## To Read The Vernier Calliper

In our everyday life, measurements play a crucial role as we transact, feed, travel, explore, experiment, or anything other activity we might be engaging in.

As a result of this significance, no field of study can exist without considering measurement especially the sciences.

However, we must know that measurement can never be perfectly precise and therefore are usually have keen to the nearest significant figure.

The three pure sciences which are biology, chemistry, and physics use different instruments such as metre rule, pipette, burette, calliper, tape-rule and so on to carry out mensuration during experiments.

One of these instruments which students in these fields have found difficult to understand its reading is the “vernier calliper”.

It will not be surprising to find students who have never heard of it.

Nevertheless, whether or not you have heard of it before; you surely do need to read this article as we going to be given the ultimate guide on how to read the vernier calliper.

Before we go into that, let’s understand what the vernier calliper is all about.

What is a vernier calliper?

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The vernier calliper is simply a piece of an instrument used in the field of science especially in physics to measure accurately the lengths of small objects to the nearest 0.1mm or 0.01 cm. It was invented by French Scientist Pierre Vernier in 1631 and was named after him.

The instrument consists of two sets of jaws and two scales known as the main scale and the vernier scale. The vernier scale which is smaller compare to the main scale slides on the main scale and gives the fraction of the smallest division on the main scale.

The graduation of the vernier calliper is in centimetres and millimetres; this is gotten by dividing a 9mm length into ten (10) equal intervals, that is, each interval in 0.9mm or 0.09cm. Thus, there is always a difference of 0.1mm or 0.01cm between the main scale and the vernier scale which slides on it.

Uses of Vernier Calliper

As mentioned above, it is used to measure the length of small objects to the nearest 0.1mm. These objects include the thickness of a metre rule and the diameter of a rod.

Note: For extremely small objects, the micrometre screw gauge should be used. For example, the thickness of a piece of paper.

How to read the Vernier Calliper

Reading the vernier calliper is not as difficult as it appears to be and can be carried out within some minutes if not seconds. To do this, all you need to is to add the reading on your main scale to that of the vernier scale.

Looks easy, maybe not

The reading on the main scale is given by the interval on the main scale before the zero marks of the vernier scale, that is, the last reading you are going to record before you get to the lines of the small scale (vernier scale) on the main scale.

On the other hand, the reading on the vernier scale is gotten by recording the point of intersection of the vernier scale and main scale. Then, we add the two readings together.

From the picture above, it can be seen that the 22mm is the interval before the zero marks on the vernier scale and hence, the reading on the main scale. Vernier scale is considered from 0.0 to give 0.4mm as the reading. Upon addition, 22mm+0.4mm = 22.4mm or 2.24cm

Precautions :

The major precaution to avoid while reading the vernier calliper is the zero error. This is avoided by ensuring that the zero marks on the main scale and that of the vernier scale are in line with each other.

In the case whereby they do not coincide, the additional difference should be added or subtracted according to the position of the object being measured.

Once this is noted, the vernier calliper will be accurate.

I believe with the explanations above, you should be able to use the vernier calliper to take measurement now without any problem.

Once you get lost, go through the above instructions again and you should be back on track. Knowing how to take measurement correctly is an integral part of learning.