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Inquiry: Measurement

Purpose: To practice measuring using devices of different precision.

Procedure for metric rulers:

In making measurements with a metric ruler, keep the following suggestions in mind:

  • Since the end of the meter stick may be worn, start the measurement at some intermediate mark such as the 1.0 cm mark. Of course, the measurement must be subtracted from the final reading.

  • Place the meter stick on edge. This will avoid errors that are easily made when viewing the stick in the flat position.

  • In your measurement you should have one sig fig that is ESTIMATED rather than actually marked on the ruler.

Procedure for vernier calipers:

Online vernier caliper (measures to 0.1 mm or 0.01 cm)

Procedure for the micrometer:

Online micrometer (measures to 1 μm) μ is the greek letter "mu" or the prefix "micro" meaning one millionth. 1μm = 0.001 mm

The micrometer below shows by the scale on the barrel that the measurement is more than 17 mm but less than 17.5 mm. The horizontal line running down the barrel points about halfway between the 0.20 mm mark and the 0.21 mm mark on the thimble. Therefore, the reading of the caliper is 17.205 mm. The last digit came from estimating that it was half way(0.5) between the 0.20 mm mark and the 0.21 mm mark on the thimble.

In conclusion, a meter stick and the vernier caliper both measure to a tenth of a millimeter with the vernier being more precise whereas the micrometer measures to a thousandth of a mm which is a millionth of a meter and thus the term micrometer!

% Error = |theoretical-experimental| / theoretical

Inquiry Questions: