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For other meanings of the word balance, see:
A balance or 'laboratory balance' is used to accurately measure the weight of an object. This class of measuring instrument uses a comparison technique in its conventional form of a beam from which a weighing pan and scale pan are suspended. To weigh an object, it is placed on the measuring pan, and standard weights are added to the scale pan until the beam is in equilibrium.

Very precise measurements are achieved by ensuring that the fulcrum[?] of the beam is friction free, a knife edge[?] is the traditional solution, by attaching a pointer to the beam which amplifies any deviation from a balance position and finally by using the lever principle[?] which allows fractional weights to be applied by movement of a small weight along the measuring arm of the beam.

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