Measurement Essay

Topics: Measurement, Ruler, Metrology Pages: 2 (593 words) Published: November 29, 2011
Measurement Essay
The history of measurements dates back to early Babylonian and Egyptian times. The first length measurements were human body parts and the way to tell time was to go by the sun or the moon. The most common length measurements were the use of the forearm, the hand and the finger. The volumes of objects like gourds, containers, etc. were first measured by plant seeds. The seeds would be placed in the object then taken out and counted. When scales were developed people would use seeds and stones as standards. When societies became more complex so did the measurements.

When it comes to measurements there is no exact answer. The reason for this comes down to the limits of the instrument one is using. Since the instrument is not really accurate it will be a degree of uncertainty. There is uncertainty associated with every measurement due to the inability to read an instrument accurately. The reason this is difficult is because of the limited accuracy to estimate between the smallest divisions. It is important to state the estimated uncertainty. The accuracy of measurements come down to how close the value is to the true value. The accuracy is mostly determined by at least one number. It is necessary to try to be as close to the valued number as possible.

Some of the most important measurement techniques are triangulation, time of flight, and phase shift measurements. The triangulation technique is a geometric method used for measuring distance. Time of flight techniques are typically used for measuring large distances (The Earth to the Moon). The phase shift measurement technique is similar to the time of flight technique but it has a lower accuracy. Measurement techniques may also consist of observing the motion of air through what’s called a Kundt’s tube in which a complex series of small cell oscillations create a standing wave.

There are several measurement devices that are used for the material being measured. When temperature is being...
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