I thought I understood this, but I'm having some doubts now. My question is quite simple: Can the volume of a solid (specifically a granular crystal or powder) be accurately determined using the displacement method with a liquid in which the solid is soluble?
Originally I thought by dissolving in the liquid there would (or could) somehow be a change to the density of the mixture which would affect the displacement. As such, it would be a good idea to ensure the substance is not soluble in the liquid being used to determine the solid's volume. But if the dissolution of the solid is only a physical process (i.e., dissolving sugar or salt in water), would this at all affect one's ability to measure the volume of the amount of substance added?
I guess when dealing with an unknown substance, we might not be able to easily determine if the dissolution took place as a physical or chemical process without further testing, so it would make more sense to conduct the measurement with a liquid in which the substance was insoluble.
I haven't found a qualified answer to this question online or in my textbook. I'm not being asked this question directly, but I'm incorporating this discussion in my latest lab report on a question related to measuring physical properties.