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The Campus Museum displays several types of scales. Some have their own housing, while others do not. Glass housing is a typical feature of analytical balances: scales that can accurately weigh substances with a resolution of 0.1 thousandths of a gram (1 milligram = mg). Even more accurate scales that have a resolution of a thousandth of a milligram (1 microgram = µg) are called microbalances. The glass housing is necessary because the breath of a person standing in front of the scale is enough to influence measurements. The scales were also placed on vibration-resistant tables so that vibrations from the surrounding building did not affect measurements.

Here you can see a microbalance from 1960 from the company W. Zschörnig K. G./F. Küstner, with was seated in Dresden and Freiberg.

Microbalances are used in basic research to measure extremely small masses. They are so precise that they lend themselves to quantitative analysis. This means they can be used to very precisely determine how much of a substance has been used in an experiment, so that the values can be used to calculate and control results.