Measuring with a vernier
The 0 on the vernier scale is spaced the distance of exactly one ruler mark (in this case, one tenth- of an inch) from the left hand end of the vernier. Therefore the 0 is at a position between ruler marks which is comparable to the position of the end of the bar. In other words, the 0 on the vernier is about halfway between two adjacent marks on the ruler, just as the end of the bar is about halfway between two adjacent marks. The 1 on the vernier scale is a little closer to alignment with an adjacent ruler mark; in fact, it is one hundredth of an inch closer to alignment than the 0. This is because each space on the vernier is one hundredth of an inch shorter than each space on the ruler.
Each successive mark on the vernier scale is one hundredth of an inch closer to 0 on the vernier must be five hundredths of an inch from the nearest ruler mark, since five increments, each one hundredth of an inch in size, were used before a mark was found in alignment.
We conclude that the end of the bar is five hundredths of an inch from the 2.9 mark on the ruler, since its position between marks is exactly comparable to that of the 0 on the vernier scale. Thus the value of our measurement is 2.95 inches.
The foregoing example could be followed through for any distance between markings. Suppose the 0 mark fell seven tenths of the distance between ruler markings. It would take seven vernier markings, a loss of one-hundredth of an inch each time, to bring the marks in line at 7 on the vernier.
The vernier principle may be used to get fine linear readings, angular readings, etc. The principle is always the same. The vernier has one more marking than the number of markings on an equal space of the conventional scale of the measuring instrument. For example, the vernier caliper (fig. 6-5) has 25 markings on the vernier for 24 on the caliper scale. The caliper is marked off to read to fortieths (0.025) of an inch, and the vernier extends the accuracy to a thousandth of an inch.