Welcome to Oreo Science!

Contributors: Nicholas Ettinger

 

EXPERIMENT:

  • To determine the density of an Oreo cookie. This experiment is to be performed two different ways, denoted as "Method 1" and "Method 2."

MATERIALS (method 1):

  • Several Oreo cookies
  • Scale
  • Overflow Beaker (See Picture 1)
  • Water
  • Graduated Cylinder
  • A Brain

PROCEDURE (method 1):

  1. Turn on brain and make sure it works properly
  2. Measure mass of a stack of 5 Oreo cookies on scale
  3. Fill overflow beaker with water until full, discard overflow water
  4. Plunge a stack of 5 Oreo cookies into water, allowing water to overflow into graduated cylinder
  5. Measure volume of overflow water, remember to measure from bottom of meniscus.
  6. Convert measured volume to cubic meters
  7. Apply density formula (Density=Mass/Volume) to determine Oreo density

DATA (method 1):

  • Data table 1 shows the volume and mass obtained using the procedure outlined in method 1.
    Oreo Mass (kg) 0.05589
    Overflow Volume (m3) 0.000058

RESULTS (method 1):

  • If the mass of the Oreo cookies is measured correctly, the amount of water displaced is measured correctly, and the density formula is applied correctly, the density calculated should be around 964 kg/m3
  • After the Oreo cookie remained in water for an extended period of time, the Oreo, having absorbed a lot of water, liquefied and began smelling quite rancid. A white mold could be seen growing on the creme.

MATERIALS (method 2):

  • Multiple Oreo cookies
  • Low-Gauge fishing line
  • Ruler
  • Scale

PROCEDURE (method 2):

  1. Disassemble Oreo cookie into its three components (cookie, cream, cookie)
    • Use fishing line to separate cream from cookie
  2. Calculate mass of each individual cookie component
  3. Measure radius and thickness of each component to calculate volume
  4. Apply Density formula (Density=Mass/Volume) to each component
  5. Calculate average density as such:
    • Cookie Density + Cream Density + Cookie Density divided by 3

DATA (method 2):

  • Data table 2 shows the volume, mass, and density measured using the procedure outlined in method 2.
    Physical Quantity Cookie Creme
    Mass (kg) 0.00416 0.00336
    Volume (m3) 4.986x10-6 2.15x10-6
    Density (km/m3) 834.385 1562.485

RESULTS (method 2):

  • If all calculations are performed correctly, the average density should be around 1077 kg/m3
  • The cookie remained disassembled until it was reassembled and eaten

POSSIBLE APPLICATIONS:

  • Finding out how much milk you can put in a cup and dunk the Oreo cookie without overflowing the cup
  • A fun way of teaching students the water displacement method of determining density of objects.

EXTERNAL LINKS:

 DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed herein are in no way affiliated with the Albion Central School District or Nabisco in any way.