Physics I Lab Manual 2011 106 - APPENDIX B AN INTRODUCTION...

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APPENDIX B. AN INTRODUCTION TO ERROR ANALYSIS express the result as a ± δa . Both the measured value a and its uncertainty δa will have the same units, so for example if a spring is measured to exert 10.2 N of force with an uncertainty of 0 . 3 N the measured results would be expressed as F = 10 . 2 ± 0 . 3 N. The size of the uncertainty ( δa ) is usually chosen to meet the following criteria: If 100 people were to carefully repeat your measurement using the same equipment, 68 of them should measure a value that is within the uncertainty of your measured value (i.e between a - δa and a + δa .) A more useful, although not as precise, method for estimating the uncertainty in a measurement is as follows: you make a measurement of some quantity and then have your lab partner measure the same quantity. The difference between your measurements is an estimate of the uncertainty. Be careful though - if both of your measure exactly the same
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