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Chapter 1

In the quest to understand nature, scientists use physical quantities to describe the world around us.

Physical Quantities and Units Part 2 Length & Time

measurement of length and time


accurate measurement
No measurement is ever perfectly accurate. Even with high precision instruments, some error is inevitable. There are two main types of errors: Random Errors
State random

Systematic Errors
constant

observers consistently Occurrence in all measurements observers estimate the underestimate or last figure of a reading overestimate a reading on an instrument

Remedy

reduced by averaging minimised by method a large number of of differences readings

measurement of length
length Length is the measurement of something from one end to the other end. has a SI unit of metre (m) other units include centimetres (cm), millimetres (mm) and kilometres (km) One metre is the distance travelled by light in a vacuum in 1/299792458 of a second. Q: What is the speed of light?

measurement of length
length
Lengths can be measured by using the following: metre/half-metre rule

accuracy = 1 mm / 0.1 cm / 0.001 m

measuring tape

accuracy = 1 mm / 0.1 cm / 0.001 m

measurement of length
parallax error
The eye must be positioned perpendicularly at the mark on the scale to avoid parallax error.
8.3 cm correct

8.2 cm wrong

8.5 cm wrong

Parallax error is due to incorrect positioning of the eye the object is not at the same level as the markings of the scale

measurement of length
zero error Many instruments do not read zero exactly when there is nothing being measured. Reasons include: instruments are out of adjustment some minor fault is present in the instrument Instruments are usually still accurate as long as the zero error is added or subtracted from the reading shown on the scale.

measurement of length
engineers calipers
A pair of engineers calipers and ruler are used for measuring the lengths of objects without any flat sides.

the jaws are closed until the points just touch the object to be measured

remove the calipers and measure the distance between the jaws with a ruler.

measurement of length
vernier calipers
Vernier calipers measure small lengths accurately up to 0.01 cm.
inside jaws tail

vernier scale

main scale

outside jaws accuracy = 0.1 mm / 0.01 cm

measurement of length
vernier calipers
AB C

main scale (fixed) vernier scale (movable) object being measured 9 mm

reading on main scale (between A and B) = 2.4 cm reading on vernier scale (C) = 0.08 cm actual reading of object = 2.4 + 0.08 = 2.48 cm

measurement of length
vernier calipers
When the two jaws of the vernier calipers touch each other, both zero marks on the main scale and on the vernier scale should coincide. If not, there is a zero error in the vernier calipers.

measurement of length
vernier calipers
If the two jaws touch each other, but the zero marks of the main scale and vernier scale do not coincide as shown below, the zero error is positive.
main scale (fixed) vernier scale (movable) 0 1

10

zero error = +0.01 cm supposing observed reading is 3.24 cm, then corrected reading = observed reading zero error = 3.24 (+0.01) = 3.23 cm

measurement of length
vernier calipers
If the two jaws touch each other, but the zero marks of the main scale and vernier scale do not coincide as shown below, the zero error is negative.
main scale (fixed) vernier scale (movable) 0 1

10

zero error = -0.02 cm supposing observed reading is 4.03 cm, then corrected reading = observed reading zero error = 4.03 (-0.02) = 4.05 cm

measurement of length
micrometer screw gauge
Micrometers measure small diameters or thicknesses.

anvil spindle sleeve

thimble

ratchet

frame

accuracy = 0.01 mm / 0.001 cm

measurement of length
micrometer screw gauge
sleeve thimble

reading on sleeve = 4.5 mm reading on thimble = 0.12 mm actual reading of object = 4.5 + 0.12 = 4.62 mm

measurement of length
micrometer screw gauge When the anvil and spindle of the micrometer touch each other, the scales should read zero. If not, there is a zero error in the micrometer.

measurement of length
micrometer screw gauge
If the anvil and spindle touch each not read zero as shown below, the other, but the scales do zero error is positive.

} 2 divisions

supposing observed reading is 2.37 mm, then corrected reading = observed reading zero error = 2.37 (+0.02) = 2.35 mm

measurement of length
micrometer screw gauge
If the anvil and spindle touch each not read zero as shown below, the other, but the scales do zero error is negative.

} 3 divisions

supposing observed reading is 2.87 mm, then corrected reading = observed reading zero error = 2.87 (-0.03) = 2.90 mm

measurement of time
time has a SI unit of second (s) other units include years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds

measurement of time
time
Time can be measured by using the following: clocks analogue stopwatch

digital stopwatch

All timing devices make use of some regular process.

measurement of time
the period of a simple pendulum
Time can also be measured by using the following simple pendulum. oscillations are regularly repeating motions the period is time in which 1 oscillation occurs
pendulum bob tied to one end of a thread

measurement of time
pendulum clock
clocks make use of a process which is a regularly repeating motion (oscillations), such as the swing of a pendulum such oscillations are very regular so period is regular most modern clocks depend on the vibration of quartz crystals to keep time accurately in clocks that are wound up, elastic potential energy is stored in coiled springs
pendulum clock (cuckoo clock)

measurement of time
watch
used for measuring long intervals of time most modern watches depend on the vibration of quartz crystals to keep time accurately the energy that keeps these crystals vibrating comes from a small battery many watches still make use of coiled springs to supply the needed energy

wrist watch

measurement of time
stopwatch
A stopwatch is used to measure short intervals of time. stopwatches (analogue and digital)

accuracy = 0.1 s

accuracy = 0.01 s

When using a digital stopwatch to time a race, the time to the nearest 0.1 s should be given.

measurement of time
ticker-tape timer
An electrical device that makes use of the oscillations of a steel strip to mark short intervals of time.
6 ~ 12 V a.c. steel strip carbon paper disc

coil

magnet

ticker-tape

drawing pin

measurement of time
ticker-tape timer
steel strip vibrates 50 times a second; therefore 50 dots are made in a second on the paper tape

10-dot tape between 2 consecutive dots, time interval = 1 s / 50 dots = (1/50) s or 0.02 s as there are 10 spaces on a piece of tape, time taken for the tape to pass through the timer = 10 x 0.02 s = 0.20 s

are made up of Numerical values and suitable units

Physical quantities inclu de Base quantities Base SI units for Measurement use Prefixes e.g. e.g. of
micro () milli (m) centi (c) deci (d) kilo (k) mega (M) 10-6 10-3 10-2 10-1 103 106

may be Vector Scalar

such as
length (m) mass (kg) time(s) electric current (A) temperature (K) amount of substance (mol) luminous intensity (cd)

Length can be measured with

Time

metre rule half-metre rule measuring tape vernier calipers micrometer screw gauge

pendulum clock watch stopwatch ticker-tape timer

can be measured with pendulum clock