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11
votes
2answers
18k views

How do you find the uncertainty of a weighted average?

The following is taken from a practice GRE question: Two experimental techniques determine the mass of an object to be $11\pm 1\, \mathrm{kg}$ and $10\pm 2\, \mathrm{kg}$. These two ...
11
votes
1answer
1k views

Which areas in physics overlap with those of social network theory for the analysis of the graphs?

I am studying social networks in terms of graph theory and linear algebra. I know that physicists have published and worked a lot in this field. This causes me to assume that there are sub-fields in ...
11
votes
2answers
963 views

Use of Monte-Carlo simulation in High-energy Physics

I've been doing some research into the analysis used in particle physics when determining the significance of a finding (e.g. the recent Higgs candidate was announced as a boson in the 125-126 ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

What is meant by “combinatorial background” in experimental high energy physics

My guess is that they find a certain tracks coming from a certain source by "combintaorially" selecting all track pairs and finding their invariant mass. If this is true, of which I am not sure, how ...
0
votes
1answer
1k views

Terminal velocity of a steel ball in water [closed]

I am investigating on the terminal velocity of steel balls moving in water. I used the balls with different diameters, such as 3.17mm, 6.02mm, etc. And I used a full-filled 1L graduated cylinder. I ...
15
votes
2answers
2k views

Did the researchers at Fermilab find a fifth force?

Please consider the publication Invariant Mass Distribution of Jet Pairs Produced in Association with a W boson in $p\bar{p}$ Collisions at $\sqrt{s} = 1.96$ TeV by the CDF-Collaboration, ...
2
votes
2answers
135 views

Question about interpreting PDG particle cross section data sets' metadata fields

I have some question about interpreting PDG particle cross section data sets' metadata fields. The data sets I'm having questions for are http://pdg.lbl.gov/2011/hadronic-xsections/hadron.html For ...
4
votes
1answer
467 views

How do I calculate the experimental uncertainty in a function of two measured quantities

I am performing an experiment where I'm measuring two variables, say $x$ and $y$, but I'm actually interested in a third variable which I calculate from those two, $$z=f(x,y).$$ In my experiment, of ...
5
votes
1answer
312 views

Advanced data analysis in Physics experiments

I know that regression, chi-distribution, covariance, error propagation, etc. are frequent tools for experimental physicists. So, I'd like to know if advanced statistics topics are used in data ...
5
votes
6answers
6k views

How to guess the correct fitting function to some data?

Imagine we are plotting some date points $\left(x_i,f(x_i)\right)$ that we obtained experimentally, and that we want to know what $f(x)$ is. The way to do this is to use some software and try to fit ...
3
votes
1answer
264 views

Rutherford Experiment - practical and theoretical questions

I performed the Rutherford experiment the other day, using Au thin foil of $2\,\mathrm{\mu{}m}$, a source/gun of α particles (241Am) and a detector/counter. α particles were shot from the source ...
3
votes
1answer
767 views

Fitting to a high density scatter plot

I am trying to do a crude particle identification, using a Bethe Bloch tenchnique. Here is a plot I made from the data that I have From what I've read, the standard method to identify charged ...
5
votes
1answer
442 views

Finding coefficient of proportionality

Recently in my AP Physics class I did a lab in which I measured k for a spring by setting up an oscillating system with it, and timing the period, repeating for different masses. Since ...
3
votes
1answer
944 views

Lab observation correct? As distance decreases, velocity increases, stderr decreases

The experiment goes like this: Allow a moving cart to move from the top of an incline plane ($x_0$) downwards. The time taken will be recorded by the picket fence (those things you see wired up). ...
2
votes
1answer
155 views

What are anticipated events and experimental uncertainty?

I am working on this lab that involved gathering data from two different sources. It involved gathering reaction times from a device and from a web application which was put into our data sets. It is ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Variance of Nested Experimental Uncertainty

I have to find the uncertainty of a quantity $Q$ doing two mean values. For example for a set of parameters I measure ten times $Q$, I obtain a mean value $Q_1$ and variance ${\rm Var}(Q_1)$. Then for ...
0
votes
2answers
125 views

Help Writing An Equation [closed]

Truthfully, math past basic algebra was never my strong suit even though I went through stats in college. So I have to write an equation for this for a program and could use some help. I am reading ...
0
votes
1answer
268 views

Dealing with experimental data

I have some experimental data about a value $n$, now, I am supposed to give, in the ending, a single value with an error: $n=a\pm b $. I have originally 6 values of $n$, each one comes as an indirect ...
0
votes
3answers
433 views

Sunspots formula

I used the package 'EUREQA', version Formulize, to analyse the monthly smoothed sunspot timeseries from 1750 till 2010. It gives me a simple formula, with 8 coefficients, that match data with a ...