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Experiment on principles of measurement

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Part I

Study the sample Scilab code 'gauss1.sce' and plot the histogram of random numbers produced

using a gaussian distribution. How will you modify the generated r(n) to get an arbitrary mean x̅ and

standard deviation ?

1) Modify the sample code and calculate the average and standard deviation of r(n) using two 'for'

loops. (Set normalization to false and remove the gaussian comparison plot for simplicity). Try for N

= 1000 and 100000 events. Use built-in help in Scilab or check the web. Show the results to your TA

for credits. Check your answers using the built-in mean() and stdev() functions.

2) Using a ‘for’ loop and ‘if’ statements, count the fraction of events that lie outside range x > 1, x >

2 and x > 3 and compare with the expected numbers. What do you think are the errors on these

actual measured counts? Try for N =1000 and 100000 events.

3) Note that in part 1, the calculation of standard deviation requires another separate 'for' loop,

after calculating the average in the first 'for' loop. This problem can be avoided by finding sum of

deviations around an arbitrary number k, which need not be the average x̅, as:

x̅ = Σ (xi - k) /N + k

Write a Scilab code to verify this. Take the arbitrary k = 1. Note when k = x̅, these two expressions

take the usual standard forms. Check your answers using the built-in mean() and stdev() functions.

4) The Scilab ‘rand’ function can also produce a uniformly random distribution between 0 and 1.

Show the histogram of this distribution and find and compare x̅ and n with the expected values. Set

histogram normalization to true %t to see the pdf. From now on, for simplicity, just use the mean()

and stdev() functions.

5) When you add two random variables z = x + y, show, as homework, that the pdf of the result z is

given by the convolution: pz(z) = px(x)py(z-x)dx. Check this by adding and histogramming two

uniformly distributed random variables. Set normalization to true to see the pdf.

6) Central Limit Theorem: when you add and average a very large number of n random variables,

each with a different type of ‘bell-shaped’ pdfs of arbitrary x̅ and n, the result tends to a gaussian

distribution. Check this by producing and adding five different uniform and five different gaussian

distributions. Note that if the pdfs are all gaussian with the same x̅ and n, the new 2ave = n2/n

becomes smaller as n increases. Also the poisson and binomial distributions became gaussian for

large N. For these reasons, the gaussian distribution is very common in nature.

Part II

1) Study the second sample code that generates a discrete random number using a poisson

distribution. Find mean and standard deviation, and compare with the expected values. Find the

fraction of events occur at the mean value and compare this with the expected value:

P(n) = ne-/n! (You can zoom the Scilab plot and enable the axes to see the values clearly.)

2) Show, as homework, that the sum of two poisson distributed random numbers is also poisson.

Check this by adding two random numbers. (Hint: you can use the binomial expansion theorem to

prove this.)

3) Check that when the mean is very large, say > 20, the poisson distribution becomes nearly

gaussian. Show this as homework.

4) Generate a binomial distributed random number and find its mean and standard deviation.

Compare with the expected values from: P(n) = NCn pn(1-p)N-n. Take p = 0.2 and N = 10 trials.

5) When you add two binomial random numbers, is the result binomial distributed? Check this for

p1 = 0.2, p2 = 0.8 and N = 10 trials.

6) Note that when the trials N is very large and Np is finite, binomial distribution becomes nearly

gaussian. Check this for the case p=0.05 and N = 200 trials.

(Try to do as many parts as possible during the lab hour, and the rest can be completed at home.

Show the results to your TA for credits.)

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