Fall 2010 Name_______________________

Physical Science Lab

Metric Measurement

This page must be completed before lab class or your grade on this lab will be lowered.

Be sure to bring your calculator to lab class. Read the entire experiment before lab class. You cannot answer some of the questions on this page without reading the entire experiment.

1. Write the full word(s) which name the unit of each symbol listed. (See pages 30-33 in your text [This is in chapter 2 if you have the 10th Edition of the text.]

g =______________________ cm =______________________ mm =_____________________


kg =_______________________ s =______________________ km =____________________

2. Write the meaning (number) of the following common metric prefixes. Use fractions where necessary.


centi = _____________ milli = ___________ kilo = ________________

(You will need to memorize these three for the first test)

Use the above to calculate the number of mm in a cm. ___________________________


3. Use 2.54 cm/in and 2.21 lbs/kg to do the conversions below.

A blank is provided for you to show all the intermediate steps in the solution, including the units. You must show this step.


Example: 2 in=2 in x 2.54 cm/in = 5.08 cm


5 in=_5 in x 2.54 cm/in_____=____________cm 124 in = ____________ = __________cm


14 cm = ___________________ = __________ in 14 cm = ________________ = ___________ m


4 lbs = _________________ = _________ kg 4 kg = _____________ = ___________ lbs


4km = _________________ = __________ m 4 cm = _______________ = __________ mm


3.44 m = ____________ = __________ cm = ____________ = _________ in = ____ ft _______in


3 m = ____________ = __________ cm = ____________ = _________ in = _____ ft _____in


43 mm = _________________ = __________ m 383 cm = _________________ = ________ m


43 lbs = _________________ = _________ kg 53 kg = _______________ = _________ lbs


33 km = _________________ = _________ m 33 cm = _______________ = ________ mm


53 lbs = ________________ = _________ kg 53 kg = _______________ = ________ lbs


5 km = ________________= _________ m 355 mm = _______________ = _________ cm

You must read the rest of the lab before answering these questions.

Name the object you are to weigh first ________________________

What instrument will you use to measure the dimensions of a cylinder? ____________________

Name one measurement you will make regarding your body, besides your height?


The purpose of this experiment is to give you experience in the use of the Metric system of units, and its conversion factors. You will also learn how to use the Vernier Calipers.


CLEARLY SHOW YOUR WORK FOR ALL STEPS THAT INVOLVE CALCULATIONS. There are several places on this sheet where you are asked to have the instructor sign. Failure to have him sign will have a very detrimental effect on your grade! Ask for assistance from a person at our table (or from the instructor) if you do not understand some instruction or result or are having any type of difficulty. Students are encourages to help one another but each person must make their own measurements. Feel free to speak with the instructor at any time.


On a balance, weigh your calculator. Record the result below. Convert it to kilograms.


Mass =_________________ g =__________________ kg


When an extra blank is given, it is for you to show the intermediate step.

(If you need assistance on this or any other item, ask the instructor!)


2. Convert your answer to pounds. (Use 2.21 lbs/kg) Show your work!

(When you are asked to show your work you are to write the numbers you are multiplying or dividing and show their units. An example is .176 kg x 2.21 lbs/kg =)



Write what you think your weight to be in pounds. ____________


Concert this to kilograms. Clearly show all the steps in the calculation.



Look at the meter stick. What is the smallest distance between the marks on the inches side? ________

On the metric side?_____________

When you have reached this point have the instructor sign here! ________________

Each person at your table should use a different book for the following measurements but each person should use the same book for all of their own measurements.

3. Measure the length of a page of your book in inches.

Length =________ inches

4. Convert this measurement to centimeters multiplying by 2.54 cm/in. (Show your work!)



5. Measure the length of a page of your book in centimeters

________ cm (nearest 1 mm)


6. Convert this to inches. (Show your work!)



7. Measure the width of a page of your book in inches.



8. Convert your answer to cm. (Show your work!)




9. Measure the width of a page of your book in centimeters.


10. Convert your answer to inches. (Show your work!)



11. Use the results of measurements 3 and 7 to calculate the area of the page in square inches. (Area = Length x Width)


12. Use the results of measurements 5 and 9 to calculate the area in square centimeters.

(Area = Length x Width)


13. Calculate the square of (2.54 cm / in).

[2.54 cm /in]2 = ________________________

(Write the answer in the correct units)

This is the factor to use when converting square inches to square centimeters. Multiply the answer from item 11 above by the factor you obtained in step 13, to obtain the

area in square centimeters = ______________


Now subtract this answer from that in step 12. _______________


If you made no mistakes, this should be a small number compared to the answer to item 12. (If this is not less than 20, ask the instructor for assistance.)

When you have finished to this point, have the instructor sign here _______________


14. Use the Vernier Calipers to measure the length (L) and the diameter (D) of one of the cylinders on your table. (Each person should use a different cylinder.) After you take the first measurement write the answer in the blank below, put the calipers on the cylinder and call the instructor to your table to confirm your reading. Have the instructor sign when he has confirmed your two readings and you have finished the volume calculation.

L=______________ D=____________________

15. Use the formula V=πD2L/4 to calculate the volume of the cylinder. π = 3.14 (show equation in space below)


V = Volume =__________cm3


Do the following in the classroom; do not just write your height in the answer blanks. Be sure to use the centimeters side of the meter stick on all measurements in this section.


17. With the help of your group, measure your height in centimeters and then convert it to meters. Show your work in the space below.


_________________cm = _____________m


18. Convert the answer from step 17 to feet and inches as your height is normally given. (Give your answer in the form 5 ft 10 in, etc.) Clearly show each step in the calculation!



_________ft and________in

19. With the help of your lab group, measure your reach (finger- tip to finger-tip) in meters.



20. Convert the answer from question step 19 to ft and in.

Clearly show each step in the calculation!






Which was larger, your height or your reach? _____________ By how many inches? ______


21 The tiles in the room are 23 cm on each side. Begin at a tile where you can remember, then step off 10 normal paces, and count the tiles you have covered (to the nearest tile), and do the arithmetic necessary to determine the length of your normal pace (one step when you walk normally). First calculate the total distance traveled (number of tiles x 23 cm) then divide by 10 to get the length of one of your steps. SHOW ALL THE STEPS IN YOUR CALCULATIOIN. Record the results below.




Length of one pace = ________m or _________ft and_______in

What are the advantages of the metric system over the English system?







What are the advantages of the English system over the metric system?





Do you think this experiment was a good use of your time? _______ If the answer is yes explain why. If the answer is no, tell how the experiment could be improved.