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Name _______________________

Evaluating the microbalance

Scenario

You are a technician working for a company that makes weighing scales. They want
to produce a very low cost, very sensitive set of microbalances that would be
suitable for some school laboratory experiments e.g. detecting the weight change of
some clean and rusty pieces of steel wire.

wooden block
piece of wood

straw
pin
screw

aluminium support
Theory

A rusty wire should weigh more that a clean wire because oxygen atoms have
reacted with the atoms in the wire to make the rust

1. Complete the table

On my microbalance / g On electronic scales / g

Mass of ‘clean’ wire

Mass of rusty wire

2. Would the microbalance be suitable for performing this experiment in the school
laboratory? Answer yes/no/maybe and give at least one reason.

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3. Suggest some improvements that would make schools more likely to buy this kit
from your company.

You are advised to use labelled diagrams as part of your answer.

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