I am doing a chemistry lab report on figuring out the volume of air trapped inside a bottle. Here is the procedure:

  1. Fill a larger container or tub about half full with tap water
  2. Fill a 2 L plastic soft drink bottle with tap water. Put the cap on loosely
  3. Carefully turn the bottle upside down without spilling any water
  4. Put the bottle into the large container of water so that the mouth of the bottle is underwater. Remove the cap underwater
  5. Feed the flexible tubing under the water so that one end goes inside the bottle
  6. Put your straw into the other end of the tubing. Do not share straws
  7. When it is your turn, exhale into the straw to collect the air of one normal breath
  8. With a marking pen, mark the volume of air on the soft drink bottle
  9. Figure out the volume of the air trapped inside the bottle. Record this volume

How might I do number 9? My proposed procedure is:

  1. With a marking pen, mark the new volume of air on the soft drink bottle
  2. Record this volume, which will be smaller than the volume found in step 8 as some of the water will have been displaced by the breath
  3. Subtract the new volume of air from the old volume of air to find the volume of the air trapped inside the bottle
  4. Record this volume



1 Answer 1


Displacement! Let the container that you have bottle in be filled to the brim inside a bigger container. Then when you breathe into the bottle, the amount of water that is displaced will be the same as the volume of the air.

  • $\begingroup$ So could I mark the volume of air with the breath and compare that to the volume of air I marked in step 8? $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Apr 26, 2013 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, you can do that. $\endgroup$
    – user310
    Apr 26, 2013 at 20:10
  • $\begingroup$ So I could simply subtract the smaller value from the larger one? $\endgroup$
    – Someone
    Apr 26, 2013 at 20:11
  • $\begingroup$ Yea pretty much. Science works. $\endgroup$
    – user310
    Apr 27, 2013 at 12:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.