Vernier Calipers

Materials Required 

  • Vernier callipers.
  • A spherical body ( it can be a pendulum bob)
  • A cylinder.
  • A small rectangular metallic block of known mass
  • A beaker or a calorimeter. 

The Procedure


  1. We'll first determine the vernier constant (VC), which is the least count (L.C) of the vernier calliper and record it stepwise as in the equation, L.C = 1 MSD - 1 VSD.
  2. Now, bring the movable jaw in close contact with the fixed jaw and find the zero error. Do this three times and record the values. If there is no zero error, then record 'zero error nil'.
  3. Open the jaws of the Vernier Calliper and place the sphere or cylinder between the two jaws and adjust the movable jaw, such that it gently grips the body without any undue pressure on it. That done, tighten the screw attached to the Vernier scale.
  4. Note the position of the zero mark of the Vernier scale on the main scale. Record the main scale reading just before the zero mark of the vernier scale. This reading (N) is called main scale reading (MSR).
  5. Note the number (n) of the Vernier scale division which coincides with the division of the main scale.
  6. You'll have to repeat steps 5 and 6 after rotating the body by 90o for measuring the diameter in a perpendicular direction.
  7. Repeat steps 4 to 7 for three different positions and record the observations.
  8. Now find total reading using the equation, TR = MSR+VSR = N+(n x L.C)  and apply the zero correction.
  9. Take the mean of the different values of the diameter and show that in the result with the proper unit.


  • To measure the internal diameter of a calorimeter or beaker, place the beaker upside down over the internal jaws of the vernier calipers.Then repeat the steps 4 to 8.
  • To find the ‘Depth’ of the beaker, move the metallic strip till it touches the bottom of the beaker.Then repeat steps 4 to 8.

Simulator Procedure (as performed through the Online Labs)

  1. Select the object to measure by clicking on it.
  2. The object is placed between the jaws of the vernier caliper.
  3. Drag the movable jaw so that it touches the object.
  4. Based on the object selected, select the physical dimension to be measured.
  5. Note the MSR and VSR value that exactly coincides with the main scale.
  6. Calculate the dimension using the equation 2.
  7. Enter the reading in the ‘Enter Reading’ text box.
  8. Click on the ‘Check’ button to find if the reading entered is correct.
  9. If the object selected is the ‘Beaker’;
    • To find ‘Internal Diameter’ drag the mouse to move the jaw of the vernier scale away from the jaw of the main scale till the jaw  touches the opposite inner wall of the beaker.
    • To find the ‘Depth’ of the beaker, drag the jaw of the vernier scale away from the jaw of the main scale till the metallic strip touches the bottom of the beaker.
    • Enter the reading in the ‘Enter Reading’ text box.
    • Click on the ‘Check’ button to find if the reading entered is correct.
  10. Click on the 'Reset' button to reset and perform the experiment once again.

Our Observations 

  1. Determination of Vernier constant (Least Count ) of the vernier callipers:
    1 M.S.D. = 1 mm
    10 V.S.D.= 9 M.S.D.
    1 V.S.D.= 9/10 M.S.D. = 0.9 mm.
    Vernier Constant, V.C.= 1 M.S.D.-1 V.S.D. = (1-0.9) mm = 0.1 mm = 0.01cm.
  2. Zero error
    Mean zero error (e)
    Mean zero correction (c) =
Dimension to be measured Sl No

Main Scale Reading

MSR cm

Vernier Scale Reading

VSR cm



Toatl Reading

MSR + (V S R x L.C)





Diameter of the bob            
Diameter of the cylinder            
Length of thye cylinder            
Length of the block            
Breadth of the block            
Thickness of the block            
Internal diameter of the beaker            
Internal depth of the beaker            


Mean corrected diameter------------cm

Volume of sphere,«math xmlns=¨¨»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»V«/mi»«mo»=«/mo»«mfrac»«mn»4«/mn»«mn»3«/mn»«/mfrac»«msup»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»§#960;r«/mi»«mn»3«/mn»«/msup»«/math»=---------cm3= ------m3.

Mean corrected length of the block,

Mean corrected breadth of the block,  b=

Mean corrected thickness of the block,  h=

Volume of block , «math xmlns=¨¨»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»l«/mi»«mo»§#215;«/mo»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»b«/mi»«mo»§#215;«/mo»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»h«/mi»«/math»

Density of the block material,«math xmlns=¨¨»«mfrac»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»m«/mi»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»V«/mi»«/mfrac»«/math»

Mean corrected internal diameter,

Mean correcteddepth, 

Volume of beaker / calorimeter ,«math xmlns=¨¨»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»v«/mi»«mo»=«/mo»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»§#960;«/mi»«msup»«mfenced»«mfrac»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»D«/mi»«mn»2«/mn»«/mfrac»«/mfenced»«mn»2«/mn»«/msup»«mo».«/mo»«mi mathvariant=¨normal¨»d«/mi»«/math»= ..........cm3=............m3

The Result

 The volume of the beaker / calorimeter is ...........m3.

Volume of Sphere=.......................... m3

Volume of block is ................................m3

The volume of the  beaker / calorimeter is ...........cm3.  

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