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1answer
58 views

Help Understanding Gaussian Particle Distribution

I have a simple enough problem. I want to mathematically describe a Gaussian particle distribution of $N$ total particles with a spot size of 0.1 (sigma). I need a function that will tell me the ...
0
votes
1answer
33 views

To find the probability? [closed]

The mass of the earth is 5.975 X 10^27 g of average atomic weight 30.00 g. The fraction (by weight) of the earth that is gold has been estimated to be 3 X 10^-9. The atomic weight of gold is about ...
1
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0answers
42 views

Why can't we use the Neyman-Pearson likelihood ratio directly?

If you have a bunch of events and would like to choose a cut to distinguish background and signal, you can take the likelihood ratio $$ \lambda(\vec x) = \frac{f(\vec x| s)}{f(\vec x| b)} $$ and the ...
9
votes
1answer
455 views

Quantum version of the Galton Board

If classical particles fall through a Galton Board they pile up in the limit of large numbers like a normal distribution, see e.g. http://mathworld.wolfram.com/GaltonBoard.html What kind of ...
1
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2answers
152 views

Subatomic particle mass and Benford's Law

Nine out of 15 subatomic particle masses begin with the digit one. Benford's Law would imply 30% with one as the leading digit. Is there any significance to this frequency distribution, such as ...
1
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3answers
107 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
537 views

How is the theory of partial coherent light related to quantum-mechanics?

Background Let me start this question by a long introduction, because I assume that only few readers will be familiar with the theory of partial coherent light and concepts like a mutual coherence ...
2
votes
1answer
146 views

From where randomness comes from and why it exists? [closed]

I recently began to study statistics and probability and I have two questions: Where does randomness come from? What is the source of randomness? Why does the randomness exist? Is it possible to ...
1
vote
1answer
179 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 ...
2
votes
5answers
263 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\...
0
votes
1answer
92 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
1answer
92 views

Can I express the heat flow of a fluid in terms of estabilshed characteristics of the velocity distribution?

If $\rho$ is the mass density of a fluid and $A({\bf v})$ is an function of the velocity, which is distributed according to $f({\bf v})$, we have an averaging process $A\mapsto \langle A\rangle:=\int ...
0
votes
1answer
460 views

Calculating kWh from time series of kW

I have a time series of kW where each sample is measured at regular intervals (10 seconds). Could anyone explain to me how could I calculate the total power consumed (kWh) over an hour? Thanks
1
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0answers
45 views

What can I say about compatibility between predictions and results?

If I have these theoretical predictions: \begin{align} \omega_{p_1} = 4.5132 \pm 0.0003~\text{rad/s} && \omega_{p_2} = 4.5145 \pm 0.0002~\text{rad/s}\\ \omega_{b_1} = 0.0707 \pm 0.0003~\text{...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Kolmogorov-Smirnov test vs Chi-squared test

What is the difference between the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test and the Chi-squared test? When should we use one instead of the other? I was reading this article, and I got confused a lot. It is hard to ...
1
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0answers
46 views

Quantity with approximate lognormal distribution

I am studying a quantity $x$ for which $\log( x)$ is nearly (although not exactly) lognormal. What would be the appropriate "typical" value: the mean $\langle x\rangle$ or rather $e^{\langle\log(x)\...
0
votes
0answers
34 views

Sum of independent errors [duplicate]

During a physics lab we stumbled upon a little problem. The measuring device was unstable, oscillating between two values. We were told to write down the average with the half-difference between the ...
1
vote
1answer
68 views

What is the correct way to handle significant figures when calculating compound uncertainties? [duplicate]

When processing experimental data, and calculating an uncertainty value in multiple steps, should intermediary uncertainties be used to a certain number of significant figures or kept to the full ...
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10answers
439 views

Could one measure a stick to an arbitrary precision by having its length estimated by enough people?

I remember reading somewhere that the problem of exact time-keeping on ships could have been solved a lot earlier than it was if somebody would have had the idea of keeping time with a whole array of ...
12
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2answers
1k 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 GeV/$c^{...
0
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2answers
63 views

Why does chemical potential smaller than zero mean nondegeneracy and vice versa

In Mudelung's book, Introduction to Solid-State Theory, I have a confusion about the statement. Here, $x$ should be $\frac{\mu}{k_B T}$. I am cofused about his statement. Why does $x<0$ mean ...
1
vote
1answer
242 views

Error propagation of statistical error

I have a pulse profile (binned photon counts versus phase) of a star, and for each count rate I have its statistical error. I want to calculate the so-called pulsed-fraction $P_{frac}=\frac{F_{max}-...
0
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2answers
213 views

Function for curved line in log-log-plot

I've done experiments on the thermo-viscoelasticity of liver tissue and the following results ...
2
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0answers
77 views

Statistical Mechanics: Most probable orientation of grain particle in gas chamber?

I'm in an introductory statistical mechanics course, and we've been posed the following situation: Long-shaped dust particle (so imagine something like a grain of rice) is placed in a gas chamber (so ...
4
votes
2answers
10k views

How to combine the error of two independent measurements of the same quantity?

I have measured $k_1$ and $k_2$ in two measurements and then I calculated $\Delta k_1$ and $\Delta k_2$. Now I want to calculate $k$ and $\Delta k$. $k$ is just the mean of $k_1$ and $k_2$. I thought ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

Combining uncertainties - multiple measurements

I am trying to understand how to combine uncertainties when they are dependent and independent from each other. Using this formula : $$\delta z = \sqrt {\Biggl(\dfrac{\partial f}{\partial x} \delta ...
1
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0answers
55 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& 6&...
2
votes
2answers
264 views

Physics Standard Deviation

I am a physics enthusiast and I have a question: Why is it meaningless to express the '$\pm$' (standard deviation) value as a percentage?
4
votes
1answer
487 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 ...
2
votes
0answers
103 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
173 views

Canonical form representation of a Linear Gaussian CPD

I'd like to know how a linear Gaussian conditional probability distribution can be represented to a canonical form. For example, let X and Y be two sets of continuous variables, with |X| = n and |Y| ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Can a distribution with sharper energy maximum than the exp-function give an equivalent theory?

Because for many particles the distribution $\varrho\sim\mathrm e^{-\beta\ H}$ has an extremely sharp maximum, the expectation values of the canonical ensemble agrees with that of the microcanonical ...
1
vote
1answer
207 views

Paper in physics - calculations; rounding or not?

I'm currently a high schooler, and I'm writing my first scientific paper. The result is fairly simple, and it is nothing too special, but I see it as a nice way to prepare myself for the academic ...
4
votes
1answer
267 views

Notations for statistical / systematic / numeric errors?

I constantly see the notation $$ 5.143(13) $$ for specifying that a value was measures / calculated to be 5.143 with an estimated error of 0.013. I have come to wonder though, just how commonly ...
1
vote
2answers
435 views

Drude theory of electrical conductivity

I was just trying to calculate the electrical conductivity for a Fermi-Dirac distribution and a Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution, and I ended up with the same result: $$\sigma=\frac{ne^{2}\tau}{m}$$ ...
1
vote
0answers
401 views

Combining errors to calcuate the total error (standard deviations)

I have a measurement method for which I want to study the measurement error by an error budget. Therefore, I listed all possible errors (error sources) (lets say $x_1, x_2, x_3,\ldots$). For each ...
2
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0answers
220 views

Bose-Einstein condensation in 3D

I have read in many books that BEC takes place in momentum space and in only 3-dimensions. What is meant by this statement?
-1
votes
0answers
81 views

How to determine spatial color distribution? [closed]

Is there an easy way (i.e. free or open source tool) to determine the spatial color distribution (i.e "intensity") in a picture or in a region of interest of this picture? Let's say I used a laser or ...
2
votes
1answer
153 views

Integral related to particle diffusion

In the context of particle diffusion, I am trying to understand the equations that describe Brownian motion as a macroscopic process. Assume $N(x,t)$ is a number concentration and $D$ is a diffusion ...
1
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0answers
96 views

Fitting of data to a model

Imagine that I have some observable value predicted with a theory for some process to be: $1+a x + b x^2$ and observed value is 1.3 with an error 0.2; a and b are some numerical constants. I also have ...
2
votes
1answer
390 views

Coherency matrix of partially polarized light doesn't contain all information on polarization state?

The electric field of quasi-monochromatic, partially polarized light can be expressed by the following random process (Goodman, Statistical optics) $$\bar{E}(t,\bar{x})=u_{x}(t,\bar{x})\bar{e}_{x}+u_{...
2
votes
0answers
186 views

How long would it take for a container in vacuum to leak half of its air? [closed]

Let's say I know the size of the container, size of the hole the air leaks through, pressure the air is under and temperature of the air if that helps anything. Is it possible to calculate this only ...
3
votes
1answer
158 views

Time of Measurement Vs Number of Measurements

Let's say that an experiment has to determine the number of cosmic muon at sea level. The appropriate equipment is ready to measure the counting rate. I can think of two ways Count for 10 minutes, ...
2
votes
2answers
291 views

Error in variance

I've been exploring techniques in statistical physics, specifically applying them to spin ices. I'm in the canonical ensemble. By using the fluctuation dissipation theorem you can extract useful ...
2
votes
1answer
613 views

Experimental measurement of volumetric flow rate

The other day I with my team had to measure the volumetric flow rate through a pipe only using a 2000 mm$^3$ volumetric flask and a chronometer. The end of the pipe discharged to the atmosphere. As we ...
-1
votes
1answer
103 views

How many measurements should be done? [closed]

I am measuring time of a computer operation. The operation should run roughly same time each time I measure it. How many times should I measure it to get good average and standard deviation?
0
votes
2answers
384 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
241 views

Underlying physical basis of an exponential distribution

My data set of upper atmospheric cloud occurrences $N$ versus their thickness (or optical brightness, say $B$) show an exponential variation over more than two orders of magnitude - that is $N$ varies ...
4
votes
2answers
110 views

What's the physical difference between the quantities $\langle v_{i}v_{j}\rangle$ and $\langle v_{i}\rangle\langle v_{j}\rangle$?

What's the physical difference between the quantities $\left\langle v_{i}v_{j}\right\rangle $ and $\left\langle v_{i}\right\rangle \left\langle v_{j}\right\rangle $? Where $\left\langle v_{i}\right\...
1
vote
5answers
878 views

Are Uncertainties in Measurements Important?

In the first lecture of MIT's Classical Mechanics Prof. Lewin highlights the importance of uncertainties in measurements by quoting "Any measurements, without the knowledge of uncertainty is ...