9 Mass of a Yardstick The goal of this exercise is for your group to predict the mass of a yardstick. If the actual mass lies within your predicted range, you win! (What? Well my respect, for one thing, bragging rights for another.) It may sound easy, but here's the problem: you are not allowed to examine or touch the yardstick in question before making the prediction. Instead, you have access to the following: • five pieces of a broken yardstick (which do not add up to an entire yard) • a triple-beam balance scale • a ruler • some graph paper • the knowledge that an intact yardstick is one yard long. To start, please fetch a triple-beam balance scale for your group. Choose a single piece of stick and practice using the scale to measure its mass. When you are comfortable using the balance, start measuring the other pieces and record the mass of each one. Some things to consider: • what other measurement will you need to make? • how will you estimate the error on each measurement?
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