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Question

Which of the following is the most precise device for measuring length : (a) a vernier callipers with 20 divisions on the sliding scale (b) a screw gauge of pitch 1 mm and 100 divisions on the circular scale (c) an optical instrument that can measure length to within a wavelength of light?

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Solution

The most precise device is the one with the minimum least count.

(a) Vernier Calliper:

20 divisions on the sliding scale

L.C = 120 mm=0.05 mm

(b) Screw Gauge:

pitch 1 mm and 100 divisions on the circular scale

L.C = 1 mm100 mm=0.01 mm

(c) Optical instrument:

L.C. is within a wavelength of light.

The wavelength of light ≈ 589 nm

Hence Optical instrument is the most precise.


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