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# lect07 - UCF Physics AST 5765/4762(Advanced Astronomical...

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UCF Physics: AST 5765/4762: (Advanced) Astronomical Data Analysis Fall 2008 Lecture Notes: 7. Measurement, Probability, and Statistics 1 Summary Pre-Class: Copy handouts Copy handouts, demos, visuals to canopus 2 Check in: 2:00 — 2:10, 10 min How was HW3? Comment on HW4: A few months in the lab can save hours in the library! Routines exist to do most of the hard work on HW4. Find them. Use them. Part of the goal of the assignment is to get you to manipulate larger data entities than just single numbers. Be high-level, let the computer do the work. The habit of testing your own answers is the highest goal of the class. Problem 2 tests problem 1, and item d of problem 3 is a test of the rest of the problem. Get in the habit. Always do it on your own data processing. The assumption of others: you are wrong until you prove you are right. 3 Astronomical Data: 2:10 — 2:25, 15 min What is FITS? Reading FITS files Reading header variables Adding/modifying header variables Writing FITS files 4 Illegitimate, Systematic, and Random Errors: 2:25 — 2:35, 10 min A measurement is the best estimate of a quantity in terms of accepted units. 1

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Three types of measurement error: illegitimate, systematic, and random Illegitimate error: a fundamental problem in the methods or assumptions (think you’re doing one thing, really doing another) Find and fix! Check yourselves! Most homework errors are in this category. We’re particularly picky in this course to prepare you for doing this in real science. Mars Polar Lander English vs. Metric goof Systematic error: predictable difference between data and measurement Quantify and remove. A non-quantified systematic error can kill a measurement Must always estimate the unquantifiable error conservatively
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