| Share
 

speedometer

speedometer, instrument that indicates speed. A cable from an automotive speedometer is attached to the rear of the transmission of an automobile; the cable turns at a rate proportional to the speed of the car. In a very common type of speedometer the other end of the cable is attached to a simple magnetic device inside the speedometer. In response to the rotating cable, this device moves a needle along a calibrated dial to indicate the speed of the automobile. Another type of automobile speedometer uses centrifugal force and operates in a manner similar to a flyball governor. The airplane speedometer is called an air-speed indicator. A dial that registers the speed in kilometers or miles per hour is actuated by the wind pressure in a tube located where it is not affected by the air stream from the engine. The speed of a watercraft is frequently determined by means of a patent or taffrail log. In this device a small propeller, which is towed astern, revolves as it moves through the water, activating a calibrated dial aboard the vessel. In another type of marine speedometer a tiny fin projects from the hull below the waterline. The resistance of the water to the passage of the fin is converted on a dial into terms of speed in knots.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

More on speedometer from Infoplease:

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Technology: Terms and Concepts

24 X 7

Private Tutor

Click Here for Details
24 x 7 Tutor Availability
Unlimited Online Tutoring
1-on-1 Tutoring
 
Warning: include(Mobile_Detect.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /site/html/template/www.infoplease.com/trailer.php on line 412 Warning: include(): Failed opening 'Mobile_Detect.php' for inclusion (include_path='/site/lib/vendor/pear-pear.php.net/Mail:/site/lib/vendor/pear-pear.php.net/Net_Socket:/site/lib/vendor/pear-pear.php.net/Net_SMTP:.:/site/lib:/site/vendor:/usr/share/pear:/usr/share/php:/site/html') in /site/html/template/www.infoplease.com/trailer.php on line 412