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Experiment 1: Errors, Uncertainties, and Measurements

Adrielle Hernandez, Czarina Hernandez, Mhariel Ilagan, Reggiana Lanuza, & Paulo Latonio
Department of Biology
College of Science, University of Santo Tomas
España, Manila Philippines

Measurement is a collection of quantitative
data and made by comparing a quantity with
a standard unit. Measuring devices like
Vernier Caliper, Micrometer Caliper and
Foot Rule were used and well studied and
compared with each other. Due to different
factors, errors and uncertainties occurred.
Mathematical formulas like average
deviation, mean, % error and volume of the
sphere were also used.
In order to have a reliable
data, appropriate instruments must be used.
Failure of using the right instrument is one
of the sources of error. Different measuring
devices can be used. Each measuring
devices have their own usages and functions.
Foot rule is a rule for taking length or
distance in feet and inches.
Vernier Caliper is a measuring
instrument consisting of an L-shaped frame
with a linear scale along its longer arm and
an L-shaped sliding attachment with a
vernier. It is used to read directly the
dimension of an object represented by the
separation between the inner or outer edges
of the two shorter arms.
Micrometer Caliper is a measuring

instrument whose conversion mechanism
consists of a screw-nut micropair. Both are
used to get extremely precise measurements
but Micrometer caliper is more accurate
compared to Vernier caliper.
This experiment aims to (1)
familiarize the students with the different
measuring devices and compare their
accuracy, (2) study the errors and how they
propagate, (3) determine the average
deviation and mean of the set of
experimental values as well as set of average
deviation of the mean and (4) determine the
density of an object given its mass and

Mean Diameter (md) = Σdiameter/n
- sum of all measured diameters divided by
number of observations.
Deviation (d) = |reading-mean diameter|
Average deviation (a.d.) = Σd/n where n=
number of observations
- sum of the deviations divided by the
number of observations
Average deviation of the mean (A.D.) =

8840 1.90 1.90 3.80 1.49 Table 2.80 1. micrometer caliper and the foot rule were determined. Ten independent measurements for the diameter of the sphere were made.7686 7.90 10.8860 1.8970 1.90 1. Results of measurement of thumb using Vernier Caliper 3 0.) of the mean diameter were determined. The same steps were repeated for the Vernier and micrometer caliper.8810 1.25 % Table 1.90 1. deviation (d) of each measurement of diameter from the mean diameter The average deviation (a.80 1.68 % 0.8810 1. The % error was also computed.d.0015 2. The results were then compared Results and Discussion A.80 1. the average deviation (A.9758 7.74 1.49 .70 1. Activity 2 The thumb of each group member was obtained using the Vernier caliper.758 3 27.8 29.8834 0.60 1.90 1.d) Average Deviation of the Mean (A. The weight of the sphere was determined using the electronic gram balance.90 27. The density of the sphere was also calculated. The % error was determined by determining the sphere’s accepted value of density. Results Trial 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Mean Diameter Average Deviation (a. The least count of the Vernier caliper.D.90 1.4981 27.90 1.11 49 7.0047 0.90 1.56 2 0.90 1.90 1.Volume (v) = 4/3 〖πr〗^3 where r= radius Density= mass/volume %error =| (experimental value-accepted value )/(accepted value)|x100 Methodology Activity 1 The errors in the measuring device were determined and were added/subtracted from the final measurement.8670 1.) was calculated.025 3 0 0.70 1. The mean diameter of the sphere.90 1.8860 1.90 1.D) Volume (cm3) Mass (g) Experiment al Value of Density (g/cm3) Accepted Value of Density % Error for Density Diameter of Sphere (cm) Foot Vernier Micromet Rule Caliper er Caliper 1.5914 3. Results of measurement of sphere using Foot rule. Vernier Caliper and Micrometer caliper Group Member Width of thumb (in) 1 0.40 % 2.8860 1.8 7.70 1.8810 1.8850 1.60 1.90 1.8 7.08 0 0.

J. Discussion With the given data using the three measuring devices.B. while student number 2 (Hernandez. A. (2015).) and student number 3 (Ilagan) have the smallest thumb widths that measured 0. the use of the Vernier caliper gave the least % error having a 0.49 inches. Conclusion Through performing the experiments. The importance in taking multiple measurements is emphasized because one trial will not always give a accurate and precise measurement and that although the measurements may be close. Physics (8th Cutnell. & Johnson. the width of their thumbs are both 0. C.25 % error. One person may have more body fat in their thumb while others may have less body fat in that area. it became slightly less accurate than the Vernier caliper.). . 68%. The measurement using the Micrometer caliper should be the most accurate among the three because the micrometer provides a greater degree of accuracy but because of human error or maybe the inappropriate use of the tool. student number 4 (Lanuza) came second with a thumb width of 0. The use of Micrometer caliper gave a 2. Human error may be a possible reason why the use of foot rule gave a high % error. References The Physics Classroom. The group members with the widest thumbs are student 1 (Hernandez. K.40% error.59 inches. 1-D Kinematics [Data file].56 inches. Inc. (2009). Retrieved from http://www. USA: Wiley & Sons. which is very high and most likely inaccurate. which is close to the accepted value while the use of foot rule gave the most highest % error of 29.) and student number 5 (Latonio). the group was able to observe errors and how they happen. The width of the thumb of each person may differ from one another because of their body types. there is still room for error.