| John Spacey, December 21, 2015 updated on June 22, 2022
Measurement is the process of quantifying the physical world with a number. This is performed with a variety of tools, sensors, systems and calculations that measure different aspects of things. Each measurement is captured using standard units such as those provided by the metric system, United States customary units or the Imperial system. The following are common examples of measurements.
|Clock||Time||Second, Minutes, Hours|
|Ruler||Length, Width, Height||Inches, Feet, Centimeters, Meters|
|Angle Ruler / Protractor||Angle||Degrees (°)|
|Scale||Weight / Mass||Pounds / Kilograms|
|Measuring Cup / Beaker Glass||Volume||Ounces / Quarts / Gallons / Milliliters/ Liters|
|Thermometer||Temperature||°F / °C|
|Odometer||Distance Traveled||Miles / Kilometers|
|Speedometer||Speed / Velocity||Miles per hour (mph), Kilometers per hour (km/h) |
|Global Positioning System||Location on surface of the planet||Latitude and Longitude|
|Ammeter||Electrical Current||Amperes |
|Barometer||Atmospheric Pressure|| Atmospheres / Bars|
|Hygrometers||Humidity ||Relative Humidity (%)|
|Anemometers||Wind Speed and Direction||Feet Per Minute / Meters Per Second|
|Sound Level Meter||Sound Levels ||Decibels (dB)|
|Theodolite||Angles Between Two Points (e.g. surveying)||Radians (rad) / Degrees (°) / Seconds of Arc (arcsec)|
|Level||Level Surface, Plumb Surface||Degrees (°) |
|Operating Systems||File Size / Data Size||Bytes|
|Electrical Meter||Electricity Consumption|| Kilowatt Hours (kWh)|
|Calorimeter||Heat Output of a Fuel (e.g. the energy in food)||Calories / Small Calories / Kilogram Calories |
|Seismograph / Seismometer||Ground motion (i.e. earthquakes) ||Magnitude|
|Pressure Meters / Pressure Gauges / Manometers||Pressure of a Liquid or Gas||Pounds Per Square Inch (psi), Megapascal (MPa)|
|pH Meter||Acidity / Alkalinity||pH|
|Altimeter||Altitude||Feet / Meters|
|Depth Finder||Depth of Water||Feet / Meters|
Everyday ExamplesA pilot checks their altimeter as they land an aircraft.An elevator uses a scale to weigh passengers and will beep and refuse to move if total passenger weight exceeds its capacity.A driver checks their speedometer to see if they are speeding.
A chef uses a measuring cup to measure 14 ounces of milk.A scientist uses a thermometer to determine the temperature of a liquid in an experiment.A construction site uses a sound level meter as a tool of health and safety. They file safety reports that capture the daily maximum sound levels recorded.
A carpenter uses a level to make sure a floor is level.A student uses a protractor to measure an angle on a math test.
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