UCSB Science Line
 What does each dark, long line on the spring scale represent? And what do the lighter smaller lines on a spring scale represent? Question Date: 2014-02-08 Answer 1:A spring scale is a type of measuring device that tells you how heavy an object is that is hung from the spring. For example, if you could find a large enough spring scale and hang from the spring (without breaking the spring!), then you could find out your weight, just like on a balance scale at the doctor's office. On all spring scales, the longer lines indicate the larger (heavier) unit of measurement. For the example of the large spring scale that you can hang from, the dark, long lines could give pounds. The smaller lines are always a smaller unit of measurement. For the above example, the small lines could indicate ounces. If so, then there would be 16 small lines between each large line, because there are 16 ounces in a pound. The smaller lines could also be in units of "1/4 pound", which would mean there would be 4 lines between each long line. To figure out the units for your particular spring scale, you can carefully look at the units that are listed next to the numbers. The larger (heavier) unit will be the long line, and the smaller (lighter) unit will be the shorter line. Thanks for sending along your great question, and please feel free to send us more questions! Sincerely, Click Here to return to the search form.