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What does calibration mean?

Posted on 2010-11-10
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Following is a paragraph from introductory University Physics Chapter.

Several radio stations around the world broadcast a signal whose frequency is linked directly to the atomic clocks.
This signal is the time standard, and any time measuring equipment you use was calibrated from this time standard.

What does calibrated mean in above paragraph?
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Question by:naseeam
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by:leoahmad
leoahmad earned 880 total points
ID: 34103876
It means it has been tested against  instruments or measures know to be  true or accurate.  In other words you test it against other instruments  that are used to measure accuracy.
 
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 Calibration refers to the process of verification that an instrument is  within its designated accuracy. This is usually accomplished by formal  comparison with a standard which is traceable to national standards  (NIST in the USA) and certified reference materials.
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Dave Baldwin earned 1120 total points
ID: 34103877
Calibration is the process of aligning an instrument to a standard.  In this case, test equipment that measures time and frequency has a local oscillator that signals are compared against.  The local oscillator is adjusted to match the reference frequency coming from the atomic clocks by way of the radio stations.  WWV in Boulder, Colorado in the US is one such station.
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by:naseeam
ID: 34104090
Very nice explanations.
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