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Experiment No.

15 MEASUREMENT OF MASS

Aim : To determine the mass of two different objects using beam balance. Apparatus: Physical balance, Weight box with fractional weights, two objects whose masses are to be determined. Theory : Physical balance is based on the principle of moments according to which, when a body is in equilibrium, under the action of a number of forces acting on it in the same plane, the sum of the clockwise moments is equal to the sum of the anticlockwise moments. For a physical balance with both arms of equal lengths, Weight on left pan = Weight of standard masses in right pan. Since g is constant at the place, Mass of the object in left pan = Mass of standard weights in the right pan. Procedure: 1. Adjust the levelling screws at the base so that plumbline hangs exactly over the fixed pointed tip. 2. Lift the beam gently without any jerk using the arrestment knob. 3. Check the position of the pointer on the scale. If it moves equal divisions on either side of the central zero mark or is at zero, the balance is set correctly. If the pointer shifts more in one direction, turn the balancing screw of that side outward to get the pointer at zero. While turning the screws, do not forget to lower the beam to bring it in its position of rest. 4. Put the body in the left pan and add standard weights in the right pan. Add or remove weights using forceps in the right pan until the pointer moves equally on both sides. 5. For the final weighing keep the doors of the balance closed. 6. Remove the weights with forceps in order of decreasing weights and record in the notebook each weight removed.

7. Repeat steps 4 to 6 for the second object. Observations : A. First Object: (i)Standard masses(full grams) used , m1 = .., m2= .., m3=.., m4= , etc. (i) Standard masses from the fractional weight box used , m5 = , m6 = .. etc. Mass of first object = ..g B. Second Object: (i)Standard masses(full grams) used , m1 = .., m2= .., m3=.., m4= , etc. (i) Standard masses from the fractional weight box used , m5 = , m6 = .. etc. Mass of second object = g Result: 1. The mass of the first object = 2. The mass of the second object = Precautions: 1. The pans should be clean and dry and should rest properly on knife edges. 2. Physical balance should be levelled with the help of levelling screw before using it. 3. The beam should be raised very gently without any jerk. 4. The pointer should move equal divisions on both sides of the central zero mark when the pans are empty. 5. The standard weights should be placed and removed only when beam is in rest position. 6. Weights should be added or removed by means of forceps only. 7. Final weighing should be done with doors of the balance closed. 8. The standard weights should be placed in the right pan and the body to be weighrd should be placed in the left pan. Sources of error: 1. Some errors may be introduced due to friction at the various parts of the balance. 2. The balance may have lower accuracy. 3. The weights may not be standard.