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# Uncertainty & significant figures - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Uncertainty & significant figures. Feb 7, 2013. Accuracy & precision. All measurements have some amount of uncertainties, also called “errors”. The uncertainty is generally one half of the smallest scale division. The uncertainty is the measure of the precision of an instrument.

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### Uncertainty & significant figures

Feb 7, 2013

• All measurements have some amount of uncertainties, also called “errors”.

• The uncertainty is generally one half of the smallest scale division.

• The uncertainty is the measure of the precision of an instrument.

• A precise measurement has more significant figures than less precise measurements.

• 5.3, 5.34, 6.001

• 3.12, 4.190, 0.00001

Significant figures:Why need to learn?

• Significant figures reflect how accurate and precise a measurement is.

Eg.

11s - The time is accurate to the nearest second.

Adding/subtracting measurements:correct to the least accuracy

• 3.2 m and 5.16 m

• 100 m and 2.14 m

Subtract the 1st measurement from the 2nd one

• 12.5 kg and 25.47 kg

• 36.52 m and 4.35 m

Multiplying & dividing …..

Keep the least significant figures!

32.5 x 1.2 =

It depends!

Eg1. The thickness of a book is 2.1 cm. The total thickness of 3 books is:

3 x 2.1=6.3 cm

Eg2. A student measured a basketball court of WSC. Its length is 28.65 m and width is 23 m

Its area is:

28.65 x 23 = 658.95 sq. m

its area is 660 sq. m (least s. f.)

Q1. Given that a = 20.23 0.05 m, b = 12.02 0.05 m

a. find a+b

b. complete the sentence:

The sum of a and b is between _________ and __________.

Find axb.

Multiplying/dividing measurements?