05_error - Lesson 5: Expressing Error in Measurements...

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Lesson 5: Expressing Error in Measurements Anytime an experiment is conducted, a certain degree of uncertainty must be expected. There are basically three reasons you might have an error in a measurement. 1. physical errors in the measuring device Example 1: Your thermometer was dropped and has small air bubbles in it. 2. improper or sloppy use of measuring device Example 2: When you used your thermometer, you measured the values in Fahrenheit instead of Celsius. 3. ambient conditions (temperature, pressure, etc.) Example 3: Measuring the length of a piece of wood outdoors in the winter using a metal ruler, you forget that metal contracts in the cold making the ruler shorter. Whatever the scale (units) on a measuring device, the error you should record is one half of the smallest division. Often this is stated as the " possible error " in the measurement. Example 4: If you measure the length of a pencil using a regular ruler (they usually have 1 mm divisions) and find that it is 102 mm long, you should write down…
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05_error - Lesson 5: Expressing Error in Measurements...

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