Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Measuring Instruments 8.4.1986
(50+20c) Weighing scales (or weigh scales or scales) are devices to measure weight or calculate mass. Spring balances or spring scales measure weight (force) by balancing the force due to gravity against the force on a spring, whereas a balance or pair of scales using a balance beam compares masses by balancing the weight due to the mass of an object against the weight of a known mass or masses. Either type can be calibrated to read in units of force such as newtons, or in units of mass such as kilograms, but the balance or pair of scales using a traditional balance beam to compare masses will read correctly for mass even if moved to a place with a different (non-zero) gravitational field strength (but would then not read correctly if calibrated in units of force), while the spring balance would read correctly in force in a different gravitational field strength (but would not read correctly if calibrated in units of mass).
(70+30c) The term Jacob's staff, also cross-staff, a ballastella, a fore-staff, or a balestilha, is used to refer to several things. In its most basic form, a Jacob's staff is a stick or pole with length markings; most staffs are much more complicated than that, and usually contain a number of measurement and stabilization features. The two most frequent uses are:
in astronomy and navigation
for a simple device to measure angles, later replaced by the more precise sextants;
in surveying (and scientific fields that use surveying techniques, such as geology and ecology) for a vertical rod that penetrates or sits on the ground and supports a compass or other instrument.
The simplest use of a Jacob's staff is to make qualitative judgements of the height and angle of an object relative to the user of the staff.