We often hear the words “density” and “relative density” used interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings. Density is a measure of the amount of mass in a given volume, while relative density is a measure of how closely compacted the particles are in a substance. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at these two terms and discuss some examples. Stay tuned!
What is Density?
Density is a term that is used to describe the amount of matter that exists in a given space. Density can be calculated by dividing the mass of an object by its volume. The density of an object can be affected by its shape, as well as the type and amount of material that make up the object. Density is often expressed in terms of grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3).
- Density can also be affected by temperature and pressure. For example, air density decreases with altitude because there is less air above to push down on the air at lower altitudes. Density ratios are often used to compare the densities of different objects. The density ratio is simply the ratio of the densities of two objects.
- Density ratios are particularly useful when comparing objects that have different shapes or sizes. Density ratios can also be used to compare the densities of different substances. For example, the density ratio of water to air is about 1:1000, which means that for every gram of water, there are 1000 grams of air.
- Density ratios can be used to estimate the quantity of one substance that is needed to form another substance. For example, if the density ratio of iron to steel is 1:10, then it takes ten times as much iron to make one pound of steel than it does to make one pound of iron.
What is Relative Density?
- Relative density, sometimes called specific gravity, is the ratio of the mass of a substance to the mass of an equal volume of water at 4 degrees Celsius.
- Relative density is often used to identify unknown substances or to compare the purity of different samples of the same substance. For example, if a sample of an unknown substance has a relative density of 1.5, that means it is 1.5 times as dense as water.
- Relative density can also be used to compare different samples of the same substance. For example, if one sample has a relative density of 1.2 and another has a relative density of 1.4, the second sample is more pure because it is more dense. Relative density is a simple but powerful tool for identifying and comparing substances.
Difference between Density and Relative Density
- Density and relative density are two important properties of matter. Density is a measure of the mass of an object per unit volume, while relative density is a measure of the mass of an object in relation to the mass of another object.
- Density can be expressed in units of grams per cubic centimeter (g/cm3), while relative density is typically expressed as a ratio. For example, if an object has a density of 1 g/cm3, then its relative density would be 1:1.
- An object with a density of 2 g/cm3 would have a relative density of 2:1. In general, denser objects have more mass per unit volume than less dense objects. Density and relative density are used to compare different substances and to calculate the properties of matter.
In a nutshell, density is the mass per unit volume of a substance, while relative density compares one material to another. For example, you can calculate the relative density of gold by comparing it to water. When everything else is equal (e.g., temperature and pressure), gold will be more than 14 times denser than water. If you’re looking for an easy way to remember the distinction, think about it this way: Density is how much “stuff” is in something, while Relative Density compares two things.