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Metrology; Continental Machines, Inc.; Physics--Study and teaching (Higher)


This paper describes a project in which students worked in close cooperation with both the physics department of Macalester College and the gage block laboratory of the Continental Machine Company, manufacturers of ,precision gage blocks. Brief descriptions, including drawings, are given of both the interferometer and the constant temperature laboratory in which all measurements were taken. This constant temperature laboratory is set with precision at those two temperatures between which the average coefficient of linear expansion of a gage block is to be determined. Many such readings were taken and computations of the coefficient of expansion were made. Comparison of values obtained here for Stainless Steel and ordinary Carbon Steel showed a remarkably close correlation; e.g., the average value obtained in this experiment for Stainless Steel is 5.79 to compare with 5.75 given by the National Bureau of Standards; for Carbon Steel' the average value is 6.50 compared with the Bureau's 6.55. All values are in microinches per inch per degree Fahrenheit.

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