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Karla Ramirez

PHYS 2125
Sept. 15 2014
Lab Report #1: Measurement
The first lab done this semester consisted of us comparing measurements we estimated to be close to a
given value and that given value. The experimental part was divided in two; the first of which had us
draw lines of approximately five centimeters on pieces of paper and then measuring their actual values,
while the second part was about guessing the height from table top to ceiling and then measuring the
actual value with both a meter stick and a motion sensor.
The main objectives of the lab are to:
To know the difference between the terms accuracy and precision, and how to correctly apply
them.
Identify deviations and the types of error that can be encountered.
To become familiar with the use of significant figures and their importance in calculations.
Use unit conversion factors.
The main concepts to be defined/reinforced during this laboratory exercise were accuracy and precision.
Accuracy is how close a measurement is to the true or accepted value, for example, how close the lines
we drew on paper were to the actual value of 5 centimeters we were trying to replicate, or how close
our guess of the height from table top to ceiling was to the actual value. On the other hand, precision
refers to how close experimental measurements are to each other, for example, which of the sets of line
drawing measurements had values that were closer to one another.
Part 1: Estimating Lengths
For the first part of the experiment, we took a sheet of paper and tore it into 8 same-sized rectangular
pieces. Then, the other two persons on my team took 4 pieces each and drew on each one a line they
guessed to be 5 cm, without looking at the previous lines they had drawn and without actually
measuring them. When they finished, they gave me the pieces of paper so I could measure each one
and compare how close they got to 5 centimeters.
The following are the tables we used to write down the data obtained:


I
repo
rted
the
mea
Table #1 (Set of Lines by Lab Partner #1)

Measured Length
(cm)
Percent Error
(|5.00 -
measure|)/(5.00*100)
Trial 1 4.83 3.4%
Trial 2 4.78 4.4%
Trial 3 5.02 0.4%
Trial 4 4.97 0.6%
Average = 4.90 Average = 2.2%
Table #2 (Set of Lines by Lab Partner #2)

Measured Length
(cm)
Percent Error
(|5.00 -
measure|)/(5.00*100)
Trial 5 4.15 17%
Trial 6 4.74 5.2%
Trial 7 4.49 10.2%
Trial 8 4.70 6%
Average = 4.52 Average = 9.6%
surements to the second decimal place because the data gives the measurement of 5.00 to three
significant figures, so the rest of the data must be consistent to that amount of significant figures, in this
case up to the second decimal place.
The Average Percent Error of the first set of trials was 2.2% and for the second set of trials it was 9.6%,
while the Standard Deviation was 0.1 cm for Table #1 and 0.2 cm for Table #2.According to the Average
Percent Error and Standard Deviation values, the first set (Table #1) was both more accurate and more
precise than the second set (Table #2), because smaller values APE indicate a more accurate
measurement, and smaller values in SD indicate more precise measurements. In this case, it is more
appropriate to use the Percent Error calculation because were aiming to know who got closer to the
value of 5 centimeters, not who got values closer to one another.
Calculations Pt 1:
Percent Error:
Trial #1: [(|5.00 cm 4.83 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 3.4% Trial #2: [(|5.00 cm 4.78 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 4.4%
Trial #3: [(|5.00 cm 5.02 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 0.4% Trial #4: [(|5.00 cm 4.97 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 0.6%
Trial #5: [(|5.00 cm 4.15 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 17% Trial #6: [(|5.00 cm 4.74 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 5.2%
Trial #7: [(|5.00 cm 4.49 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 10.2% Trial #8: [(|5.00 cm 4.70 cm|)/5.00]*100 = 6%
Average of Measured Length:
Table #1: (4.83+4.78+5.02+4.97)/4 = 4.90
Table #2: (4.15+4.74+4.49+4.70)/4 = 4.52
Average Percent Error:
Table #1: (3.4+4.4+0.4+0.6)/4 = 2.2%
Table #2: (17+5.2+10.2+6)/4 = 9.6%
Deviation:
Trial 1: (4.83-4.90) = -0.07 Trial 2: (4.78-4.90) = -0.12 Trial 3: (5.02-4.90) = 0.12 Trial 4: (4.97-4.90) = 0.07
Trial 5: (4.15-4.52) = -0.37 Trial 6: (4.74-4.52) = 0.22 Trial 7: (4.49-4.52) = -0.03 Trial 8: (4.70-4.52) = 0.18
Standard Deviation:
Table #1:
()

()

()

()

= 0.1 cm Table #2:


()

()

()

()

= 0.2 cm
Part 2: Measuring Ceiling Height
The second part of the experiment had us estimate the height from the top of the table we were
working on to the ceiling without using any measurement device. For my part, I guessed it to be about
2.8 meters, with an uncertainty of 0.4 m. The next step was to take a meter stick and try to measure
the distance as accurately as possible. Our measurement was 2.20 0.10 m. After this, we converted our
result to miles and wrote it down in scientific notation, getting (1.3670.12)e-3. In the next step, the
final measurement was taken with a motion sensor we plugged into a device called ScienceWorkshop,
which in turn was connected to the computer on our table. After making sure everything was working
correctly, we opened the program called DataStudio, which is used to read and analyze data coming
from the sensors and devices attached to the ScienceWorkshop interface. After some guidance from the
class instructor, we got the device working by starting a new experiment on the DataStudio program,
selecting our parameters (distance) and preferred output (a graph), and, after positioning the sensor in a
place on the table where it had an unobstructed space to the ceiling, clicking on Start to get the data.
A graph appeared on the computer indicating that the distance from the sensor sitting on the table to
the ceiling was 2.20 meters, making our second measurement (with the meter stick) pretty accurate,
and my guess much less so.

Calculations:
2.20 m (1mile/1609.34m) = 0.001367 mi = 1.367e^-3 mi
0.10 m (1mile/1609.34m)= 0.12e-3

Apart from the main objectives, this laboratory exercise helped me become familiar with the terms of
Average Percent Error and Standard Deviation and their formulas, as well as learning how to handle the
ScienceWorkshop and DataStudio interfaces, something I hadnt known before.