Measurement & Experimentation Laboratory
Purpose of Course showclose
This course will serve as your introduction to working in an engineering laboratory. You will learn to gather, analyze, interpret, and explain physical measurements for simple engineering systems in which only a few factors need be considered. This experience will be crucial to your success in analyzing more complicated systems in subsequent coursework and in the practice of mechanical engineering.
We frequently encounter measurement systems in our everyday lives. Consider the following examples:
1. The many gauges found on the control panel of a motor vehicle indicate vehicle speed, engine coolant temperature, transmission setting, cabin temperature, engine speed, and oil pressure—amongst many other measurements.
2. A routine visit to a physician often entails several measurements of varying complexity—internal temperature, blood pressure, internal appearance, heart rate, respiration rate, and tissue texture, amongst many, many more.
3. The experienced cook may use several measurements to successfully “cook until done”—for example, he or she might measure internal temperature, external coloration, external temperature and exposure time, internal coloration, aroma, and texture.
Any one of these measurement systems may require substantial attention to detail. Consider the elaborate ritual of procedure that occurs next time you have your blood pressure measured in a routine physical examination. Or perhaps observe the careful baker measuring the temperature in the final stages of baking. You might ask: “What type of thermometer is used? How large is the probe? What is the response time of the probe (how long do we have to let it equilibrate for each measurement)? What is the accuracy of the measurement? What is the precision of the measurement? Where in the product are the measurements taken? How many measurements are taken? How are the measurements recorded? And finally, what possible actions might be taken as a result of those measurements?”
The primary purpose of this course is not to make you an expert at all types of measurements important to mechanical engineering, but rather to expose you to the use and analysis of a few such techniques so that you may readily adapt new techniques as appropriate in subsequent coursework and in your engineering career. Each section of this course is accompanied by handson or virtual exercises. The units of this course are intended to stand alone, but you may find it worthwhile to revisit previous sections and exercises after completing later sections of the course.
Course Information showclose
Course Designer: Dr. Steve Gibbs
Primary Resources: This course comprises a range of different free, online materials. However, the course makes primary use of the following:
 All About Circuits
 NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010)
Note that you will only receive an official grade on your Final Exam. However, in order to adequately prepare for this exam, you will need to work through the assessments at the end of each unit in this course.
In order to pass this course, you will need to earn a 70% or higher on the Final Exam. Your score on the exam will be tabulated as soon as you complete it. If you do not pass the exam, you may take it again.
Time Commitment: This course should take you a total of approximately 111 hours to complete. Each unit includes a time advisory that lists the amount of time you are expected to spend on each subunit and assignment. These time advisories should help you plan your time accordingly. It may be useful to take a look at the time advisories before beginning this course in order to determine how much time you have over the next few weeks to complete each unit. Then, you can set goals for yourself. For example, Unit 1 should take you approximately 19 hours to complete. Perhaps you can sit down with your calendar and decide to complete Subunit 1.1 (a total of 4 hours) on Monday night, Subunit 1.2 (a total of 6 hours) on Tuesday and Subunit 1.3 and 1.4 (3 hours) on Wednesday night, etc.
Tips/Suggestions: It is extremely important that you give each assignment the amount of reading and review necessary to grasp the main points and lines of enquiry. Also, on completing the assessments, take a moment to consider how the materials you have just studied relate to the topics covered in previous sections of the course.
This course features a number of Khan Academy™ videos. Khan Academy™ has a library of over 3,000 videos covering a range of topics (math, physics, chemistry, finance, history and more), plus over 300 practice exercises. All Khan Academy™ materials are available for free at www.khanacademy.org.

A version of this course is also available in iTunes U.
Preview the course in your browser or view our entire suite of iTunes U courses. 
Learning Outcomes showclose
 Interpret and use scientific notation and engineering units to describe physical quantities
 Present engineering data and other information in graphical and/or tabular format
 Use automated systems for data acquisition and analysis for engineering systems
 Work in teams for experiment design, data acquisition, and data analysis
 Use elementary concepts of physics to analyze engineering situations and data
 Summarize and present experimental design, implementation, and data in written format
 Use new technology and resources to design and perform experiments for engineering analysis
Course Requirements showclose
√ Have access to a computer.
√ Have continuous broadband Internet access.
√ Have the ability/permission to install plugins or software (e.g., Adobe Reader or Flash).
√ Have the ability to download and save files and documents to a computer.
√ Have the ability to open Microsoft files and documents (.doc, .ppt, .xls, etc.).
√ Be competent in the English language.
√ Have read the Saylor Student Handbook.
Preliminary Information

Introductory Materials
Prior to working through the bulk of this course, please spend some time acquainting yourself with the subject of this course by using the following resources.
Time Advisory show close
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Getting Started: Stuff You Should Know Before Delving Too Far into Chemistry”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Getting Started: Stuff You Should Know Before Delving Too Far into Chemistry” (PDF)
Instructions: Please skim the preliminary chapter of this text in order to familiarize yourself with the common measurements and systems of units used. Pay particular attention to Sections 3: “Energy, Heat, and Temperature: An Introduction,” 4: “Units and Dimensions,” and 5: “The Meaning of Measure.” You will learn more about the details of the use of such units in later sections of the course.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.  Reading: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Dr. W. J. Youden’s “Experimentation and Measurement”
Link: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Dr. W. J. Youden’s “Experimentation and Measurement”(PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Click the link for the PDF Experimentation and Measurement under the heading “Calibration Related Publications.” Read the Forward, the Preface, and the first three Chapters. This is friendly, relaxing reading. You may be concerned that the material appears outofdate, but part of the purpose of the reading is to acquaint you with some recent historical context for experiment and measurement techniques.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Getting Started: Stuff You Should Know Before Delving Too Far into Chemistry”
Unit Outline show close
Expand All Resources Collapse All Resources

Unit 1: Scientific Notation, Data Analysis, and Experimental Error
This unit consists of a review of some basic concepts you may remember from courses in mathematics and experimental science. You may skim through the material, but you will need to be precise in later work about the nomenclature used for reporting errors and statistics. The reference immediately below is a handbook for engineering statistics; it is not meant to be read from start to finish but rather to be used as a reference for specific problems at hand. You may wish to familiarize yourself with the nomenclature and organization of the handbook.
Time Advisory show close
Learning Outcomes show close
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010)
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods(2010) (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Use this handbook as a resource throughout the course. Peruse the introductory material (“How To Use this Handbook” and “Tools and Aids”) at this stage in order to facilitate later use.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010)
 1.1 Numerical Precision

1.1.1 Scientific Notation
 Reading: All About Circuits’ “Scientific Notation”
Link: All About Circuits’ “Scientific Notation” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the page linked above. You may skim through the page if it is review for you. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.  Web Media: Khan Academy’s Scientific Notation 1; Scientific Notation 3 (new); and Scientific Notation 3
Link: Khan Academy’s Scientific Notation 1 (YouTube); Scientific Notation 3 (new) (YouTube); and Scientific Notation 3 (YouTube)
Instructions: View these three videos to review the details of scientific notation and arithmetical operations. You may skim through these topics if they are review for you.
Terms of Use: These videos are licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercialNoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. They are attributed to the Khan Academy.
 Reading: All About Circuits’ “Scientific Notation”

1.1.2 Significant Figures
 Reading: Connexions: Sunil Kumar Singh’s “Significant Figures”
Link: Connexions: Sunil Kumar Singh’s “Significant Figures” (PDF)
Also available in:
PDF
EPub Format
Instructions: Read these notes and pay particular attention to the effect of mathematical operations upon significant figures. For example, consider how many significant figures might be in the result of the operation 1.23(4.4/6,873 +2.0).
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License. It is attributed to Sunil Kumar Singh and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: Connexions: Sunil Kumar Singh’s “Significant Figures”
 1.2 Statistics

1.2.1 Introduction to Statistics
 Reading: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Dr. W. J. Youden’s Experimentation and Measurement
Link: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Dr. W. J. Youden’s “Experimentation and Measurement”(PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Click the link for the PDF Experimentation and Measurement under “Calibration Related Publications.” Read Chapters 4 (Typical Collections of Measurements) and 5 (Mathematics of Measurement).
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST): Dr. W. J. Youden’s Experimentation and Measurement

1.2.2 Mean
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Location”
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Location” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Read the linked section above on descriptors of averages. Note that there are other descriptors (besides the mean and median) that may be useful. As you read, you may wish to consider hypothetical cases in which the median might be more useful than the mean.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Location”

1.2.3 Variance and Standard Deviation
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Scale”
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Scale” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Read the linked section above, which presents descriptors of width. The most commonly used descriptors are variance and standard deviation.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Scale”

1.2.4 Skewness and Higher Moments
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Skewness and Kurtosis”
Link:NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Skewness and Kurtosis” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Read this section on the higher moments of a distribution. Under what circumstances might the higher moments be significant?
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Measures of Skewness and Kurtosis”

1.3 The Normal or Gaussian Distribution
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Normal Distribution”
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Normal Distribution” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Read the linked section on the properties of the Normal or Gaussian distribution. Pay attention to the significance of the mean and standard deviation to the position and width of the distribution.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “Normal Distribution”

1.4 Sources of Error
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “The Meaning of Measure: Dealing with Error and Uncertainty in Measured Values”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “The Meaning of Measure: Dealing with Error and Uncertainty in Measured Values”(PDF)
Instructions: Review this section, ensuring that you are able to distinguish between random error, systematic error, accuracy, and precision. This reading addresses sections 1.4.1 and 1.4.2. To view as a PDF, click the “download” link in the bottom right corner.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “The Meaning of Measure: Dealing with Error and Uncertainty in Measured Values”
 1.4.1 Systematic Error and Accuracy
 1.4.2 Random Error and Precision

1.5 Error Propagation
 Reading: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Error Analysis in Experimental Physical Science”
Link: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Error Analysis in Experimental Physical Science” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. Answer questions 9.19.4; ignore Exercise 9.1. This section is concise; you may wish to practice the exercises a few times.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercialShareAlike 2.0 Generic License. It is attributed to David Harrison and can be viewed in its original form here.
 Reading: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Error Analysis in Experimental Physical Science”

1.6 Parameter Estimates and Confidence Intervals
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “How Are Estimates of the Unknown Parameters Obtained?”
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “How Are Estimates of the Unknown Parameters Obtained?” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: Read this section and the links titled “Least Squares” and “Weighted Least Squares.” This information may seem rather technical at the moment, but as you gain experience with using the methods, it will make more sense to you.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “How Are Estimates of the Unknown Parameters Obtained?”
 1.7 Exercises

1.7.1 Calculation of Mean, Standard Deviation, and Variance
 Reading: College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University: “Descriptive Statistics”
Link: College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University: “Descriptive Statistics” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. Perform the calculations of statistics as prompted. You may wish to experiment with peculiar distributions exhibiting distinctive shapes (such as bimodal, triangular, or square distributions) and compare them with other distributions.
Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission for educational use by Thomas W Kirkman. It can be viewed in its original form here.
 Reading: College of St. Benedict and Saint John’s University: “Descriptive Statistics”

1.7.2 Linear LeastSquares Estimates of Slope and Intercept
 Reading: Yale University Department of Statistics’ “Inference in Linear Regression”
Link: Yale University Department of Statistics’ “Inference in Linear Regression” (HTML)
Instructions: This section caters to those with an abstract, mathematical bent. You can develop some appreciation for the concepts involved by skimming the text and studying the graphs as examples rather than by trying to understand the details of the mathematical analysis. Note that this material may be more appealing after you have some experience using the methods.
Terms of Use: Please respect any copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: Yale University Department of Statistics’ “Inference in Linear Regression”

1.7.3 Nonlinear Regression
 Web Media: University of Colorado’s PHET CurveFitting Demonstration Package: “Curve Fitting”
Link: University of Colorado’s PHET CurveFitting Demonstration Package: “Curve Fitting” (Adobe Flash)
Instructions: Drag data points from the datapointbin onto the graph. Adjust the error bars. Examine the bestfit curves for different situations. You should play with this exercise to get an intuitive feel for how data and error bars affect the best fit curves. Please also try to fit data with different types of curves (for example, lines and higher order polynomials). By playing around with this online demo, you can quickly obtain experience that can be easily applied to concrete situations.
Terms of Use: This material is licensed under the GNU General Public License v2.0. It is attributed to PhET Interactive Simulations, University of Colorado and the original version can be found here.
 Web Media: University of Colorado’s PHET CurveFitting Demonstration Package: “Curve Fitting”

Unit 1 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 1 Quiz"
Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 1 Quiz”
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link. This quiz should require less than one hour to complete.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 1 Quiz"

Unit 2: Graphical and Tabular Data Presentation
Standard styles for presenting data in graphical and tabular form have evolved over time for efficiency of data communication. Contemporary computer tools for data presentation allow us to use such styles in order to generate graphics. Even with these tools, the user must still determine the most appropriate format for conveying the desired information and appropriately labeling the graphic. This unit will introduce several formats for concise data presentation that will be useful in subsequent work.
Time Advisory show close
The information presented in this unit should supplement your coursework in ME304: Engineering Communication and ME101: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering. For complex graphics, you should refer to ME101: Introduction to Mechanical Engineering, but one message bears repeating: title and caption all graphics, label all axes, provide a key for all symbols, and specify whether error bars are one or two standard deviations.
You probably have access to several utilities for creating graphical presentations of data. The list below contains topics that you should explore in your own graphical data analysis utility. As a start, you may wish to read or refer to one or more of the following. After you have skimmed these resources, you should review them to make sure that you have a grasp of the following concepts. You should practice using each of the ideas below in a computer environment of your choice.
Learning Outcomes show close
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “A Gallery of Graphical Techniques”
Link: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “A Gallery of Graphical Techniques” (PDF)
Also available in:
EPUB
Instructions: If in need of inspiration for graphical analysis and presentation of data, it may be helpful to refer to the linked material above. Many of the plotting techniques are useful for very specific experimental situations. You may wish to skim through a few of the descriptions to get a feel for the types of plots that other people have used.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.  Reading: The Evil Tutor: Markus Weichselbaum (University of Western Australia)’s “How Not to Create Graphs and Figures”
Link: The Evil Tutor: Markus Weichselbaum (University of Western Australia)’s “How Not to Create Graphs and Figures” (HTML)
Instructions: Read this (tongueincheek) document. Although many of the tips may seem obvious, it is important to have such a list of common errors in mind when creating a graph for a document in the late stages of preparation, when all participants are tired and the thinking may not be clear.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  Reading: Prince George’s Community College: S. Sinex and B. Gage’s “Using Excel for Handling, Graphing, and Analyzing Scientific Data”
Link: Prince George’s Community College: S. Sinex and B. Gage’s “Using Excel for Handling, Graphing, and Analyzing Scientific Data” (PDF)
Instructions: Scroll down to about halfway down the page and download the “Excel(2003)” file under “Data Handling and Analysis….” Read this pamphlet and learn to manipulate data in a spreadsheet in order to create a graph.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: NIST/SEMATECH’s eHandbook of Statistical Methods (2010): “A Gallery of Graphical Techniques”
 2.1 Formatting Two Dimensional Graphics
 2.1.1 Histograms and Bar Graphs
 2.1.2 Line Graphs
 2.1.3 Scatterplots
 2.2 Labels
 2.3 Error Bars

Unit 2 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 2 Quiz"
Link: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 2 Quiz"
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 2 Quiz"

Unit 3: Electrical Circuits and Measurements
A review of basic circuit principles and measurements is included here for completeness, but you should refer to PHYS102: Introduction to Electromagnetism for a discussion of the fundamental physics. In this unit, you will review elementary concepts of circuit analysis for utility in signal transduction, conditioning, and measurement.
Time Advisory show close
Note: Much of the material in Units 3 and 4 are interdependent and refer you to discussion available in the resource “All About Circuits”; you are encouraged to peruse that resource in full at your own pace if you do are not familiar enough with concepts in electrical engineering to understand the material as it is presented here. In addition, many of the sections in “All About Circuits” contain example problems that you should follow and review for particular emphasis.
Note: There is a review quiz for both Units 3 and 4 at the end of Unit 4.
Learning Outcomes show close

3.1 Standards and Units
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Electricity”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Electricity” (PDF)
Instructions: Read Chapter 1. You may skim this material if you are already familiar with it, but it is light, nonmathematical reading. You may benefit from the analogy of fluid flow and electrical flow. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 1: Basic Concepts of Electricity”
 3.2 Elementary Circuit Elements

3.2.1 Resistors
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 2: OHM’s LAW”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 2: OHM’s LAW” (PDF)
Instructions: Read Chapter 2. Again, you may skim the chapter if you are already familiar with the concepts. You may wish to practice with calculations of power, current, voltage, and resistance. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 2: OHM’s LAW”

3.2.2 Inductors
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 3: Reactance and Impedance – Inductive”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 3: Reactance and Impedance  Inductive” (PDF)
Instructions: Read Chapter 3. You have already read Chapter 1 on Basic AC Theory, but you may wish to reread it and then refresh your memory by reading Chapter 2 on complex numbers. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 3: Reactance and Impedance – Inductive”

3.2.3 Capacitors
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 4: Reactance and Impedance – Inductive”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 4: Reactance and Impedance  Inductive” (PDF)
Instructions: Read Chapter 4. You may find the section on “Capacitor Quirks” mildly amusing. The text does not emphasize the units, but you may wish to look at the size of typical capacitors you might find in electrical appliances. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 4: Reactance and Impedance – Inductive”
 3.3 Elementary Circuit Principles

3.3.1 Circuit Analysis
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Divider Circuits and Kirchoff’s Laws,” “Voltage Divider Circuits,” “and “Current Divider Circuits”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Divider Circuits and Kirchoff’s Laws:” (PDF) “Voltage Divider Circuits” and “Current Divider Circuits”
Instructions: A firm grasp of the concept behind and applications of Kirchoff’s laws is a must. You may wish to practice by following along with the calculations in this section. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Divider Circuits and Kirchoff’s Laws,” “Voltage Divider Circuits,” “and “Current Divider Circuits”

3.3.2 Current Relationships
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Current Law”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Current Law” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and practice calculations as illustrated in the reading. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Current Law”

3.3.3 Voltage Relationships
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Voltage Law”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Voltage Law” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and practice calculations as illustrated in the reading. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 6: Kirchoff’s Voltage Law”

3.4 Elementary Measurements
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Basic Concepts and Test Equipment”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Basic Concepts and Test Equipment” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. At this stage, you should skim through the material and gather materials together for exercises that will be performed later. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Basic Concepts and Test Equipment”
 3.5 Nonlinear and Composite Elements

3.5.1 Diodes
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 3: Diodes and Rectifiers”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 3: Diodes and Rectifiers” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the section linked above and perform measurements as possible. You may skip the section on SPICE. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 3: Diodes and Rectifiers”

3.5.2 Signal Amplifiers
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 1: Amplifiers and Active Devices”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 1: Amplifiers and Active Devices”(PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. You may wish to pay particular attention to the definition and use of the unit decibel or dB and work along with the examples. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 3, Chapter 1: Amplifiers and Active Devices”

3.5.3 Filters
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section and ask yourself why analog filters are still useful in modern, digital systems. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters”
 3.6 Exercises
 3.6.1 Voltage and Current Measurement in Simple Circuits

3.6.1.1 Voltmeter Usage
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Voltmeter Usage”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Voltmeter Usage” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and perform measurements as possible. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Voltmeter Usage”

3.6.1.2 Ohmmeter Usage
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ohmmeter Usage”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ohmmeter Usage” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and perform measurements as possible. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ohmmeter Usage”

3.6.1.3 Ammeter Usage
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ammeter Usage”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ammeter Usage” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and perform measurements as possible. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: Ammeter Usage”

3.6.1.4 Other Simple Experiments
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: A Very Simple Circuit” and “Circuit with a Switch”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: A Very Simple Circuit,” (PDF) and “Circuit with a Switch” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and perform measurements as possible. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 2: A Very Simple Circuit” and “Circuit with a Switch”

3.6.2 Inductors and Capacitors in AC Circuits
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 4: Transformer – Power Supply,” “Sensitive Audio Detector,” and “Capacitor Charging and Discharging”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 4: Transformer – Power Supply,” (PDF) “Sensitive Audio Detector,” (PDF) and “Capacitor Charging and Discharging” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and perform measurements as possible. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 6, Chapter 4: Transformer – Power Supply,” “Sensitive Audio Detector,” and “Capacitor Charging and Discharging”

Unit 4: Computer Assisted Data Acquisition
Current data acquisition methods often employ electronic signal transduction and digital recording for subsequent analysis. Since these methods are so widespread and since errors in inappropriate implementation may manifest differently than they would if you were to make the same mistake reading a meter, you should understand some of the details of the process and some of the common artifacts of inappropriate implementation. Consider, for example, the differences between an artifact observed in imperfect digital versus imperfect analog imagery or audio reproduction.
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Note: Much of the material in Units 3 and 4 are interdependent and refer you to material in “All About Circuits”; you are encouraged to peruse that resource in full at your own pace if you are not familiar enough with concepts in electrical engineering to understand the material as it is presented here.
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4.1 Analog Signal Processing
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Analog and Digital Signals”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Analog and Digital Signals” (PDF)
Instructions: This section should provide you with enough background information to understand analog signals in general and pneumatic and electrical signals in particular. The analogy between fluid and electrical systems may appeal to those with practical fluid mechanics experience. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Analog and Digital Signals”

4.1.1 Signal Waveforms
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 1: Basic AC Theory” and “Volume 2, Chapter 7: MixedFrequency Signals”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 1: Basic AC Theory” (PDF) and “Volume 2, Chapter 7: MixedFrequency Signals” (PDF)
Instructions: These sections introduce alternating current (AC) signals. The material is rich; you may wish to revisit the sections after the initial study. The main idea is that steady signals permit the communication of only one piece of information: the amplitude of that signal. By combining that amplitude with measurements of time, we can communicate a new piece of information at each new time. Schemes for encoding information into signal amplitude and time variation can be quite complex; take, for example, the different communication protocols for radio, television, cellular telephone, etc. In order to understand these technologies, you must have a firm grasp of the underlying physics and mathematics of timevarying signals.
You should first skim the above sections and flag any topics or symbols that you do not understand. You may then revisit these sections after you have completed both Units 3 and 4 in their entirety. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 1: Basic AC Theory” and “Volume 2, Chapter 7: MixedFrequency Signals”

4.1.2 Voltage and Current Signal Systems
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Current Signal Systems” and “Voltage Signal Systems”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Current Signal Systems” and “Voltage Signal Systems” (PDF)
Instructions: Read these sections; they introduce the ideas and circuit symbols for ideal current and voltage sources and present background material on their utility and nonidealities. At a minimum, upon completing this reading, you should be familiar with the symbols involved for future study. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Current Signal Systems” and “Voltage Signal Systems”

4.1.3 Filtering
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters”(PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked chapter on filters. The text is sufficiently selfexplanatory and contains an introductory discussion. You might wish to keep in mind the following questions: How can digital signal processors be used to build filters? Is it necessary to use analog filtering devices? To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 2, Chapter 8: Filters”

4.1.4 Bridge Circuits
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 8: DC Bridge Circuits” and “Volume 2, Chapter 12: AC Bridge Circuits”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 8: DC Bridge Circuits” (PDF) and “Volume 2, Chapter 12: AC Bridge Circuits” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked sections above and perform measurements as possible. You needn’t become an expert at bridge design, but rather your aim should be to become familiar with the terminology and use of bridge circuits. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 8: DC Bridge Circuits” and “Volume 2, Chapter 12: AC Bridge Circuits”

4.2 Digitization
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 4, Chapter 13: Introduction to DigitalAnalog Conversion”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 4, Chapter 13: Introduction to DigitalAnalog Conversion” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above for an introduction to relevant terminology. You should understand the relationship between analog signals, digital signals, and binary numbers. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.  Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 4, Chapter 13: Practical Considerations of ADC Circuits”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 4, Chapter 13: Practical Considerations of ADC Circuits” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section. Focus on the two topics (i.e. the headings for subunits 4.2.1 and 4.2.2) listed below. For example, you might keep the following questions in mind: What is the percent linear resolution in a 24bit binary encoding? How often must sound be sampled in order to accurately represent 20 kHz signals to the ear? To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 4, Chapter 13: Introduction to DigitalAnalog Conversion”
 4.2.1 Number of Bits or Resolution
 4.2.2 Sampling Rate

4.3 Common Artifacts from Improper Digitization
Note: The most common artifacts from digitization occur as a result of inappropriate sampling rate and/or signal amplitude. In principle, these problems are similar to, for example, seeing only every hundredth frame in a video presentation or having the volume knob up way too high on an audio presentation. There are, however, many other subtle artifacts which may emerge upon close scrutiny. You may be familiar with the vast difference in the sorts of problems that occur with digital television or cell phone transmission versus analog transmission. Likewise, problems may manifest differently depending upon the processing that is used to get from the original digital signal to the result.
For a more detailed theoretical discussion of this topic, you may refer to Unit 15 of ME205: Numerical Methods for Engineers. (HTML) 
4.4 Tutorial for a Commercial Data Acquisition System
 Reading: National Instruments’ LabVIEW Tutorials: “LabVIEW Basics”
Link: National Instruments’ LabVIEW Tutorials: “LabVIEW Basics” (HTML and Adobe Flash)
Instructions: Familiarize yourself with the capabilities of this virtual instrumentation environment. This is an example of common functionality for such a system in a laboratory. If you have access to a similar system, take the time to acquaint yourself with it.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: National Instruments’ LabVIEW Tutorials: “LabVIEW Basics”

Units 3 and 4 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Units 3 and 4 Quiz"
Link: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Units 3 and 4 Quiz"
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Units 3 and 4 Quiz"

Unit 5: Measurements of Linear Dimension
The measurement of length is as fundamental to mechanical engineering as it is to everyday life (consider the variety of length scales we use on a daytoday basis: the hand, finger, foot, rod, nose, and hair!) Coupled with other information, length measurements can yield complex geometric information. In this unit, you will learn about a few tools that enable us to precisely measure lengths and related quantities over vastly different length scales. Many more tools are available than can be described here.
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5.1 Units and Standards
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement” (PDF)
Instructions: Review this chapter, focusing on the short section on length. Note that there may be an error in the figure on length scales regarding the size of a hydrogen atom. Look up the size elsewhere and compare. To view in a PDF file, scroll to the bottom and click on the “download” link.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement”

5.2 Calipers
Note: Calipers are clawlike devices used for measuring linear dimension. They are particularly useful for measuring the outer diameters of cylindrical or round objects or the internal diameters of pipes and the like. They are one of the few instruments that still makes use of Vernier scales.
 Reading: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Reading a Vernier Caliper”
Link: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Reading a Vernier Caliper”(PDF)
Instructions: Read this discussion of the Vernier scale and test your knowledge with the Java applet. If you have access to a set of calipers, you may wish to practice with measuring the thickness of a series of nominally identical coins.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Taiwan License. It is attributed to David Harrison and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: University of Toronto: David Harrison’s “Reading a Vernier Caliper”

5.3 The Sine Bar
 Web Media: WiscONLINE: Barbara Anderegg’s “SINE BAR”
Link: WiscONLINE: Barbara Anderegg’s “SINE BAR” (Adobe Flash)
Instructions: View this slide show, which demonstrates the use of a sine bar for measuring angles. The sine bar is often used in conjunction with gauge blocks in machine shops for precise manufacturing of equipment. You may wish to review the trigonometry involved in the use of sine bars.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Web Media: WiscONLINE: Barbara Anderegg’s “SINE BAR”

5.4 Instrumentation
 Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s Instrumentation Activity
Instructions: Modern instrumentation is capable of precise and accurate measurements of lengths over many length scales. The most current information about commercially available instrumentation is readily accessible via informational advertisements on YouTube. For each of the following items (5.4.15.4.5 listed below), review at least one such advertisement and answer the following questions:
1. What are the technical capabilities of the instrument?
2. What is the cost of the instrument?
3. What is the level of training required to operate and obtain meaningful data from the instrument?
4. What types of systems are amenable to study by the instrument?
In your search, you may find many other types of instrumentation for similar purposes with slightly different names. The list bellow will help you get you started.
Example: Type “profilometer” into the YouTube search window and peruse the resulting product videos.
 Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s Instrumentation Activity
 5.4.1 Profilometers/Optical Comparators
 5.4.2 Coordinate Measuring Machines
 5.4.3 Sonar/Depth Measurements
 5.4.4 Optical/Laser Distance Measurements
 5.4.5 Global Positioning System Measurements

Unit 5 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 5 Quiz"
Link: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 5 Quiz"
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 5 Quiz"

Unit 6: Time Measurements
Throughout history, we have marked time by the motion of objects in the sky that indicate the passage of hours, days, months, and years. More accurate measures of time gradually emerged in response to the demands of navigation, commerce, communications, and curiosity. Today, atomic clocks operate with a time resolution of one part in 10^{15}.
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In this unit, you will learn about standards of time measurement, the limits of human reaction times, and the practical limits of precise time measurement via readily available, computerbased sensors.
Learning Outcomes show close
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement” (PDF)
Instructions: Review this chapter, focusing on the short section on time. To view as a PDF file, scroll to the bottom right corner and click on the “download” link.
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNon Commercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Understanding the Units of Scientific Measurement”

6.1 Human Reaction Times
Note: When performing any physical measurement, you must know the limits of the measurement system you are using. Here, we will briefly explore the limits of human reaction times.

6.1.1 Dropping Meter Stick Exercise
Instructions: Estimate the time required for a person to let go of a meter stick and grasp it again by measuring the distance that the meter stick falls under the acceleration of gravity. You will need to use Newton’s laws and some simple calculations to determine that d= at^{2}/2 where d = the distance dropped, t= the reaction time, and a= the acceleration of gravity. Repeat the measurement several times for several different individuals. Calculate statistics (e.g. means, standard deviations).

6.1.2 Flashing Light Exercise
Instructions: Estimate human reaction time by performing a computer based reaction time test (i.e. press a mouse button when the light flashes). Compute the mean reaction time for an individual and the standard deviation of reaction times for that individual. Compare that reaction time with the one determined from the meterstick experiment.
 Web Media: Human Benchmark’s Reaction Time Test
Link: Human Benchmark’s Reaction Time Test (HTML and Adobe Flash)
Instructions: Perform the reaction time test at least five times. Calculate the mean and standard deviation. How does this time differ from the one calculated in 5.1.1.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Web Media: Human Benchmark’s Reaction Time Test

6.2 Clock History and Mechanisms
 Reading: NIST’s History of Time and Frequency: “History of Timekeeping Devices”
Link: NIST’s History of Time and Frequency: “History of Timekeeping Devices” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and the links contained therein. Use the Internet Time Service link to explore how the time is set on your computer.
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NIST’s History of Time and Frequency: “History of Timekeeping Devices”

Unit 6 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 6 Quiz"
Link: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 6 Quiz"
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation's "ME301: Unit 6 Quiz"

Unit 7: Force, Torque, and Pressure Measurements
Force, torque, and pressure measurements can be related by temporal and geometric coupling. Consider the schematic of a seesaw balance. The relative masses of objects M1 and M2 can be determined by the torques they exert about point P at different distances (L1 and L2) from that point under the acceleration of gravity g. Many more sophisticated geometries and sensing arrangements can be coupled to allow measurements of related quantities. In this unit, you will review some of the common configurations for such measurements.
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 7.1 Force Measurements

7.1.1 Units and Standards
 Reading: National Physics Laboratory (UK): “SI Unit of Force”
Link: National Physics Laboratory (UK): “SI Unit of Force” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the linked section above and familiarize yourself with commonly used units of force. For example, how is a dyne related to an ounce of force?
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: National Physics Laboratory (UK): “SI Unit of Force”

7.1.2 Inference of Mass from Weight
 Reading: Wikibooks: The Free High School Science Texts: A Textbook for High School Students Studying Physics: “Newtonian Gravitation/Mass and Weight”
Link: Wikibooks: The Free High School Science Texts: A Textbook for High School Students Studying Physics: “Newtonian Gravitation/Mass and Weight” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. Calculate your mass and weight in kg and lb_{m} and Newtons and lb_{f }on Earth.
Terms of Use: The article above is released under a Creative Commons AttributionShareAlike License 3.0 (HTML). You can find the original Wikipedia version of this article here (HTML).
 Reading: Wikibooks: The Free High School Science Texts: A Textbook for High School Students Studying Physics: “Newtonian Gravitation/Mass and Weight”

7.1.3 Strain or Deflection Measurements
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Strain Gauges”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Strain Gauges” (PDF)
Instructions: Read this section and consider the following issues: Why does the resistance of the strain gauge depicted in the resource cartoon increase under tension? How might strain measurements be confounded by changes in temperature? Might you design a strain gauge to work by measuring changes in capacitance? To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Strain Gauges”
 7.2 Pressure Measurements

7.2.1 Units and Standards
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Observable Properties of Gases”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Observable Properties of Gases” (PDF)
Instructions: Review this first chapter. Calculate atmospheric pressure in units of atm, bar, mm Hg, and ft. of water. What might be meant by the term “negative pressure?”
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.
 Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Observable Properties of Gases”

7.2.2 Static Versus Dynamic Pressure
Note: These concepts arise from Bernoulli’s equation. They are not to be confused with Gauge and Absolute pressures. Gauge pressure is the system pressure minus some reference (atmospheric pressure).
 Reading: NASA Glenn Research Center’s “Bernoulli’s Equation” and “PitotStatic Tube”
Link: NASA Glenn Research Center’s “Bernoulli’s Equation” (PDF) and “PitotStatic Tube” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the two web pages linked above and consider the following issues: Do static and dynamic pressures have the same units? What is the origin of the terminology? How would you use measurements of both to determine the speed of an airplane?
Terms of Use: This material is in the public domain.
 Reading: NASA Glenn Research Center’s “Bernoulli’s Equation” and “PitotStatic Tube”

7.2.3 Barometers and Manometers
 Reading: Georgia State University Hyperphysics Pages: “Fluid Pressure Measurement”
Link: Georgia State University Hyperphysics Pages: “Fluid Pressure Measurement” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the linked page above and those following as interested. Consider the following questions during your reading: What is the difference between a barometer and a manometer? Why is mercury often used as the fluid in a manometer? Why might one use another fluid? You may wish to play with the applet to consider the effects of fluid properties on the observed measurements.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: Georgia State University Hyperphysics Pages: “Fluid Pressure Measurement”

7.2.4 Pressure Transducers
 Reading: National Instruments’ Guide for Pressure Measurements: “Measuring Pressure with Pressure Sensors”
Link: National Instruments’ Guide for Pressure Measurements: “Measuring Pressure with Pressure Sensors” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the first three sections in the linked material above, entitled “What is Pressure?”, “The Pressure Sensor,” and “Pressure Measurement.” What factors influence the timeresponse of a pressure transducer?
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: National Instruments’ Guide for Pressure Measurements: “Measuring Pressure with Pressure Sensors”

7.3 Torque Measurements
 Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Introduction to Torque”
Link: Khan Academy’s “Introduction to Torque” (YouTube)
Also available in:
iTunes U
Instructions: This video should be a review of concepts you learned in physics coursework. You may refer to previous or subsequent videos in the series if you need additional exposure. Make sure you understand appropriate units for torque.
Terms of Use: This video is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercialNoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to the Khan Academy.  Activity: The Saylor Foundation’s Dynamometers Activity
Link: The Saylor Foundation’s Dynamometers Activity
Instructions: Perform the same exercise on YouTube for dynamometers as you did for length measurement devices in Section 5.4 of this course.
 Web Media: Khan Academy’s “Introduction to Torque”

Unit 7 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 7 Quiz”
Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 7 Quiz”
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 7 Quiz”

Unit 8: Temperature Measurements
Temperature control is fundamental to most chemical, biological, and mechanical processes. In order to determine which temperature sensor or transducer is appropriate for a given situation, you must consider a number of factors, including operating environment and desired temporal and measurement sensitivity. In this unit, you will review common temperature scales and the characteristics of commonlyused temperature measuring devices.
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8.1 Temperature Scales
 Reading: NASA: Cryogenics and Fluids Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s “Temperature Scales and Absolute Zero”
Link: NASA: Cryogenics and Fluids Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s “Temperature Scales and Absolute Zero” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the text and then calculate the following: room and body temperature in degrees Fahrenheit, Centigrade, Kelvin, and Rankine. What is the meaning of negative absolute temperature?
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: NASA: Cryogenics and Fluids Branch of the Goddard Space Flight Center’s “Temperature Scales and Absolute Zero”

8.2 Expansion Thermometers
Note: You are probably familiar with the liquidinglass expansion thermometer, although its use is declining with time. You may have encountered one in a chemistry laboratory, in cooking candy, or for a body temperature measurement. Another type of expansion thermometer makes use of the differential expansion of two metals and is hence called a bimetallic expansion thermometer. These have been used in devices like thermostats, in which some mechanical action is required as a function of temperature.
 Reading: University of California – Riverside: Beverly Lynds’ “About Temperature”
Link: University of California – Riverside: Beverly Lynds’ “About Temperature” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. The discussion is wideranging, but is particularly useful for understanding the physics of liquid and gas expansion thermometers.
Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission for educational use by Beverly T. Lynds. It can be viewed in its original form here.  Reading: Rice University: Al Van Helden’s “History of the Thermometer”
Link: Rice University: Al Van Helden’s “History of the Thermometer” (PDF)
Instructions: This section is interesting for its historical content and commentary. In particular, note that Galileo revived Greek technology for temperature measurement.
Terms of Use: The material above has been reposted with permission for educational use by Al Van Helden. It can be viewed in its original form here.  Reading: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Energy, Heat, and Temperature”
Link: SimonFraser University: Stephen Lower’s Chem1 General Chemistry Virtual Textbook: “Energy, Heat, and Temperature” (PDF)
Instructions: Read section 3: “Temperature and Its meaning.”
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons AttributionNonCommercial 2.5 Generic License. It is attributed to Stephen Lower and can be found in its original form here.  Reading: University of Michigan’s Wiki Pages: “Temperature Sensors”
Link: University of Michigan’s Wiki Pages: “Temperature Sensors” (PDF)
Instructions: You may use this resource as a quick reference for terms that you do not understand and as a survey for many other temperature measurement methods. There is an accompanying video link embedded in the wiki pages (HTML).
Terms of Use: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License. It is attributed to the University of Michigan and can be viewed in its original form here.
 Reading: University of California – Riverside: Beverly Lynds’ “About Temperature”

8.3 Thermistors and Resistance Temperature Detectors
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Thermistors”
Link: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Thermistors” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. Pay attention to the thermistor’s temperature range and power usage. Why would you choose a thermistor over other devices?
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Thermistors”

8.4 Thermocouples
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Tempreature Sensor: The Thermocouple”
Link: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Temperature Sensor: The Thermocouple”(HTML)
Instructions: Read the text linked above and consider the following questions: How is temperature related to thermocouple voltage? What types of metals are used for thermocouples? Over what temperature ranges are thermocouples appropriate?
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  Reading: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Thermocouples”
Link: All About Circuits: “Volume 1, Chapter 9: Thermocouples” (PDF)
Instructions: Read the linked section above, which is particularly useful for understanding the importance of the reference junction to thermocouple operation. To view as a PDF, click the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: This material has been released under the terms of the Design Science License.
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Tempreature Sensor: The Thermocouple”

8.5 Dynamics of Sensors
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Sensor Dynamics”
Link: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Sensor Dynamics” (HTML)
Instructions: Read the linked section above. How do you expect the response time of the sensor to scale with the size of the sensor? You will make use of this knowledge in Exercise 8.6.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: Bucknell University: Professor Mastascusa’s “Sensor Dynamics”

8.6 Exercise: Dynamics of a Temperature Measurement
Instructions: Select a thermometer and record information concerning the origins and type of the device. Some common types of kitchen thermometers would be suitable. Tabulate and plot the temperature reading versus time after removing the device from ice water and placing it in boiling water or room temperature water. Make sure that the thermometer has equilibrated with the ice water before removing it and that the volumes of the water baths are much larger than that of the sensor. How long does it take the thermometer to reach 95% of its change in reading? Repeat the measurements. For each trial:
1. Plot temperature as a function of time.
2. Plot (T(t)T_{final})/(T_{initial}T_{final}) versus time, where T_{final} is the temperature of the hot water, T_{initial} is the temperature of the cold water, and T(t) are the temperature readings.
3. Plot the logarithm of (T(t)T_{final})/(T_{initial}T_{final}) versus time.
4. What is the slope of the curve in 3?
5. What is the response time of your thermometer? 
Unit 8 Assessment
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 8 Quiz”
Link: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 8 Quiz”
Instructions: Please complete the linked assessment.
You must be logged into your Saylor Foundation School account in order to access this exam. If you do not yet have an account, you will be able to create one, free of charge, after clicking the link.
 Assessment: The Saylor Foundation’s “ME301: Unit 8 Quiz”

Unit 9: Dynamic Measurements and Control
In this unit, you will implement what you learned in previous units to make dynamic measurements and use these measurements in order to control a piece of equipment. In lieu of performing the actual exercise, you will write a detailed procedure and submit hypothetical data for two of the following topics. The topics are intentionally openended so that you have the freedom to define the problem as your resources permit. Each report should consist of the following elements.
9a. Introduction: Explain the exercise in the broader context of mechanical engineering.
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9b. Purpose: Briefly explain the specific, limited objectives of the exercise.
9c. Equipment: Where possible, list commerciallyavailable equipment, complete with all available specifications.
9d. Procedure
9e. Theory: Outline the physical basis for the measurements and the details of data analysis.
9f. Hypothetical Data: Generate hypothetical data, complete with estimated errors.
9g. Analysis of Data and Presentation of Results
9h. Recommendations for Future Experimenters
Learning Outcomes show close
 Reading: Virginia Tech University’s “Laboratory Report Guidelines” and “Sample Report”
Link: Virginia Tech University’s “Laboratory Report Guidelines” (HTML) and “Sample Report” (HTML)
Instructions: Read both sections and model your reports after them.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.  Reading: University of Toronto’s “Laboratory Report Handbook”
Link: University of Toronto’s “Laboratory Report Handbook” (HTML or PDF)
Instructions: Read both sections and model your reports after them. To view as a PDF, click on the PDF link in the top right corner.
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.
 Reading: Virginia Tech University’s “Laboratory Report Guidelines” and “Sample Report”

9.1 Dynamic Strain Measurements
Instructions: Design an apparatus that can observe the oscillations that occur when a cantilevered beam is suddenly loaded with a weight. You may use commercially available strain gauges.

9.2 Accelerometry
Instructions: Design an apparatus to measure the acceleration that occurs when a stationary object is suddenly hit by a moving object (e.g. a mass swinging from a pendulum).

9.3 Temperature Control of a Light Bulb
Instructions:An incandescent light bulb dissipates most of its energy as heat. By adjusting the duty cycle of the bulb (i.e. by turning it on and off to control the amount of heat dissipated), one can control the temperature of the surface of the bulb. It is your task to choose an appropriate temperature sensor and design a feedback control algorithm to keep the surface temperature at a set point by adjusting the amount of time that the bulb is lit versus dark.

Final Exam
 Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation's ME301 Final Exam
Link: The Saylor Foundation's ME301 Final Exam
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 Final Exam: The Saylor Foundation's ME301 Final Exam