Vernier Calliper: Densities and Characteristics of Different Materials – Lab Report Example

Physics lab report Purpose The aim of this experiment encompassed ascertaining the mass of a solid while utilizing balance and its length a Vernier Calliper besides its density.
The three most basic units for the SI system embrace m for length, Kg for mass and second (s) for time. In this experiment, the kilogram and the meter are used. The measurements recorded in centimetres and grams are converted to the SI units’ meters and kilograms. When taking measurements, human errors will always influence the results. Therefore, all measurements taken in the laboratory entail more than once recording and averaging values to reduce the percentage of errors. Various physical aspects of a solid are described using a combination of several basic units, for instance, density that encompasses calculating mass to volume ratio values and having Kg/M3 units (Wilson, Jerry & Hall, 27).
Density = Mass /volume
The SI unit for density is kg/ m3. The density of a solid identifies the particular substance.
Vernier callipers
Beam balance
Graduated container
1. The mass of the objects were measured two times using a balance then the values in g were converted to kg.
2. The dimensions of the solids were measured using the outside callipers and the values were recorded in a tabular form in metres. Each dimension was measured two times.
3. To find the volume of a block object, the height, length and width were multiplied.
4. For a cylindrical object, the volume was calculated by multiplying the cross-sectional area (πr2 ) by the height of the cylinder.
5. For an irregular object, the volume was derived by immersing the object in a graduated container with water. The amount of water it displaced is equal to the volume of the object (Wilson, Jerry & Hall, 27). The object was immersed in the water two times.
The basic steps for measuring length using a vernier calliper were as follows;
1. Before any measurement, the screw used to lock the calliper was loosened and the slider moved to check whether the scale would work properly. The calliper reading was then confirmed if it would, give read zero value when closed. Instances where the calliper did not read zero, the jaws were adjusted until a zero reading was obtained (Wilson, Jerry & Hall, 25).
2. The jaws of the calliper were closed lightly on the object being measured. For the cylinder object, the full diameter was measured by ensuring that the calliper was perpendicular to the axis of the object.
3. To read the value measured, the value to the left of the zero mark was recorded. Then the clock scale was used to find the millimetre’s tenth and the value was recorded. The smallest number was recorded in cases where it fell between two numbers. The clock scale was looked at again to find the millimetre’s hundredth and the number of divisions were counted. The divisions are 0.02 mm so the multiplication of 0.02 mm by the number of divisions was recorded. Afterward, all the values were added.
Data Table 1. Block Object:
Reading 1
Reading 2
Avg Reading
Avg Reading (kg, m)
0.041 kg
4.864 cm
4.962 cm
4.883 cm
0.0488 m
2.530 cm
2.529 cm
2.532 cm
0.0253 m
1.2966 cm
1.361 cm
1.299 cm
0.01299 m
15.987 cm3
16.125 cm3
16.056 cm3
1.604 * 10-5 m3
Exp Density: 2.56 g/ cm3
% Error: 5 %
Data Table 2. Cylinder Object:
Reading 1
Reading 2
Avg Reading
Avg Reading (kg, m)
29.12 g
29.12 g
29.12 g
0.029 kg
2.578 cm
2.570 cm
2.574 cm
0.025 m
1.271 cm
2.273 cm
2.272 cm
0.013 m
0.6355 cm
0.638 cm
0.637 cm
0.00637 m
3.2695 cm3
3.2848 cm3
3.277 cm3
3.187 * 10-6 m3
Exp Density: 8.886 g/ cm3
% Error: 12.5 %
Data Table 3. Irregular Object:
Reading 1
Reading 2
Avg Reading
Avg Reading (kg, m)
66 g
66 g
66 g
0.066 kg
16 ml
16 ml
16 ml
0.16 m3
Exp Density: 4.125 g / cm3
% Error: 52.8 %
Figure 1: Percentage Error among the three Objects measurements
Figure 2: Density values of the three objects
Despite the calculated densities bearing quite significant differences of 5%, 12.5% and 52.8%, the identity of the objects is visible from the table provided. The table provided shows the densities and characteristics of different materials. Possible errors in this experiment might have emanated from incorrect readings especially from the vernier calliper readings.
This experiment, despite having quite evident errors, maintained the initial concept by Wilson, Jerry & Hall (27), on how the densities of given substances can be able to identify a particular material.
Work Cited
Wilson, Jerry D, and Cecilia A. H. Hall. Physics Laboratory Experiments. Boston, MA: Brooks/Cole, Cengage Learning, 2009. Print.