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### Measuring the Volume of My Body

```Date: 09/17/2003 at 11:42:54
Subject: Density of human

What is the most efficient way of calculating the density of a human
being?  If actual experiment is not possible, what would be different
conversions I have to do to get my volume?

I have considered doing the displacement where I will use the bath
tub as the container. Then submerged myself in it.  The problem is I
cannot do this alone.  Who will measure the level of water after I
go into the tub?  So, I am looking for another means of calculating
my density.
```

```
Date: 09/17/2003 at 14:45:52
From: Doctor Rick
Subject: Re: Density of human

If you float but just barely, as most of us do, then we know already
that your density is slightly less than that of water, 1 gram/cm^3.
How precise do you want to be? I don't think that we could calculate
your volume from measurements precisely enough even to predict
accurately whether you would float or sink. We are left with
something akin to the displacement method that you are rejecting.

I'm thinking about a related method that does not require measurement
of the displaced volume of water. Assuming you do float, you could
completely submerge yourself in a swimming pool, taking a bunch of
weights with you, enough to hold you down. Drop the weights one at a
time until you have neutral buoyancy (just barely starting to drift
upward). The combined mass of your body and the weights you are still
holding is equal to the mass of displaced water, that is, the density
of water times the total volume of your body and the weights. From
this, knowing the mass and density of the weights, along with your
own mass, you can determine your volume.

- Doctor Rick, The Math Forum
http://mathforum.org/dr.math/
```
Associated Topics:
High School Physics/Chemistry

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