2B40.57 - Density of a Soft Drink

Code Number:
Demo Title:
Density of a Soft Drink
Comparison of Densities
Area of Study:
Heat & Fluids
Can of Regular Soft (i.e. Pepsi, Coke), Can of Diet Soft Drink (Same Brand as Regular), Tank with Water.

Put unopened cans into the tank of water, the diet will float, while the regular one will sink.

Instead of using soft drinks you can use bowling balls. 16 lb. balls will sink while 8 to 10 lb. balls will float.

  • Jim Nelson, Jane Bray Nelson, "Buoyancy Can-Can", TPT, Vol. 53, # 5, May 2015, p. 279.
  • Terrence P. Toepker,  "Floaters and Sinkers",  TPT, Vol. 24, # 3, p. 164, March 1986.
  • F-110:  "Classic vs. Diet Coke",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • 50 Fun Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You, "Diet Coke vs. Coke Floating Smackdown",  National Geographic Kids, p. 118.
  • Borislaw Bilash II, David Maiullo, "Giving Soda Pop a Lift", A Demo a Day: A Year of Physics Demonstrations, p. 190.
  • 66:  "Sugar in a Can of Soft Drink:  A Density Exercise", Chemical Demonstrations, Volume 2.
  • Tim Graham, "Orbitz Investigation:  The Net Result", ChemMatters, Oct. 1997.
  • #88, "Floater", Janice VanCleave's 203 Icy, Freezing, Frosty, Cool, and Wild Experiments.
  • Bobby Mercer, "Can Can Dance", Junk Drawer Chemistry, 2016, p. 1
  • Borislaw Bilash II, “"Lite" Soda“, A Demo A Day – A Year of Physical Science Demonstrations, p. 24.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.