Measurements PHYS 1100
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This 1 page Class Notes was uploaded by Tiffany Mae Paskiewicz on Thursday September 24, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to PHYS 1100 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute taught by a professor in Fall 2015. Since its upload, it has received 77 views. For similar materials see Physics I in Physics 2 at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
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Date Created: 09/24/15
Measurements What is physics Physicists study the fundamental objects and interactions of nature and their manybody manifestations Quantitative Measurement determine the relevant physical variables Predictive If we can predict the behavior of the physical system then we understand the system and its interactions Mathematical the parts we understand are framed in appropriate mathematical language to facilitate predictions This is called a theory Units of Measurements Standardized units allow measured quantities to be compared and predicted results to be compared with experimental results SI units are most used in physics Measurement Uncertainties since measurement re key to developing a physical theory we also need to understand the limitations of a measurement We quantify the accuracy of a measurement using the same units as the measured quantity We will ften make very sloppy estimates of measurement uncertainties but crude estimates are better than none at all Always state experiment uncertainties Random uncertainties the results of a measurement are randomly distributed about the average value Caused by unpredictable fluctuation in the measuring technique these fluctuations may be due to interference of the environment or due to human limitations Statistical Analysis to report random uncertainties assume they have been produced by a large number of uncontrolled variables in the measurement In this limit all random uncertainties take a specific form called a Gaussian distribution Gaussian Distribution The error of a series of measurements can be quantified by calculating the quotstandard deviation a Z x J z SD Ngl SD can also be seen as o I Significant Figures The term significant figures refers to the number of important single digits in the coefficient of and expression in scientific notation The number of significant figures in an expression indicated the confidence or precision of a measurement When multiplying or dividing number the number of significant figures in the final answer is the number of significant figures in the factor having the least number of significant figures When adding or subtracting numbers the number of decimal places in the result is the smallest number of decimal places in any term
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