Apparent weight

This simulation illustrates the concept of apparent weight, as well as the buoyant force.

The buoyant force is the upward force exerted on an object by a fluid when the object is partly or entirely immersed in the fluid. In this case there is a block hanging from a spring scale. The block can be lowered into the fluid (use the "Percent of block submerged" slider). This results in the spring scale reading changing - why? The spring scale reading shows the block's apparent weight - this is onlt equal to the actual weight of the block when the block is completely out of the fluid.

Investigate what the buoyant force depends on (and what it does not depend on). Note that the simulation sets g to be 10 N/kg. Given the limits on the sliders in the simulation, what is the biggest buoyant force that can be achieved here?

You can also show a scale under the container of fluid. It is interesting to see what happens to the scale reading as the block is lowered into (or removed from) the fluid.

Simulation written by Andrew Duffy, and first posted on 11-16-2018.

Creative Commons License
This work by Andrew Duffy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
This simulation can be found in the collection at

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