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Standard meter sticks and selection of cubic volumes.
What It Shows
No temperature-controlled platinum rods here – just some sticks that are very close to a meter in length. Standard meter sticks as well as cubic centimeters and decimeters are available for reference and/or comparison. Other volumes include a 22.4 liter cube (to get the sense of the size of a mole of gas). Sets of calibrated weights include both metric and English standards from milligrams to several kilograms. Various types of analytical balances and scales are also available: equal-arm pan balances in glass/wood cases, state-of-the-art digital balance, triple beam balance, student laboratory pan balances, pan spring scales, regular spring scales, etc.
Although these items are used in actual measurements, in the present context they are intended to be nothing more than a prop when referring to them in lecture. They help remind the student how large or small these units of measurement are.
1 The platinum meter bar has become obsolete anyway. The problem of defining a sufficiently exact standard distance has proved to be so difficult that an international agreement has deemed the velocity of light as fundamental rather than any representation of the meter. Since we can measure time so much more precisely, the meter has been redefined as the distance light goes in an interval of time 1/c, which is equal to 3.33564095...×10-9 seconds.