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# Method of Least square:

Assumptions:

1) The uncertainties are the same for all of the data points.

= +

## If point i, with co-ordinates xi and yi lies on the line, we have

= +

If the point does not lie on the line, the y-co-ordinate has error by distance

So, = + +

or, = ()

Now, according to the theory of least squares, the best straight line through a set of points is that
which minimizes 2

## i.e. applying the least squares criterion 2 is minimum then

2
= 0 ()

2
And = 0 ()

From equations (i, ii and iii), we have normal equations

= + ()

( ) = (2 ) + ()

Then the intercept c and the slope m can be found from Cramers rule

( )
=

(2 ) ( )
=

Where,
2
= (2 ) ( )

## The uncertainty is calculated as

2
()2 =

2
()2 = (2 )

1
2 = ( )2
2

Class work

Example:

In an experiment to determine the acceleration of the free fall g the period T of a simple
pendulum was determined for various values of the l. The following results were obtained.

## Length (m) 0.25 0.35 0.45 0.55 0.65 0.75

Time (s) 0.98 1.21 1.34 1.50 1.60 1.75

Plot a graph of T2 against l, and use it to obtain a value for g, with the associated uncertainty.
Example:

In an experiment to determine the acceleration of the free fall g the period T of a simple
pendulum was determined for various values of the l. The following results were obtained.

## Length (m) 0.25 0.35 0.45 0.55 0.65 0.75

Time (s) 0.98 1.21 1.34 1.50 1.60 1.75

Plot a graph of T2 against l, and use it to obtain a value for g, with the associated uncertainty.

=== = 2
g

42
or, 2 = ( )
g

## Comparing it with equation of straight line y = m.x + c; we have

42
2
y =T , m= , l=x ,c=0
g

( )
Since, c = 0, = (2 )

2
2
() =
(2 )

1
2 = ( )2
1

mx = y-mx (y-mx)2
l=x T T2 =y x.y x2 ( )
x
(2 )
0.25 0.98 0.9604 0.2401 0.0625 1.0088 -0.0484 0.002343
0.35 1.21 1.4641 0.51243 0.1225 1.41232 0.05178 0.002681
0.45 1.34 1.7956 0.80802 0.2025 1.81584 -0.02024 0.00041
0.55 1.50 2.2500 1.2375 0.3025 2.21936 0.03064 0.000939
0.65 1.60 2.5600 1.6640 0.4225 2.62288 -0.06288 0.003954
0.75 1.75 3.0625 2.29688 0.5625 3.0264 0.0361 0.001303

( ) =
= = =
= 3 0.011629
12.0926 6.75893 1.675
( )
Now, [since, = (2 )
]

6.75893
m= = 4.0352
1.675

## Thus, equation of best fitted line is

y = 4.0352 x x 0 1
y 0 4.0352
Also,
1
2 = 0.011629
61

= 0.0023258

= 0.05

= 0.03726

= 0.04

42
Now, m=
g

or, g = 4 (3.14159)2/4.0352

= 9.7835

Hence,

## g = 9.78 0.04 ms-2

T2 Vs. l
4
3.5
3
y = 4.0352x
2.5
T2 (s2)

2
Series1
1.5
1 Linear (Series1)
0.5
0
0 0.5 1
l (m)
Probable error:

(i)
R = R 1 + R2
Taking log on both sides
ln R = ln ( R1 + R2 )
Differentiating we get,
1 2
= +
1 + 2 1 + 2

## Then probable error in R is

1
1 2 2 2 2
= [( ) +( ) ]
1 + 2 1 + 2

(ii)
1 2
=
1 + 1
Taking log on both sides
ln R = ln (R1R2) - ln (R1+R2)
Differentiating we get,
1 2 1 2
= +
1 2 1 + 2 1 + 2

## Then probable error in R is

1
1 2 2 2 1 2 2 2 2
= [( ) +( ) + ( ) +( ) ]
1 2 1 + 2 1 + 2