4 - Instrumental vs. Statistical Uncertainties Instrumental...

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1 Instrumental vs. Statistical Uncertainties • Instrumental uncertainties – Fluctuations in the reading of a measurement instrument to determine • Length, mass, voltage, current etc. – In general these arise from some finite precision in the instrument or measurement process. • Statistical uncertainties – Arise not from limited precision, but from the nature of the statistics of random processes • Determination of the mean from a limited sample • Counts are Poisson distributed Statistical Fluctuations/Uncertainties/Errors We noted in the previous lecture that the Poisson Distribution is appropriate for describing the distribution of ‘data points’ in a counting experiment, where each ‘data point’ is a single observation of the number events detected inside some fixed interval of time NOTE: In such experiments there are fluctuations in the number of counts from observation to observation that result SOLELY FROM THE RANDOM NATURE OF THE PROCESS.
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4 - Instrumental vs. Statistical Uncertainties Instrumental...

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