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Volume is a property of matter that describes the amount of three-dimensional space that an object occupies.
Other common units of volume include fluid ounces (fl oz), tablespoons (tbsp), quarts (qt), gallons (gal), barrels (bbl), liters (L), and milliliters (mL).
One way to measure the volume of an object, especially an irregularly shaped object, is by displacement.
You read a graduated cylinder by positioning yourself so that the surface of the liquid in the cylinder is at eye level. Volume is a seemingly simple concept when it comes to objects on a macroscopic scale (large enough to be measured and observed by the naked eye), but things get murkier when you consider objects on a molecular scale. There are a series of gas laws that describe the relationship between the temperature, pressure, and volume of a gas. We often think of the volume of solids and liquids as unchanging… that they are incompressible and do not expand or contract due to temperature.
On a macroscopic scale, volume is simply a property of matter that describes the amount of three-dimensional space that an object occupies. Let's look at an example where significant figures is important: measuring volume in the laboratory.
GraduatedCylinderLook in the textbook for a picture of a graduated cylinder.First, note that the surface of the liquid is curved. Multiplication or Division:The answer contains no more significant figures than the least accurately known number.
MultiplicationThe answer must be rounded off to 2 significant figures, since 1.6 only has 2 significant figures.


DivisionThe answer must be rounded off to 3 significant figures, since 45.2 has only 3 significant figures.
When rounding off numbers to a certain number of significant figures, do so to the nearest value.
The justification for this is that in the course of a series of many calculations, any rounding errors will be averaged out.
Question 2Give the answer to the correct number of significant figures: 4503 + 34.90 + 550 = ? Volume is often measured in cubic units, such as cubic centimeters (cm3), cubic inches (in3), cubic meters (m3), or cubic miles (mi3).
When doing this, you may see a curve in the surface of the liquid (the curvature depends on the type of liquid inside of the cylinder). Use the bottom of the meniscus to read the volume of the liquid inside of the graduated cylinder. Then, add your object to the graduated cylinder, making sure that it is completely submerged in the water. The water molecules in ice occupy more space than their physical volume requires because they are moving. Just as the volume of a gas depends on its temperature and the pressure on it, the volume of solids and liquids also depend on their temperatures and the pressure on them.
It is not only the space physically occupied by a molecule, but also the space occupied by the molecule’s translational motion. It is created by the attraction between the molecules in the liquid and the molecules that make up the wall of the graduated cylinder.


If the water molecules in ice were not moving and you could pack them as close together as possible, an ice cube would occupy much less space.
If you take that same gas and place it in a 200-liter container, its volume will be 200 liters.
Because all molecules have some attraction to each other, there are no ideal gases in the real world.
Therefore, the volume of an object can and will change (if only very slightly) with changes in the temperature and pressure. And if you compress the gas (squeeze it down) and place it in a 2-liter container, its volume will be 2 liters.
But when molecules (such as water molecules) are far apart in a gas state, the force of attraction between them is close to zero and the gas will behave almost like an ideal gas (the force of attraction between molecules gets weaker as the molecules get farther apart). If any images that appear on the website are in Violation of Copyright Law or if you own copyrights over any of them and do not agree with it being shown here, please also contact us and We will remove the offending information as soon as possible.. This is an indirect measurement since you are not measuring the volume of the object directly.
Increasing the temperature of a gas increases its volume because the molecules in the gas are moving faster and will take up more space.
Increasing the pressure on a gas decreases its volume because the molecules are being pressed closer together.



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