Errors and Uncertainties (IB)

Physics and Chemistry for IG and A level

There will always be something on the exam about this. Here’s a brief introduction

Some people get really wound up about errors. Don’t. They are easy to deal with if you just follow a few simple rules. An error isn’t a mistake, necessarily, just an uncertainty in a reading. Every measurement an experimenter makes is uncertain to some degree. The uncertainties are of two kinds: (1) random errors, or (2) systematic errors. For example, in measuring the time required for a weight to fall to the floor, a random error might occur when an experimenter attempts to push a button that starts a timer simultaneously with the release of the weight and waits a bit too long before pressing the button. Also, some external event, like a gust of wind on a falling feather might yield an anomalous result [For ‘anomalous’, read ‘weird’].  A transcription error is an example of…

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