Propagation of Error: Systematic Errors, Relative Percent Error Discussion Section, DS5 Other than uncertainties (error) due to imprecision, there is another major topic worth covering: errors due to systematic (or non-systematic) issues. In cases when the imprecision alone cannot account for deviation from a known or expected result, a non-systematic error (mistake) or systematic error (design flaw), must be operating. This discovery is extremely important! One other difference is worth noting. Unlike random errors (uncertainties in precision), which have an equal tendency to make the calculated value either larger or smaller, systematic errors will tend push the result one direction or another. To analyze this sort of error and its effects, you need to follow the following four steps: A. List a specific error. For example, suppose you were weighing a liquid which you must transfer to a reaction mixture. You could consider the possibility 1) that some of the liquid would evaporate. OR,
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