Second Introductory Lab
Experimental Uncertainty and Data Analysis
Objectives:
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More practice on how to use and read the scales of the vernier and micrometer calipers, meter
stick, triple beam balance, and stopwatch.
•
Make electrical measurements by using and reading the scale of a multimeter (if available).
•
Measure the “Reaction Time” as described on page 9 in the Lab Manual.
•
Determine, experimentally, the density of a regularly shaped object.
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Categorize the types of experimental errors and think about how they may be reduced.
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Distinguish between accuracy and precision.
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Consider the appropriate significant figures in dealing with measurement values, expressing the
uncertainty, and statistical data analysis.
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Calculate the propagation of error in combining measurements of a number of variables.
Equipment:
Vernier and micrometer calipers (metric), meter stick, triple beam balance, and multimeter.
Hollow cylindrical metal rod, a sphere (metal, ball bearing or marble), a piece of wire, a rectangular
piece of metal sheet (or, alternatively, a sheet of paper), and simple electrical loop (if available).
Exercise 1:
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Review, carefully, your manual “Introduction to Experimental Physics”: chapters 4, 5, 6, and 7
on the types of error, random errors, propagation of errors, and graphical analysis and linear
regression, respectively.
•
Review chapter 2 of your manual “Introduction to Experimental Physics” on “Health and Safety
in the Laboratory”.