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NIST Electrostatic Force Balance Experiment



John A. Kramar, David B. Newell, Jon R. Pratt


We have designed and built a prototype electrostatic force balance for realizing forces in the micronewton range. The active electrodes are concentric cylinders, the outer serving as the reference and the inner suspended and guided by a rectilinear flexure mechanism. The geometry has been designed such that a near-linear capacitance gradient of 1 pF/mm is achieved at a working overlap of 5 mm. We have used this balance in a null displacement mode to compare an electric realization of force with the force generated by calibrated deadweights of nominal mass 1 mg, 10 mg, and 20 mg. The preliminary measurements reported here agree to within a few parts in 104 after including all known correction factors.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings of IMEKO TC3/TC5/TC20 Joint International Conference
Conference Dates
September 1, 2002
Conference Location
Celle, GE
Conference Title
IMEKO TC3/TC5/TC20 Joint International Conference


electrostatic force balance, microforce realization


Kramar, J. , Newell, D. and Pratt, J. (2002), NIST Electrostatic Force Balance Experiment, Proceedings of IMEKO TC3/TC5/TC20 Joint International Conference, Celle, GE (Accessed July 14, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017