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Using the Triple Beam Balance to Measure Mass

A triple beam balance is used to measure the mass of an object, usually within 0.1 gram. There are three beams with different weights with a 1:10:100 ratio. The object you wish to weigh is placed on the pan and the beams weights are slid right and left until the balance point is found. 1. Place all the weights to their zero positions on the left. 2. Put the object you are weighing on the pan. 3. Slide the heaviest weight (100 grams) one position into the notch. Repeat moving the weight until the pan lifts. 4. When this happens, the weight is too much so you move it back one notch. 5. Next, move the next smaller weight (10 grams) to the right by the notches until the pan lifts. Then move the weight back one notch. 6. Repeat this procedure with the smallest weight (1 gram). a. This weight usually does not have notches and you slide it easily across the beam. Using the eraser end of a pencil is useful so that the beam doesn't bounce around too much. b. Move the slide slowly back and forth until the pointer is aligned with the balance point. c. Make sure your hand is not touching the scale, otherwise you can throw off the reading. 7. To read the mass: a. Read the notch number of the heaviest weight. This is by 100 grams. b. Read the middle weight notch. This is by 10 grams. c. Then read the lightest weight and add it to the other two numbers and that will give you the mass of the unknown object. Example:

200 + 10 + 6 = 216 g

Weigh the following objects. Take turns so that everyone has a chance to practice using the balance. Convert the measured mass to the units in the table. Remember: 1 gram = 1,000 milligrams (mg) 1 kilogram (kg) = 1,000 grams Description of Object Of Object grams (g) 1 mg = .001 g 1 g = .001 kg milligrams (mg) kilograms (kg)


Using a Triple Beam Balance to Measure Mass

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