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Application of Statistical Concepts in the Determination of Weight Variation in Samples

Paguigan, Ian1, Libunao, Camilla Mae2 1,2 Department of Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines Date Due: July 4,2012 Date Submitted: July 4 ,2012

Results and Discussion Ten samples of one-peso coins were weighed in an analytical balance. To prevent contamination of the samples which could lead to higher reading of weight, forceps were used in handling the samples. The readings on the balance were then tabulated. Table 1. Recorded Weights of Coin Samples Sample Weight No. (g±0.0002) 1 5.4509 2 5.4039 3 6.1119 4 5.4383 5 5.4356 6 5.3629 7 5.3286 8 5.4426 9 5.3937 10 5.3740 Table 1 shows the recorded weights of the ten samples. Two data sets were obtained from the table. In order to determine whether to reject or accept questionable results, a Q-test was performed on the extreme values (highest and lowest)
Data Set 2 Data Set 1

of the data sets. The highest value on both data sets, which is sample 3, was rejected. Table 2. Statistical Parameters of Samples Parameter Data Set 1 Data Set 2 ̅ S CL 5.4183±0.0004 0.035491 5.418±0.044 5.4034±0.0006 0.042193 5.403±0.032

Based on Table 2, the standard deviation of Data Set 1 is lower than that of Data Set 2. Standard deviation (denoted as s in Table 2) is a measure of dispersion, or a statistical parameter which measures variation of values in a collection of data. It is the square root of variance, another measure of dispersion. The difference is that only of units; the unit of variance is the square of the unit of the measurement while the unit of the standard variation is the same with that of the measurement. Because of this, it is more preferred to use standard deviation than variance. When comparing standard deviations of two or more sets of data, they must have the same unit of measurement and their means must be

Gross error refers to errors that are caused by mishandling. results that appear different from the rest. To prevent this. They occur occasionally. al. The data set with the smaller standard deviation have observed values that are closer to the value of the mean. which has larger value of standard deviation. al. Aside from determinate errors. 237). we can safely compare the standard deviation of both data sets. Indeterminate errors are errors caused by uncontrolled variables. In the experiment. the true mean may lie between 5. al. Another important statistical parameter is the confidence limit.widener. other types of error in experimental data are indeterminate error and gross error. The intervals provide an upper and lower limit for the mean. 95). It is important to note that the use of confidence limits is valid only when determinate errors are or human errors (Skoog et. Since Data Set 1 has smaller standard deviation. al. and thus are present in every measurement (Skoog et. An example of gross error is the contamination of crucibles when doing gravimetric measurements using bare hands. and therefore. the true mean for the first data set can be located between 5. 95% confidence limit for the experiment suggests that “if numerous samples and confident intervals are computed. the weights are spread farther from its mean weight. .435. Since the interval for data set 2 is smaller to the interval for data set 1. Aside from variability of data. when compared to the other with a larger standard deviation.. A pooled standard deviation can be used when obtaining accurately the standard deviation of several sets of data with the same sources of indeterminate errors (science. Confidence limits are “an interval estimate for the mean” (Engineering Statistics Handbook). and may cause outliers. it is invalid when these errors occur. forceps were used to minimize the error and thus. Determinate errors are errors that have assignable cause and are controllable. making the use of confidence limit valid for the experiment. for data set 2. 95). 95% of these intervals contain the true mean” (Engineering Statistics Handbook). it can be said that the recorded weights of the set are closer to its mean weight. it can be said that it is more precise.462. Meanwhile. as stated in the lab manual. It causes the “mean of the data set to differ from the accepted value” (Skoog et. especially when bare hands are used that leads to sample contamination. as compared to Data Set 2. standard deviation can also be used to determine if the mean of a data set can be used as a representative of the set of values. Since the confidence limit deals with the mean. A small value for standard deviation strongly suggests that the mean can be used to represent the whole set. The population/true mean may lie on the interval. Since this is the case for the data sets in the experiment. An example of this type of error is the temperature when performing an experiment. the usual source of determinate error is in the handling of the coin samples. In the experiment.371 and 5. 105).approximately equal ( Almeda et.374 and 5.

95. The University of the Philippines Press: Quezon City. m/ (accessed July 3.. References Almeda. J. one can construct a Gaussian/normal distribution. 2010. 2012) Skoog. G. 2012) HyperStat Online Content. MG escript. 105. it is important to get first the mean and the standard deviation of the data(Regents).. http://itl.V. When determining a normal distribution.F. http://davidmlane.. Elementary Statistic. Decriptive Statistics. Fundamentals of 29.Capistrano.regentsprep. T.2012. al. and Sarte. 237. http://science.html/ (accessed July 3. which is usually the mean of the data. Statistical parameters are important tools in analytical chemistry since these are used to evaluate the reliability of data. http://www. 2012) Regents . Gaussian/ normal distributions are a family of distributions that are bell-shaped (HyperStat). Douglas A. Normal distributions are symmetric with the single central peak.widener. da/section3/eda352..htm/ (accessed July 3.2012) Engineering Statistics Handbook.html/ (accessed July 3.G.M.8th ed.To visualize how data are distributed with respect to the mean. et. .org/Regents/ math/algtrig/ATS2/NormalLesson.

Appendix Calculations: .