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8
votes
2answers
11k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
55 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
24 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
30 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
vote
0answers
35 views

how to draw mechanical engineering problems [closed]

Hello I'm not entirely sure if this is on topic, but does anyone know software (or methods) to draw mechanical engineering schematics? (For statics/dynamics, so things like beams joints, rollers, ...
1
vote
0answers
13 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 ...
1
vote
0answers
59 views

Phase space volume and correlation dimension

This may seem trivial but I will appreciate help in determining the functional form of the probability density function (pdf) for the following case. Will highly appreciate some guidelines on how to ...
0
votes
0answers
67 views

Pdf of particles in phase space

I am from a non-physics background and hence have difficulty in grasping the concepts some of which I need to apply in signal processing. Link1 and Link2 discuss about Liouville theorum and phase ...
7
votes
1answer
220 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
vote
2answers
106 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 ...
0
votes
3answers
96 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
114 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
83 views

Is frequency or Bayesian interpretation used in quantum mechanics?

In quantum mechanics, we discussed about probability. There are two kinds of interpretations: frequency and Bayesian. Which one is actually used in quantum mechanics? My impression is, it doesn't ...
2
votes
1answer
113 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
87 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 ...
6
votes
0answers
120 views

What is known about Higgs LHC machine learning algorithm for identifying Higgs events?

Recently many LHC-affiliated organizations and otherwise announced the Higgs ML learning challenge (in May) running over the summer. There are many competing teams and significant results posted ...
2
votes
5answers
251 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 ...
0
votes
1answer
41 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
88 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
147 views

Why is uncertainty divided by $\sqrt{3}$?

Why do we have to divide uncertainty of the measurement by $\sqrt{3}$? For example we have the uncertainty of the measurement with a ruler being the smallest scale of 0.01cm, and it is not our ...
0
votes
1answer
64 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
vote
0answers
34 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
646 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
vote
0answers
25 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
71 views

Autocorrelation of noise - negative correlation

I am investigating autocorrelation of electrical noise as part of an undergraduate experiment (as detailed in http://physlab.lums.edu.pk/images/a/ab/Correlation.pdf). I sampled noise voltages using an ...
0
votes
0answers
25 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
37 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 ...
9
votes
10answers
305 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
4k views

What are distinguishable and indistinguishable particles in statistical mechanics?

What are distinguishable and indistinguishable particles in statistical mechanics? While learning different distributions in statistical mechanics I came across this doubt; Maxwell-Boltzmann ...
10
votes
2answers
607 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
45 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
83 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 ...
0
votes
2answers
76 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
votes
0answers
62 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 ...
3
votes
2answers
4k 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
113 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
26 views

Covariance of rayleigh channel

f=[f1 _f2_ f3]; g=[g1_g2_ g3]; f1,_f2_,f3,_g1_,g2,_g3_ are all independent identically distributed zero mean complex random variable. h= elementwise wise Schur-Hadamard product of f and g. What is ...
1
vote
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& ...
5
votes
1answer
227 views

Advanced data analysis in Physics experiments

Before answering, please see our policy on resource recommendation questions. Please try to give substantial answers that detail the style, content, and prerequisites of the book or ...
2
votes
2answers
152 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
133 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
621 views

Why does positronium decay into 2 photons more often than into 3 photons?

I cannot find the answer to the above question. I know that para-positronium is created with a probability of $25\%$ and decays into 2 photons, while ortho-positronium is created with a probability ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Statistical mechanics prerequisite [duplicate]

I`ll be taking senior level and graduate course in statistical mechanics in a month. I was wondering what would be the best statistics and probability textbook to prepare for it? I`m currently ...
1
vote
0answers
73 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
votes
1answer
101 views

Is there a fundamental difference between the statistical methods of science, comparing medicine to physics?

Is there a fundamental difference between the statistical methods of science, comparing medicine/biology with small sample sizes(n < 10^2 or 10^3) to the statistics applied in Quantum Mechanics (h: ...
0
votes
0answers
29 views

Modeling Spacetime In A Corpuscular Or Statistical Way

When I first read about Newton's gravity, it really bothered me. I didn't understand how shaking a lighter at the other end of the universe would instantly influence the lighter that was in front of ...
1
vote
0answers
77 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
63 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
161 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
120 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 ...