1
vote
1answer
47 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
38 views

What is the experimental uncertainty of an ensemble measurement? [duplicate]

Let's say you measure the time it takes for 10 oscillations of a mass undergoing simple harmonic motion to within ± 0.01s, what is the uncertainty of the period of one oscillation?
2
votes
5answers
250 views

What's the difference between $10\%$ of $10\text{ cm}$ and $1\text{ cm}$?

I overhead a physics professor at my university on the phone: I interviewed that student you sent me, but he didn't know the difference between increasing the length of a $10\text{ cm}$ rod by ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Measuring a fluctuating quantity: Instrument error vs. uncertainty, or both?

Say I am measuring a quantity $x$ in physical system whose true value is approximately sinusoidal in time. I have an instrument to sample this quantity, for which the manufacturer gives an accuracy ...
1
vote
0answers
54 views

Weighted average whenever a variance is 0? [closed]

So I have data for the number of times a certain event happens. Each column is a different event and each row is one trial. A sample of data would look like \begin{bmatrix} 1& 4& 7& ...
4
votes
1answer
128 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
72 views

What could be the distribution of an explosion energy of a mining-grade and seismic exploration explosives?

Seismic exploration involves the excitation of seismic waves using the industrially made explosive charges. What could be the distribution of explosion energy of such a charges? My guess is that it ...
0
votes
3answers
94 views

Predicting the mass of the Higgs particle

Physicists in Europe said that only after combining data collected at a laboratory in Switzerland with data collected at a laboratory in the U.S, were they finally able to announce the discovery of a ...
5
votes
0answers
120 views

Statistical analysis of data in Physics

Analysis of data is integral in bridging the gap between theory and experiment. My question is about the two major methods of approaching the analysis - Bayesian and Frequentist. How much do the ...
2
votes
1answer
132 views

Peak deconvolution [closed]

I need some help understanding how much information I can pull out of this data. I have a sample made up of two materials. Materials A and material B. Then I took a picture of the sample. The two ...
0
votes
2answers
343 views

Microsoft Excel not graphing $x = y^{1/2}$

The experiment was relating the period of one "bounce" when you hang a weight on a spring and let it bounce. I have this data here, one being mass and one being time. The time is an average of 5 ...
10
votes
2answers
596 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
109 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

How to properly read a measurement result if it is a number?

If the result of a measurement is i.e. $3.2 \pm 0.7$, what is 0.7? At which confidence level we know that the real result is inside of this interval?
4
votes
2answers
441 views

What do “local” and “global” mean when talking about standard deviations in experimental particle physics?

I found the following sentence: The excess is most compatible with a SM Higgs hypothesis in the vicinity of 124 GeV and below, but the statistical significance (2.6σ local and 1.9σ global after ...
8
votes
2answers
236 views

How to predict how much data to collect

The same question on CrossValidated Apologies if I'm being a bit vague in what follows, I've been asked to keep certain aspects of the experiment confidential for the time being. An analogous ...
9
votes
2answers
3k views

How do we know that some radioactive materials have a half life of millions or even billions of years?

If a radioactive material takes a very long time to decay, how is its half life measured or calculated? Do we have to actually observe the radioactive material for a very long time to extrapolate its ...
2
votes
1answer
461 views

Astronomical detection significance from magnitude error

At this website: http://heasarc.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/swift/analysis/threads/uvot_thread_afterglows.html The passage at the bottom states that a V-band magnitude of 17.62, with an error $\pm$0.02 is a ...