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PC1221 Fundamentals of Physics I

Simple Measurements
1 Objective
Demonstrate the specic knowledge gained by repeated physical measurements. Apply the statistical concepts of mean, standard deviation from the mean and standard error to these measurements. Demonstrate propagation of uncertainties by determining the uncertainty in the calculated quantities from the measured quantities. Demonstrate the method of linear least square t by determining a value of the mathematical constant from measured diameters and circumferences of circles.

Equipment
Measuring tape Digital vernier caliper Digital balance Stopwatch Pendulum Circles set

Theory

You are referred to the relevant sections in the laboratory handout Measurements and Data Analysis for theoretical aspects on uncertainties in measurements.

Physics level 1 laboratory

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Semester I, 2011/12

PC1221: Simple Measurements

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Laboratory Work

Part A: Simple Pendulum


In this part of the experiment, you will make measurements of length, diameter, mass, period and weight of a simple pendulum. A-1. Using a digital balance, take TEN independent measurements for the mass and weight of the ball bearing. Record them as m and W respectively in Data Table 1. The balance reading should be zero with nothing on the balance pan. Otherwise, zero the digital balance by pressing the ZERO (or TARE) button before any measurement is taken. A-2. Measure the length of the simple pendulum using a measuring tape. Make TEN separate trial to sample the variation in length of the simple pendulum and record them as L in Data Table 1. DO NOT attempt to line up either edge of the simple pendulum with one end of the measuring tape or with any certain mark on the measuring tape. A-3. Close the jaws of the digital vernier caliper. Zero the digital vernier caliper by pressing the ZERO (or TARE) button before any measurement is taken. With the vernier caliper, take TEN independent measurements for the diameter of the ball bearing and record them as d in Data Table 1. Perform these measurements at different positions in order to sample the variation in diameter of the ball bearing. A-4. Use stopwatch to measure time taken for the simple pendulum to complete 10 swings and record it as T10 in Data Table 1. Make TEN independent measurements to sample the variation in period of the simple pendulum.

Part B: Estimation
In this part of the experiment, you will measure the diameters and circumferences of a set of six circles drawn. A value of the mathematical constant will be estimated based on the measured quantities. B-1. Determine the diameter of the smallest circle (labeled #1) and record the result as d in Data Table 2. Repeat the measurement four more times to have a total of FIVE trials for the diameter of the circle. B-2. Determine the circumference of the smallest circle (labeled #1) and record it as C in Data Table 2. Repeat the measurement four more times to have a total of FIVE trials for the circumference of the circle. B-3. Repeat steps B-1 and B-2 for the rest of the circles (labeled 26 in the sequence of increasing size).

Last updated: August 2, 2011 2:09 pm (KHCM) Physics level 1 laboratory Semester I, 2011/12