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Uncertainty Calculation

Precision, Accuracy and Uncertainty Calculation.



Notes:
No measurement can be made with 100% precision
No measurement is 100% accurate or perfect
Random errors due to limitation of instrument (uncertainty of equipment)

Must choose equipment with high precision
Significant figs tell us about the degree of precision
More sig fig more precise, more certain we are










Accurate data low systematic error ( instrument must be calibrated )
Precise data low random error ( instrument with high precision )
Reduce random error, use instrument with high degree of precision



Precise/ Accurate Use instrument with high precision + low systematic error

Random error
sometimes too high or too low due to limitation of instrument
reduce random error by taking replicates and average

Systematic error
Always too high or too low due to instrument not calibrated or procedural
error( procedure used always give too low or too high)
Reduce systematic error by calibrating instrument and modifying our
experimental procedure



Random Error link to Precision, overcome by using precise instruments
and taking replicate samples (average)
Systematic Error link to Accuracy overcome by calibrating the instruments



Treatment of Uncertainty
Adding or Subtracting measured quantities associated with uncertainty.

2 methods can be used
1
st
Method
By adding up the absolute uncertainty

Initial mass, m = (10.000.01)g
Final mass, m = (15.000.01)g
Mass difference, m = (15.00 10.00) = 5.00g
Absolute uncertainty, m = (0.01 + 0.01)g = 0.02g

Answer = (5.00 0.02)g = (4.98 --- 5.02)g

2
nd
Method
Max/min limit error method

Initial mass, m = (10.000.01)g
Final mass, m = (15.000.01)g
Mass difference, m = (15.00 10.00) = 5.00g
Max error = Highest mass difference = (15.01 9.99) = 5.02g
Min error = Smallest mass difference = (14.99 10.01) = 4.98g

Answer = (4.98 ---- 5.02)g



Multiplying or dividing measured quantities
Percentage uncertainty is the sum of percentage uncertainty of individual
quantities

Moles, n = Conc x Vol Conc = (2.000.02)M , Vol = (2.00.1)dm
3


Moles, n = 2.00 x 2.0 = 4.0

% Uncertainty moles, n = % Uncertainty Conc + % Uncertainty Vol
% Uncertainty Conc = (0.02/2.00)x100% = 1%
% Uncertainty Vol = (0.1/2.0) x 100% = 5%
% Uncertainty (Total) = 6%

Moles, n = (4.0 6%) convert to absolute uncertainty (6/100) x 4.0 = 0.24
Moles, n = (4.0 0.24) or (4.00.2)

Answer = (3.8 --- 4.2)


Uncertainty involving time for rate of reaction

Rate of reaction = 1/time
Average time for 3 trials = (5.28 + 4.75 + 4.47)/3 = 4.83s

Rate of reaction = 1/average time = 1/ 4.83 = 0.207s
-1


How to find uncertainty for time and rate ?

3 ways to find uncertainty for time and rate.

1
st
easy method and not very accurate (% Uncertainty Method)

Average time = 4.83s
Uncertainty for time t = (4.830.01) using uncertainty from stopwatch
% Uncertainty time t = (0.01/4.83) x 100% = 0.207%
Rate = 1/Time
Rate = 1/4.83 = 0.207s
-1

Uncertainty for Rate = (0.2070.207%) convert to absolute uncertainty
Rate = (0.2070.004)

Rate = (0.207 0.004) which range from (0.211 --- 0.203)




2
nd
method using Max-Min Range (more accurate).

Time for 3 trials are 5.28, 4.75, 4.47
Average time = 4.83s

Uncertainty for time = (Max time Min time)/2 = (5.28 4.47)/2 = 0.41s
Uncertainty for time t = (4.83 0.41)
% Uncertainty time t = (0.41/4.83) x 100% = 8.48%
Rate = 1/Time
Rate = 1/4.83 = 0.207s
-1

Uncertainty for Rate = (0.207 8.48%) convert to absolute uncertainty
Uncertainty for Rate = (0.207 0.017)s
-1

Rate = (0.207 0.017) which range from (0.224---0.190)
3
rd
method using Max-Min Error (more accurate)

Time for 3 trials are 5.28, 4.75, 4.47
Max time = 5.28, Min time = 4.47
Average Rate = 1/time = 1/4.83 = 0.207s
-1

Uncertainty for Rate Calculation
Max Rate = 1/min time = 1/4.47 = 0.223s
-1

Min Rate = 1/max time = 1/5.28 = 0.189s
-1
Rate with uncertainty = 0.207 (0.2230.189)
Rate = 0.207 (max 0.223 , min 0.189) which range from (0.223 0.189)


Uncertainty involving Concentration of solution by serial dilution

Two methods to find uncertainty for concentration
1
st
method using %Uncertainty

Serial Dilution (3%,1.5%, 0.75%, 0.325%, 0.1875%) of H
2
O
2
using water.

M
1
V
1
(before dilution)= M
2
V
2
(after dilution)
Conc M
2
= (M
1
V
1
)/ V
2

% Uncertainty M
2
= %Uncertainty M
1
+ %Uncertainty V
1
+ %Uncertainty V
2


M
1
= (3.000 0.00)% H
2
O
2
Standard
V
1
= (1.500 0.012)ml H
2
O
2

V
2
= (1.500 0.012)ml water added

%Uncertainty M
1
= 0%
%Uncertainty V
1
= (0.012/1.500)x 100% = 0.8%
%Uncertainty V
2
= (0.012/1.500)x 100% = 0.8%

Total %Uncertainty = 0% + 0.8% + 0.8% = 1.6%
Conc M
2
= 1.500%
Uncertainty conc M
2
= (1.500%1.6%) convert to absolute uncertainty
Uncertainty conc M
2
= (1.500 0.024)%

Conc M
2
= (1.50 0.02)% which ranges from (1.521.48)%







2
nd
method using max/min error method

Serial Dilution (3%,1.5%, 0.75%, 0.325%, 0.1875%) of H
2
O
2
using water.

M
1
V
1
(before dilution)= M
2
V
2
(after dilution)
Conc M
2
= (M
1
V
1
)/ (V
1
+ V
2
)= 1.500% * after dilution, total volume = (V
1
+ V
2
)

M
1
= (3.000 0.00)% H
2
O
2
Standard
V
1
= (1.500 0.012)ml H
2
O
2

V
2
= (1.500 0.012)ml water added

Max V
1
= 1.512ml Max V
2
= 1.512ml
Min V
1
= 1.488ml Min V
2
= 1.488ml

Conc M
2
= 1.500%
Conc M
2
= (M
1
V
1
)/ (V
1
+ V
2
) * after dilution, total volume = (V
1
+ V
2
)

Max Conc M
2
error happens when Max V
1
vol and Min V
2
vol used
Max Conc M
2
= (M
1
x Max V
1
)/ (Max V
1
+ Min V
2
)
= (3.00 x 1.512)/(1.512 + 1.488) = 1.512%

Min Conc M
2
error happens when Min V
1
vol and Max V
2
vol used
Min Conc M
2
= (M
1
x Min V
1
)/ (Min V
1
+ Max V
2
)
= (3.00 x 1.488)/(1.488 +1.512) = 1.488%
Uncertainty conc M
2
= 1.500 (1.512 1.488 )%

Conc M
2
= 1.500 (1.512 1.488 )% which ranges from (1.512 1.488)%
Click HERE to view detail uncertainty calculation and standard deviation

Prepared by Lawrence Kok