Uncertainty in Measurements

Uncertainty in Measurements - • counting significant...

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Uncertainty in Measurements making a measurement usually involves comparison with a unit or a scale of units o always read between the lines ! o the digit read between the lines is always uncertain o convention: read to 1/10 of the distance between the smallest scale divisions significant digits o definition: all digits up to and including the first uncertain digit. o the more significant digits, the more reproducible the measurement is. o counts and defined numbers are exact- they have no uncertain digits! counting significant digits in a series of measurements o compute the average o identify the first uncertain digit o round the average so the last digit is the first uncertain digit
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Unformatted text preview: • counting significant digits in a single measurement o convert to exponential notation o disappearing zeros just hold the decimal point- they aren't significant. o exception: zeros at the end of a whole number might be significant • Precision of Calculated Results o calculated results are never more reliable than the measurements they are built from o multistep calculations: never round intermediate results! o sums and differences: round result to the same number of fraction digits as the poorest measurement o products and quotients: round result to the same number of significant digits as the poorest measurement....
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