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Estimating Length and Mass and Converting between British and Metric Units
By: William Lin
Estimating the length and mass of an object
Using the factor label method to convert from British system of measurements to the Metric system of measurements
Measurement the length and mass of several objects
Finding the % error between your estimated values and measured values
In this lab, we will first estimate the length or mass of a certain object and then we measure the actual length or mass of that object. We will use a ruler to measure the length or the width and a triple beam balance scale to measure mass. After we have found the most approximated mass, we will find the percent error of our estimated value to the actual or the most approximated value.
First, find out if the object we are measuring is length or mass and make a educated guess of how much it weighs or how tall it is
We jot down our estimates and convert them to meters from feet or pounds to kilograms by using the factor label method
Then we go measure the most approximated length or mass and convert them to meters or kilograms
We take our measured mass and subtracted it from our estimated mass and take the absolute value of the solution.
Then divided it by the actual length or mass and multiply it by 100 to get the percent error.
Describe a technique to measure the average thickness of a single sheet of a 500 page textbook sing a meter stick.
Find the length of the 500 pages altogether and then divide the length by 500.
Describe some of the advantages of the metric system as compared to the British system.
The Metric system is much easier to convert because it is all in the 10’s format. Another reason it is good to use is because it is universal meaning anyone can use it.
What is the difference between fundamental and derived units in physics? What are the three fundamental units of measurements in physics?
Derived units are made up of fundamental units. Fundamental units cannot be broken down into a different form.
What is the difference between a scalar and a vector quantity? What is the difference between mass and weight?
The difference between a scalar and a vector quantity is that a scalar only has a magnitude and a vector has both a magnitude and a direction. The difference between mass and weight is that mass of an object never changes while a weight can change due to gravity.
What is the factor label method? Why do scientists prefer to use this method
The factor label method is a method to convert a unit of measurement to another unit. Scientists prefer this method because it is simple and organized. The main part is knowing how many of unit is equal to the unit that it is being converted to.
Describe some of the sources of error and uncertainty in the actual measurements (not estimates) of length and mass you took.
Some sources of error may be the exact measurements. We cannot measure exactly what the length of something is if it is between two markings on a meter stick.
Determine the number of seconds in a year using the factor label method.
31,536,000 seconds in a year
Using both sides of the meter stick and knowing that 12 inches=1 foot and 5,280 feet=1 mile, convert 20. Meters/seconds to miles/hour.
45 miles per hour
Our purpose in this lab is to learn to estimate the length or the mass of an object and then using the factor label method to convert into Metric units. Then we find the percent error of our estimate to the actual value. In this lab, we learned how to estimate to the best of our abilities, how to use the factor label method correctly and find the percent error. Sources of error can include of human limitation because it is hard to estimate the actual value of an object without measuring it. Other sources of error could be measuring the object incorrectly by not setting the triple beam balance scale at exactly 0 grams. There is a limitation of tools because with better tools we can get better measurement of an object and a limitation of one’s ability to measure the object to the exact measurement. We can improve this lab by taking more time into measure each object to come up with a more accurate measurement. Once again, I thought this lab was boring because we did not doing anything exciting but measuring objects and converting units. However, the factor label method was very useful in this lab because it helped us convert units to the required units..
Estimated Length (ft)
Estimated Length (m)
Measured Length (m)
Lab Desk Height
Estimated Mass (lb)
Estimated Mass (kg)
Measured Mass (kg)
45%length or mass and make a educated guess of how much it weighs or how tall it is
Our purpose in this lab is to learn to estimate the length or the mass of an object and then using the factor label method to convert into Metric units. Then we find the percent error of our estimate to the actual value. In this lab, we learned how to estimate to the best of our abilities, how to use the factor label method correctly and find the percent error. Sources of error can include of human limitation because it is hard to estimate the actual value of an object without measuring it. Other sources of error could be measuring the object incorrectly by not setting the triple beam balance scale at exactly 0 grams. There is a limitation of tools because with better tools we can get better m