Uncertainty

Problem 1

Let's begin with a simple exercise in which you will make two measurements and use them to complete a calculation. Click on the link labeled "Measurement Exercise," which opens in a new browser window. Complete the exercise and then proceed to the following tasks.

Task 1. Gather data from at least five classmates and compare their work with yours. Are your measurements of the rectangle's length and width exactly the same as those of your classmates, or are they different? If there are differences in the measurements, is this the result of determinate errors, indeterminate errors or both? Briefly explain your reasoning.

Task 2 . Compare your calculations for the rectangle's area to the results of your group of classmates. To what decimal place - hundreds, tens, ones, tenths, hundredths - are the areas in agreement? For example, the results 1413.2 and 1415.67 agree to the ten's place because, when moving from left to right, the ten's place is the last decimal place where the values are identical. Did you and your classmates report the rectangle's area to the same number of decimal places? If your answer is no, discuss some possible reasons for making different choices?

Task 3 . Based on your answers to Tasks 1-2, what is the your best estimate for the rectangle's area? What criteria did you use in arriving at your answer?

After completing these tasks, proceed to Problem 2.