| When I came to teach at Kenyon in the
fall of 1964, the first experiment used the inertia balance. Various masses
were placed on the platform that was set into side-to-side oscillations,
and the corresponding periods timed. A graph of the period as a function
of mass was drawn, and then the students timed an unknown mass. Its period
was then used to read the mass off the graph It was an ideal first
experiment -- the students did not have to know any theory, they learned
something about timing operations, had a chance to graph some data and do
some interpolation. Foolishly I replaced it in the next year. Today I would
use it again.
The apparatus was $35.50 in the 1950 Cenco catalogue.
Ref: William Schreiver, "A New Inertia Balance and Operational Definition of Mass", Am. Phs. Teacher, 5, 2002 (1937)