Weight, Force, and Their Measurement
A well-known application
of a balance beam
Weight is a way of expressing the force of gravity on an object, assuming certain standard conditions, such as being at sea level. It is a convenient reference standard for firearm examiners and other forensic scientists.
The beam balance is one of the earliest devices used to obtain weight measurements. This instrument was used in a very simple way: by establishing a “balance” between a questioned weight and known or standard weights. Precision laboratory beam-style balances are sensitive and expensive. They are rapidly disappearing from most forensic laboratories and are being replaced by digital and electronic scales.