MCAT Physics Question — Lowest Specific Gravity | Next Step Test Prep MCAT Physics Question — Lowest Specific Gravity | Next Step Test Prep

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Which liquid has the lowest specific gravity?

 

LiquidMass (grams)Volume (liters)
Sulfuric Acid9200.5
Benzene876.51
Propanol12051.5
Water20002

 

A) Sulfuric Acid
B) Benzene
C) Propanol
D) Water

 

Explanation

 

This question is testing you ability to calculate the specific gravity of a substance given the mass and volume. To answer this question, you must know that specific gravity is equal to the density of the substance divided by the density of water. Therefore, the liquid with the lowest specific gravity will have the lowest density.

 

To solve for density, you must take the mass and divide it by the volume.

 

ρsulfuric acid = mass/volume = (920 g)/(0.5 L) =1840 g/L

ρbenzene = mass/volume = (876.5 g)/(1 L) = 876.5 g/L

ρpropanol = mass/volume = (1205 g)/(1.5 L) = 803.33 g/L

ρwater = mass/volume = (2000 g)/(2 L) = 1000 g/L

 

The liquid with the lowest density and thus the lowest specific gravity is propanol making C the correct answer.

 

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