A volume conversion can be difficult to understand if you try to grasp the problem all in one step. Many volume conversion problems give the student a series of linear distances with one set of units, but want the volume in a different set of units. At first glance, this should be a simple conversion problem. The difficulty comes from students not applying the conversion to each of the dimension measurements. This example problem shows a good way to avoid simple errors by trying to accomplish too much in one step.
Volume Conversion Example
How many liters of water does it take to fill a swimming pool 11.0 feet by 11.0 feet and 8.00 feet deep?
1 foot = 12 inches
1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
1 Liter = 103 cm3
Our swimming pool’s measurements are given in feet. We need to convert these measurements into something we can use to find the volume measurement of liters. Looking at the given unit conversions, we can convert feet to inches and then to centimeters.
Start with the 11.0 feet measurement.
11.0 feet = 335 cm
Now the 8.00 feet measurement.
8.00 feet = 243 cm
Now we can multiply these together to get the volume of the swimming pool.
Volume of swimming pool = 11.0 feet ⋅ 11.0 feet ⋅ 8.00 feet
Volume of swimming pool = 335 cm ⋅ 335 cm ⋅ 243 cm
Volume of swimming pool = 27,270,675 cm3 = 2.7 × 107 cm3
Now we can use the final conversion to get the volume in liters.
Volume of swimming pool = 2.7 × 104 Liters
It takes 2.7 × 104 liters of water to fill a swimming pool with dimensions 11′ × 11′ × 8′.
It is a good way to avoid errors by converting each of the linear units before trying to multiply the lengths to get a volume.