Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

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Joseph Saba
Posts: 154
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 12:16 am

Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Joseph Saba » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:52 pm

Hi, I was just wondering, how would we know whether our experiment is accurate of precise? There are so many ways an experiment can no be accurate but I don't understand how precision would be helpful in this situation. Any help to understanding this would be appreciated.

Veronica Lu 2H
Posts: 89
Joined: Wed Sep 18, 2019 12:18 am
Been upvoted: 1 time

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Veronica Lu 2H » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:57 pm

Precision is how close together your results are to each other, whereas accuracy refers to how close to the known (correct) value the results are.

Samuel Tzeng 1B
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Samuel Tzeng 1B » Thu Oct 03, 2019 4:59 pm

If your experiment is inaccurate yet precise it may indicate that there is a problem with the devices/methods you are using to conduct your experiment

AndreiRekesh1I
Posts: 52
Joined: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:15 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby AndreiRekesh1I » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:04 pm

Often in labs you can know how accurate your results are by comparing the experimental values to theoretical ones, and how precise they are by repeating the same experiment multiple times and comparing the results to one another.

Jacob Puchalski 1G
Posts: 97
Joined: Fri Aug 09, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Jacob Puchalski 1G » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:06 pm

Even if it isn't accurate, precision can be helpful because you know that at least your calculations are consistent. It can then be easier to fix any errors.

Nyari Muchaka_Discussion 4A
Posts: 53
Joined: Thu Sep 19, 2019 12:17 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Nyari Muchaka_Discussion 4A » Thu Oct 03, 2019 5:08 pm

With a lab experiment, when your results are close to the actual answer they can be described as accurate. If you do the lab multiple times and your results for each test are close together then the results can be defined as precise. If lab results are precise but not accurate, it could mean some part of the lab has a fundamental error that should be fixed.

Aarja Pavade 1H
Posts: 103
Joined: Sat Aug 17, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby Aarja Pavade 1H » Thu Oct 03, 2019 10:02 pm

To further understand the difference between accuracy and precision, you can refer to the example of the dartboard that Dr. Lavelle presented in class. The dartboard that showcased precision had all of the darts clustered around one area of the board, not necessarily on the bull's-eye. However, the dartboard that showcased accuracy had darts that were close to the bull's-eye. Thus, from this we can comprehend that precision deals with the closeness of the measurements to each other and accuracy deals with the closeness to the true value.

chari_maya 3B
Posts: 108
Joined: Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:18 am

Re: Lab experiments- accuracy vs precision

Postby chari_maya 3B » Thu Oct 03, 2019 11:26 pm

In labs that I have done in the past, I have had trouble mitigating and solving errors. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on how to identify sources of error in a controlled experiment and how to suggest mitigation. I know that it is unwise to attribute anything to human error, so I was hoping for some advice on remedying technical errors and how to articulate this in a lab report.


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