Chapter 3.2 Determination of the density of solids

Mathematical, physical and chemical tables

First Online Edition (2006)

Part 3. Preparation and examination of specimens

  1. F. M. Richards1,
  2. P. F. Lindley2

Published Online: 1 JAN 2006

DOI: 10.1107/97809553602060000586

International Tables for Crystallography

International Tables for Crystallography

How to Cite

Richards, F. M. and Lindley, P. F. 2006. Determination of the density of solids. International Tables for Crystallography. C:3:3.2:156–159.

Author Information

  1. 1

    Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, Yale University, 260 Whitney Ave, New Haven, CT 06520-8114, USA

  2. 2

    ESRF, Avenue des Martyrs, BP 220, F-38043 Grenoble CEDEX, France

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 JAN 2006


Chapter 3.2 deals with methods and precautions required to measure the density of solids and is firmly based on an earlier version by F. M. Richards. A knowledge of the density can be of considerable use in determining the number of ‘molecules’ per asymmetric unit, although in the case of biological macromolecules the measurement of density can be problematic.


  • Archimedes method for density measurement;
  • density measurement;
  • flotation;
  • immersion microbalance;
  • pycnometry;
  • volumenometry