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### Student Question

Secondary I • 2yr.

How do you calibrate a beam scale? Either way, I don't understand why this is important.

Science

## Explanations (1)

• Explanation from Alloprof

Explanation from Alloprof

This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

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Team Alloprof • 2yr.

"Calibrating a beam scale" equates to "returning a balance to equilibrium when there is no object on the pan." In other words, calibration avoids falsifying the mass measurement.

Before calibrating a beam scale, make sure that the scale plate number matches the scale number. You should also check that the pan is clean and that the scale is on a flat, non-tilted surface. Then, make sure that all the sliders of the scale are at 0.

Then, the calibration process requires using only the adjustment knob (identified by the number 4 in the diagram below):

Slowly turn the adjustment knob (letting go of the balance now and then).  At this point, we want the needle (identified by the number 5 in the diagram above) pointing directly at the zero value of the balance.

This process is not always quickly done: you may need to repeat it several times while waiting for the scale to stop oscillating so that the needle is well-positioned. However, this step is crucial to obtain a precise measurement.

Do not hesitate if you have other questions!