Measuring Common Objects
The purpose of this lab activity is to practice:
- using a meter stick, a vernier caliper, and a micrometer
- recording measurements and estimating their uncertainty
- calculating the uncertainty of a result when using
measurements in a calculation.
- calculating using significant digits.
- choosing an appropriate measuring device.
There are four parts to this lab. For each section, your lab book
- a brief discussion of your procedure, which should identify
what measuring instruments you used.
- all data clearly recorded (use a data table) along with
estimates of uncertainty for each measurement.
- a sample calculation for each part, with a sample calculation
of the propagation of error.
Here's what you do:
- Determine the volume of a block of wood.
- Find the volume of a metal cylinder.
- Find the thickness of a page of paper in your text book. Think
about this. How can you get the most accurate measurement?
- Determine the volume of your classroom.
adapted from J.L. Doyle, "Measurement Lab" (Newark High
School, Newark, OH). Permission granted by the author.
last update August 14, 2007 by JL