Techniques and methods for computing, estimating, or placing bounds on the errors of expressions (formulas) based on knowledge of error distributions, error intervals or bounds of variables and parameters entering those expressions, and of methods used in the computations.

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147 views

Error calculation for experimental data

I have the list of experimental values: $$\{w_i \pm \Delta w_i\},$$ where $w_j$ is a mean value and $\Delta w_i$ is an error. I want to calculate the second list $\{a_i \pm \Delta a_i\}$ according to ...
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1answer
36 views

Error propagation for exponents

I was told that since $x^n = x\cdot x\cdot x \cdot \ldots \cdot x$ that the error is $$\delta f = f_{\text{best}} |n|\lbrace \frac {\delta_x}{f_{\text{best}}} \rbrace$$ where $f$ is a function of ...
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2answers
8k views

The error of the natural logarithm

Can anyone explain why the error for $\ln (x)$ (where for $x$ we have $x\pm\Delta x$) is simply said to be $\frac{\Delta x}{x}$? I would very much appreciate a somewhat rigorous rationalization of ...
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2answers
24 views

Which 'error' to choose random or absolute?

WIn the experiment, to measure the distance I used a ruler (the least digit is 0.5 cm) For each idep. variable step I repeated the experiment 10 times, and then calculated the standard deviation ...
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0answers
20 views

Basics of experimental error 'bookkeeping'

In scientific experiment, I know that it is very important to know the exact level of error contained in a result, but I am not sure what the correct procedure is to 'keep book' of these errors. I ...
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1answer
36 views

Measurements and errors

I've measured several values of $V$ and $I$ in a simple circuit to determine de value of a resistance $R$: $$R=\frac{V}{I}$$ I have a list of points $(V,I)$ with their corresponging error (from the ...
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2answers
197 views

How does uncertainty/error propagate with differentiation?

I have a noisy temperature (T) vs. time (t) measurement and I want to calculate dT/dt. If I approximate $dT/dt = \Delta T/\Delta t$ then the noise in the derivative gets too high and the derivative ...
3
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1answer
139 views

Is this the correct way to I combine multiple interdependant pressure readings?

I want to measure the density in different layers of a suspension. To do this I want to place pressure sensors at different heights. Let's assume that the sensors are not by orders of magnitude more ...
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1answer
342 views

Center of mass error - calculating systematic error in change in PE

Suppose we have to calculate systematic error in change in PE. Let's suppose systematic error due to scale is 1%. I'm confused about the center of mass error. \begin{align} \Delta PE = m*g*h_1 - ...
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3answers
173 views

Theoretical uncertainty of a circuit's total resistance when made entirely of resistors

My question in short(ish) is: Will the fractional uncertainty of a circuit made entirely of resistors with equal fractional uncertainties be the same as the fractional uncertainty of those resistors. ...
2
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3answers
61 views

Why aren't calculation results in error propagation at the center of the range?

We have two copper rods, with $L_1$ and $L_2$ as their lengths respectively, and we want to glue the two bars together, with glue that's infinitesimally thin. $$\begin{align} L_1 &= 20 ± 0.2\ ...
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2answers
4k views

Wheatstone bridge galvanometer error

We had to measure the resistance of $R_x$, we balanced the Wheatstone bridge and did calculations. My question is: we didn't include galvanometer error into calculations. Why is that? I read that it's ...
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1answer
87 views

Is there uncertainity of position of the perfectly homogenous radiating body?

I heard the standard interpretation of Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle: Just the measurement affects the position of the body because always you want to see a body (=to measure the position), you ...
2
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2answers
180 views

error propagation with an integral

My question here is about how to determine the error of an integral given individual uncertainties in two parameters defining the function being integrated. I used a curve fitting function to ...
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8answers
7k views

Why does the speed of light in vacuum have no uncertainty?

I could understand that the definition of a second wouldn't have an uncertainty when related to the transition of the Cs atom, so it doesn't have an error because it's an absolute reference and we ...
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3answers
44 views

Significant figures

How to calculate significant figures of a number? I got confuse as the number 28600 has 3 significant figure instead of 5. Anyone can explain?
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19 views

Reporting uncertainty values measured using analog instruments

If an Ammeter has a graduation of 1 mA and we assume that the best we can read is half this range, i.e. 0.5 mA. In this case, one can read something like 37.5 mA, or 12.0 mA. So the reported value ...
2
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1answer
159 views

How do we find the accuracy of atomic clocks?

We say that atomic clocks are the most accurate clocks ever made, they may lose or gain $x$ seconds in $y$ years. How do we find this uncertainty because we do not have an ideal clock to compare with ...
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3answers
500 views

Accuracy and Error of Atomic Clocks

I'm quoting a passage from my notes: The development of clocks based on atomic oscillations allowed measures of timing with accuracy on the order of $1$ part in $10^{14}$, corresponding to errors ...
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0answers
43 views

how to handle errors in this high-school experiment?

I'd like to conduct some measurements with my pupils in the high-school I'm teaching in, but I ran into some conceptual problems. I'd like to measure the (approximately constant) speed $v$ of an ...
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0answers
24 views

Error propagation log2

I have a quick question to report some numbers on an experiment. I made measurements of fluorescence in a titration of a chemical. The titrations were 1:2 serial dilutions so I report each ...
4
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2answers
360 views

Physical experiments - False positives

How is it made sure that something has been discovered, and not just noise? Is one discovery of something that is predicted considered to be enough (Higgs-particle)? What are the probabilities of a ...
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5answers
850 views

Number of significant figures

I am looking for an intuitive answer that will explain me why there are only two significant figures in say the number 1500. Also definition from wikipedia: The significant figures of a number ...
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4answers
60 views

Is there a maximum accuracy for positions in the universe?

I was thinking how, since an object in our universe can move from one position to another, it must have passed through all the positions between those two positions. (I am thinking it moved it a ...
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0answers
29 views

How can we calculate the standard deviation of multiple values with different uncertainties each?

For example, if I have a set of readings, like: 13.4 +/- 0.5 14.5 +/- 0.7 12.8 +/- 0.6 13.9 +/- 0.4 14.8 +/- 0.5 How do I calculate the standard deviation of ...
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1answer
46 views

Not direct/inverse proportion implies systematic error

We were doing error-analysis and my physics teacher said: A relationship between physical constants is either direct proportion or inverse proportion. If these are not true then there is a systematic ...
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1answer
42 views

# significant figures in calculations?

I was taught to use the same number of significant figures in my answer as the piece of data with the lowest number of significant figures, so I was a bit confused when the solutions manual for this ...
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1answer
137 views

Measuring depth or height from sea level

How is the depth or height relative to sea level measured? Well, if it's near the ocean, it can be easily measured manually, but what if it is 100 km away from the sea? What method is used?
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15 views

Propagation of incertitude - specific example [duplicate]

I am setting up an experiment, where I know the force and the incertitude (delta) of that force. However, I need to graph the logarithm of that force with the incertitude of the log. Can someone help ...
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1answer
98 views

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes?

How to measure distances to stars by means of spectroscopic parallaxes on practice? What is the accuracy of measuring distances using this method compared with distances based on HIPPARCOS ...
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0answers
42 views

Thermistor calibration - estimation of number of reference temperature points needed

A thermistor changes resistance with the temperature in a non-linear way and follows the exponential Arrhenius equation. Two reference points, ice slush water and boiling water, are used for ...
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0answers
43 views

Error in setting $m_{proton} = m_{neutron}$

Is the following reasoning correct, I'm doing mostly relativistic calculations so basically all masses come in squares. Suppose I have some expression that contains both the proton and the neutron ...
0
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1answer
111 views

Error propagation from frequency to wavelength

I have measured a value for a frequency of $1.07 \times 10^{10} \pm 5 \times 10^7) \text{ Hz}$. Obviously it is very simple to find the wavelength from this frequency value, which I have (using ...
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0answers
41 views

Simple question relating to physics prac reports

I am writing a physics practical report relating to the elasticity of materials relating to their momentum in a collision. I have values for the elasticities that are all within 2% of each other but I ...
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0answers
17 views

How to understand the uncertainty of quoted value of cosmic black body radiation?

Geiner's Quantum Mechanics - An Introduction quotes a alue of cosmic black body radiation, "$2.65 \pm 0.09 K$". How to understand this uncertainty? I have undergraduate mathematics degree and are ...
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1answer
2k views

Relative error of equivalent resistance of resistors in parallel

I just saw a formula in my book for relative error in equivalent resistance of two resistors connected in parallel. $\frac{\Delta R}{R^2} = \frac{\Delta R_1}{R_1^2}+\frac{\Delta R_2}{R_2^2}$ ...
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2answers
525 views

Error calculation in parallel resistances

This is the question: There are two resistors with resistance values $R_1=100\pm3$ ohm and $R_2=200\pm4$ ohm. Find the equivalent resistance of parallel combination. According to what I've ...
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1answer
50 views

Propagation of uncertainty - which formula? [duplicate]

Can someone explain to me when do I use this formula ...and when do I use this one?
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2answers
138 views

Why is propagation of uncertainties quadratic rather than linear? [duplicate]

1) Up until now, during practical work sessions, I always used these formulas for uncertainty propagation: if $C = A+B$ or $C = A-B$ $$\Delta C = \Delta A + \Delta B$$ if $C = AB$ or $C = ...
0
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2answers
109 views

How to calculate the error in measurments of derived quantities knowing the error in basic quantities?

I wonder how to calculate error of a derived quantity $z$ knowing the error of all quantities that $z$ depends on say $x$ and $y$. For example: Suppose I want to calculate the speed of a body ...
1
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0answers
58 views

Propagation of Error on Radius of a Circle

I need to calculate the radius of a circle and its error from the chord length $L$ and height $h$ from the chord to the circumference of the circle. I know the formula for $R$ to be $R = ...
2
votes
2answers
97 views

Significant figure rules [duplicate]

In a simple physics experiment, we take the average a few readings to reduce the random errors. I apply significant figure rules to these. Say we round off at each step: (8.0+9.0+10.0)/3 = 27.0/3 ...
3
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1answer
30 views

Scale Factor on Error

I was gathering some data from the particle data group website and for many results it gives a value, an uncertainty and then a scale factor for the uncertainty. For instance, at here, where it gives ...
1
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1answer
180 views

Significant Figures in Physics

A string has linear density $10.0 \cdot 10^{-3} \, \mbox{kg/m}$ and is kept under a tension of 100 N. A sinusoidal transverse wave, with a wavelength of 0.30 m, is traveling in the positive direction ...
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2answers
189 views

Uncertainty in parenthesis

In a physics text book I read the following: $$e/m=1.758820150(44) ×10^{11} \mathrm{C/kg} $$ In this expression, $(44)$ indicates the likely uncertainty in the last two digits, $50$. How ...
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5answers
525 views

Why do the errors in a formula depend on how it's written?

Let there be an equation, let's say $V=IR$. Now when we write its error formula we write it as $$\frac{\Delta V}{V} = \frac{\Delta I}{I} + \frac{\Delta R}{R}.$$ Now let us take example values. For ...
2
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1answer
242 views

Combination of errors question [closed]

A resistance R is in series with an inductance L. At angular frequency ω the magnitude of the complex impedance Z of this combination is given by |Z|^2 = R^2 + (ωL)^2 . Find |Z|, and the error in |Z|, ...
2
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1answer
94 views

error propagation and collision in ideal gas

When dealing with gas, a statistical approach is needed because For N particles, you have to solve 6N equations which cant be done analytically. To know our time step for numerical solving, you can ...
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2answers
86 views

Weighted mean from data [closed]

Suppose we have 3 experimental groups measuring "x", they measure $$x_1=\mu_1\pm \sigma_1$$ $$x_2=\mu_2\pm \sigma_2$$ $$x_3=\mu_3\pm \sigma_3$$ In the 3 experiments, we have done N measurements of ...
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0answers
59 views

Propagation of uncertainty - proof that it is minimal

I am not really sure if this is the right SE community for this question, but, I swear, I haven't found any better. The problem is as follows: we have n distance sensors placed around a quickly ...