Asked in PhysicsElectrical EngineeringMeasuring Tools
What is a micrometer?
January 05, 2011 8:49PM
There are 2 things that can be called a micrometer:
1/ A device for measuring short distances accurately. Typically to better than 1 thousands of an inch (thou) or 0.01mm. They look a bit like a small G clamp, something is placed between the jaws and it is lightly tightened, the thread has a gauge on it so you can see how big the thing between the jaws is.
2/ A very small distance, 1 millionth of a meter. Also written μm. (Or sometimes um.)
The above answer needs to be qualified. In fact, the above answer only applies to American English. In British English,
1. A micrometer is an instrument for measuring small thicknesses or diameters, as per answer 1, above.
2. The unit of measure is called a micrometre.
In other words, in British English, a meter is a measuring instrument, whereas a metre is a unit of measurement.