Physics experiments terminology (1 Viewer)

NexusRich

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Could someone please explain the differences among 'experimental, instrumental, systemic and random errors?
Your help is appreciated :)
 

Eagle Mum

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Experimental error is the difference between a measurement and the true value.

Experimental error has two components - systematic error and random error.

A systematic error (inaccuracy or bias) is a consistent, repeatable error in the same direction (error is always higher or always lower) due to faulty calibration of equipment or a flawed experiment design (eg. observer parallax error). It is also referred to as ‘determinate’ error as it is possible to determine and fix this type of error.

A random error (imprecision) is an unpredictable error, in either direction (randomly higher or lower) due to unknown changes or fluctuations during the study. It is also referred to as ‘indeterminate’ error as it is not possible to determine and control this type of error.

Instrumental error is a subset of systematic error, due either to inherent faults of the equipment (eg. inaccurate ruler where the fix may need to be replacement) and/or incorrect calibration (eg. voltmeter).
 

NexusRich

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Experimental error is the difference between a measurement and the true value.

Experimental error has two components - systematic error and random error.

A systematic error (inaccuracy or bias) is a consistent, repeatable error in the same direction (error is always higher or always lower) due to faulty calibration of equipment or a flawed experiment design (eg. observer parallax error). It is also referred to as ‘determinate’ error as it is possible to determine and fix this type of error.

A random error (imprecision) is an unpredictable error, in either direction (randomly higher or lower) due to unknown changes or fluctuations during the study. It is also referred to as ‘indeterminate’ error as it is not possible to determine and control this type of error.

Instrumental error is a subset of systematic error, due either to inherent faults of the equipment (eg. inaccurate ruler where the fix may need to be replacement) and/or incorrect calibration (eg. voltmeter).
Thank you so much, I understand it now !
 

Eagle Mum

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@NexusRich, I’m glad it was helpful.

I came back in here to post that whilst I chose examples applicable to physics because of the context of your question, these concepts & definitions of experimental, systematic, random and instrumental errors apply broadly to all sciences.
 

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