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During the laboratory portion of your physics class, you will most likely have to measure objects rather precisely. A Vernier caliper is a device that can precisely measure the length of small objects (less than about 20 cm long (position units on the caliper are given in centimeters). You read the caliper by placing an object in the caliper, closing the arm of the caliper, and reading off of the scale. Restart.
In the animations you are to drag the red circle on the caliper arm to move it. Your cursor will change into a little hand when it is over the circle. Once the cursor changes, left-click to drag the object around.
The 0 line on the movable arm tells you centimeters and tenths of centimeters. The zero line is almost always between two tenths on the scale. To figure out the hundredths place, you look to find which line on the movable arm matches up with a line on the fixed scale. The number on the movable scale tells you the hundredths place. The default position of the caliper after clicking Restart is 1.64 cm.
Now try it yourself for Animations 1 through 4. What are the lengths of these objects? Note: In Animation 4 you must drag the object in position before you can measure its length.
Problem authored by Morten Brydensholt, Wolfgang Christian, and Mario Belloni.
© 2004 by Prentice-Hall, Inc. A Pearson Company