash bag Well, there are two basic approaches you can take to this: an experimental approach and a mathematical approach. In the experimental approach, you could measure the volume of the bag by filling it with something the volume of which you can measure easily. I would recommend water at first, but that could get _really heavy_ and break your trash bag. You might go for something light, however, like the styrofoam peanuts people use to pack boxes. Once you've packed the bag, you can measure the volume of the stuff you put in it. There are lots of other ways you could do this sort of test, and I'll leave that to your imagination. As for a mathematical approach, you might try one of several equations to approximate the volume, depending on how you're going to use it. For example, if you're going to use it to line a cylindrical trash can, you can find the trash can volume from. Volume = Pi*(Radius)^2*(Height) [I use x^2 to mean x squared, by the way.] If your trash bag is going to be closed at the end, you might be able to approximate the volume as if it were a sphere (though this is a very rough estimate). You could blow the trash bag up much like a balloon and use the equation for the volume of a sphere: Volume = (4/3)*(Pi)*(Radius)^3 Personally, I would suggest the first approach since a trash bag can take on some very unusual shapes. Finding their volumes might be possible, but it would require some very powerful math. -Doctor Ethan, The Math Forum
Search the Dr. Math Library:
Ask Dr. MathTM
© 1994-2013 The Math Forum