Physics - Major Instruments and Their Uses


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The following table illustrates the major scientific instruments and their uses −

Instrument Use
Accelerometer Measures acceleration
Altimeter Measures altitude of an aircraft
Ammeter Measures electric current in ampere
Anemometer Measures wind speed
Barometer Measures atmospheric pressure
Bolometer Measures radiant energy
Caliper Measures distance
Calorimeter Measures heat (in chemical reaction)
Crescograph Measures growth in plant
Dynamometer Measures torque
Electrometer Measures electric charge
Ellipsometer Measures optical refractive indices
Fathometer Measures depth (in sea)
Gravimeter Measures the local gravitational field of the Earth
Galvanometer Measures electric current
Hydrometer Measures specific gravity of liquid
Hydrophones Measures sound wave under water
Hygrometer Measures atmospheric humidity
Inclinometer Measures angel of slope
Interferometer Infrared light spectra
Lactometer Measures purity of milk
Magnetograph Measures magnetic field
Manometer Measures pressure of gas
Ohmmeter Measures electric resistance
Odometer Measures distance travelled by a wheeled vehicle
Photometer Measures intensity of light
Pyrometer Measures temperature of a surface
Radiometer Measures intensity or force radiation
Radar Detects distance object, e.g. aircraft, etc.
Sextant Measures angle between two visible objects
Seismometer Measures motion of the ground (earthquake/seismic waves)
Spectrometer Measures spectra (light spectrum)
Theodolite Measures horizontal and vertical angles
Thermopile Measures small quantities of radiant heat
Thermometer Measures temperature
Udometer Measures amount of rainfall
Viscometer Measures the viscosity of fluid
Voltmeter Measures volt
Venturi meter Measures flow of liquid


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