Graduated Cylinder

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Types of Measurements
Reading the Volume from a Graduated Cylinder

Additional Topics

10-mL Graduated Cylinders
25-mL Graduated Cylinders
100-mL Graduated Cylinders

Reading the Volume from a 100-mL Graduated Cylinder


IMAGE. 100-mL graduated cylinder.

Step 1: Determine the scale increment:
To find the scale increment, subtract the values of any two adjacent labeled graduations and divide by the number of intervals between them.

check What is the scale increment for the 100-mL graduated cylinder? Answer

In the 100-mL graduated cylinder shown, the labeled graduations are 60 and 50 mL. So, subtract 60 mL - 50 mL = 10 mL. Next, count that there are ten intervals between the labeled graduations. Therefore, the scale increment is 10 mL/10 graduations = 1 mL/graduation.

Step 2: Use the graduations to find all certain digits:
Use the labeled graduations and the scale increment to find the certain digits in the measurement.

checkWhat are all of the certain digits for solution in the 100-mL graduated cylinder shown? Answer

The volume is greater than 50 mL, since the last labeled graduation below the meniscus is 50. Next, use the scale increment. There are two graduation marks below the meniscus, and each graduation represents 1 mL, so the certain digits of the reading are 52 mL.

Step 3: Estimate the uncertain digit and obtain a reading:
Estimate the distance that the meniscus lies between the two graduations as a decimal fraction and multiply by the scale increment.

checkWhat is the volume you should record for the solution in the image above? Answer

The meniscus is about nine tenths of the way to the next graduation, so the final digit in the reading is (0.9 increment) * (1 mL/increment) = 0.9 mL. The uncertain reading is added to the certain digits, so the volume measurement is 52.9 mL.