1.
A person gets on and off a bathroom scale four times. The four readings (in pounds) are
148, 151, 150, and 152. Each time after the person gets off the scale, the reading is 2 lb.
a. Is it possible to estimate the uncertainty in these measurements? If so, estimate it. If not
explain why not.
b. Is it possible to estimate the bias in these measurements? If so, estimate it. If not,
explain why not.
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A student measures the spring constant
k
of a spring by loading it and measuring the
extension. (According to Hooke’s law, if
l
is the load and
e
is the extension, then
k = l
/
e
.)
Assume five independent measurements are made, and the measured values of
k
(in N/m)
are 36.4, 35.4, 38.6, 36.6, and 38.0.
a. Estimate the spring constant, and find the uncertainty in the estimate from five
measurements.
b. Find an approximate value for the uncertainty in the average of 10 measurements.
c. Approximately how many measurements must be made to reduce the uncertainty to 0.3
N/m?
d. A second spring with the different uncertainty of 0.7 N/m is measured once. The
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 Fall '10
 Dr.Nam
 Mass, Mathematical constant

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