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Student Question

Secondary I • 2yr.


Could you explain to me how the beam balance works in the laboratory? I have a lot of difficulty using it.

Thanks a lot!


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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

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

    Team Alloprof • 2yr.

    Thank you for your question😉

    Here are some steps you can follow when using a beam balance:

    1. Make sure the pan is clean and the scale sliders are at zero. Check that the needle is aligned with the calibration mark, otherwise the scale must be calibrated with the adjustment knob.

    Make sure the scale is on a level surface and that the sliders are properly set in the notches of the flails.

    2. Place your object on the weighing pan

    3. Move the larger cursor until the needle is lower than the calibration mark. Then move the cursor back one notch to the left so that the needle returns above the calibration mark. Repeat these steps for each of the sliders.

    The last cursor must be set slowly and carefully so that the needle is perfectly aligned with the calibration mark. Also, you must remain calm when handling, because the scales are sensitive to movement.

    4. Once all the cursors have been placed and the needle is next to the calibration mark, all you have to do is add up the numbers indicated by each of the cursors on the flails to determine the total mass.

    If you are using a weighing basket or weighing liquid with a graduated cylinder, you should measure your container before weighing the object or liquid. Once you have the mass of your container, you can add what you need to weigh in it. Once you have found the mass of your object and its container, you can subtract the combined mass of the object and container with that of the container to obtain the mass of your object. The formula is:

    $$ m_ {nacelle} + solid − m_ {nacelle} = m_ {solid} $$

    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask them on the forums! 😊

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