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Absolute error question

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Hi there, 

 

I have an absolute error question, regarding a chemistry lab report: I used a spectrophotometer which gives the absorbace with three decimal places (i.e. 1.234). The absolute error for this apparatus would be + 0.001 or half the last unit measurable, therefore + 0.0005?

 

Thank you!

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The rule of thumb is that, unless stated otherwise, the uncertainty of digital equipment is equal to smallest displayed value, in your case it would be +/- 0.001. But often, especially in case of more advanced apparatus, the uncertainty is defined on the equipment or in its documentation, so if you have any manuals regarding your equipment, it would be good to check there for information.

Edited by Slovakov

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usually equipment says its error on the manual or box, check to see if it's got it written down :) otherwise, I would go with +/- 0.001 

 

good luck!

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