Physics Lab Report Assignment

Physics Lab Report Assignment

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Introduction: Physics Lab Report Assignment

Cohesion is a concept that refers to the attractiveness of the similar particles. In soil, it is the intermolecular force of attracting. Engineering works aims at promoting sustainability and strength and this can only achieved by using appropriate materials in construction.  Cohesion of the soil plays an essential role in its shear strength. Furthermore, the property tend to vary depending on the soil texture. Sieve analysis is a technique used in engineering to determine the size distributions of the granular materials. The purpose of this experiment is to determine the particles size distribution of a coarse grained soil through the sieve analysis and sedimentation test using the hydrometer.

The particle size determination techniques depend on the estimated sizes. For particle greater than 0.75mm, sieve method is used; however, for smaller particles, the sedimentation technique is appropriate. The sedimentation technique is based on the Stoke’s law associated with the terminal velocity of the spherical particles falling through a fluid with a known viscosity.

Materials and Method: Physics Lab Report Assignment

The sieve analysis was conducted by weighing the sample of approximately 200 grams of the soil provided. Sieves were assembled serially in a descending order as 4.75mm, 2.36mm, 1.18mm, 600mm, 425mm, 300mm, 150mm and 75mm. The soil samples were sieved through a series of sieves and the mass of the sand retained recorded accordingly. Similarly, the mass of the passing fine sediments were also measured and recorded accordingly.

The sedimentation procedure was conducted in accordance to the Australian Standard. The cylinder used in the experiment was filled with distilled water until ¾ full. The hydrometer was placed in the cylinder and then the meniscus correction reading recorded accordingly. In addition, the temperature reading of the water was also recorded. About 20mg of the fine grained soil retained in the pan was added into the milk shake container and then filled with distilled water until about ¾ full. The mixture in the milk shaker was mixed for about 2 minutes. The suspension was poured in a 1000 ml cylinder and any fine remains in the container washed into the cylinder with the distilled. More distilled water was added into the cylinder to fill up to the 1000ml mark. A stopper was placed on top of the cylinder and turned upside down about 5 times. The cylinder was then placed on the table and hydrometer readings taken after 30 sec, 1 min, 2 mins, 4 mins and 8 mins. The results collected were recorded accordingly for further analysis.


Particle-size Analysis (Sieving)

AS sieve  As sieve weight (g) Sieve + sample Mass retained (g) Cumulative Mass Retained, g % Cumulative mass retained % Mass Passing
4.75 445.29 447.59 2.3 2.3 1.145076 98.85492
2.36 468.04 489.59 21.55 23.85 11.87394 88.12606
1.18 392.02 418.18 26.16 50.01 24.89794 75.10206
0.6 347.39 374.75 27.36 65.8 32.75914 67.24086
0.425 340.57 356.36 15.79 83.76 41.70069 58.29931
0.3 317.49 335.45 17.96 101.72 50.64224 49.35776
0.15 303.31 331.15 27.84 129.56 64.50264 35.49736
0.075 289.7 340.56 50.86 180.42 89.82376 10.17624
Pan 271.05 282.06 11.01 191.43 95.30519 4.694812


Datasheet 2


Time (min) Hydrometer reading Meniscus corrected Temp Corrected hydrometer reading F1 F2 F3 Particle size D(um) % finer by mass (p) % finer by total mass
0.5 6 6.05 21 4 1.348 14.14 76.24288 3.38 3.22
1 6.5 6.55 21 3.9 1.348 10 52.572 3.4 3.24
2 6.5 6.55 21 3.9 1.348 7.07 37.1684 3.4 3.24
4 5.5 5.55 21 4.05 1.348 5 27.297 2.9 2.76
8 3.5 3.55 21 4.15 1.348 3.54 19.80347 1.9 1.81



The purpose of the experiment was to determine the soil size using the sieve and the sedimentation method. Both techniques are effective; however, their suitability depends on the nature of the soil to be tested. The results in this experiment showed that the percentage of the mass passing through the sieve reduced as the size of the sieve reduced. On the other hand, there were variations in the mass of the soil retained and the equivalent percentages with each experiment. The experimental results did not follow a linear outcome. Furthermore, the total mass of the soil retained in the sieve was lower than the original mass of the sample. The result also indicated that about 20% of the soil was composed of course soil and 80% fine soil (Park, Junghee, and Carlos Santamarina 8).


The experiment was conducted accordingly and the results obtained are consistent with theoretical perspective. Depending on the soil composition, the amount of residue tend to increase with the reduction in sieve size. However, the errors in the experiment could have resulted from human error during the measurements. Therefore, subsequent experiments can be improved by using more accurate measuring techniques to minimize the errors obtained.

Work Cited

Park, Junghee, and J. Carlos Santamarina. “Revised soil classification system for coarse-fine mixtures.” Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering 143.8 (2017): 04017039.

Physics Lab Report Assignment


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