Experiment 601:  Measurement & Dimensional Analysis

Section 1:  Purpose and Summary

• Describe how the English and metric systems of measurement compare.
• Learn how to convert between different units of measurement.

In this experiment, students will practice measuring the following parameters:  length, mass, volume, and temperature.  Students will calculate derived constants including density and heat capacity.  Students will practice converting from units in the English system to the metric system.  Students will learn dimensional analysis, common prefixes and selected conversion factors.

Note:  When a parameter is determined, it needs to have both a number and the unit of measurement to be complete.  If you only write down the number “5”, for example, is it “5 inches”, “5 centimeters”, “5 meters” or “5 miles”?

Note:  When writing decimals between zero and 1, a good practice is to include the leading ‘0’ before the decimal point.  For example, if you write “.125” centimeters onto your data report, it is possible that you might accidentally misinterpret the value as 125 centimeters.  But if you write “0.125” centimeters there should be no question that there is a decimal point present.

Section 2:  Safety Precautions and Waste Disposal

Safety Precautions:

All of the materials in this experiment are harmless.  Use of eye protection is recommended for all experimental procedures.

Waste Disposal:

No waste will be generated for this experiment.

Section 3: Procedure

Part 1:  LENGTH – You will need a large ruler, and a magazine (or newspaper, poster, etc.) for this part of the experiment.

Part 2:  MASS – You will use a bathroom scale for this part of the experiment.

Part 3:  VOLUME – You will need an unopened water bottle with label on it for this part of the experiment.

Part 4:  DENSITY

Go to the following virtual lab website for the metal cylinder measurements to complete this part of the experiment.

Part 5:  TEMPERATURE & SPECIFIC HEAT – You will need a thermometer and a saucepan for this part of the experiment.

Notes:

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