Accuracy or precision is probably the most critical characteristic of measured or collected data. The nature of conclusions derived from the data, and eventually the quality of the work is determined by the extent of precision in both measurements and analyses. This post describes some of the sources of error (both random and systematic), how these can be isolated, and the statistical distributions used to characterize them. This is followed by a short discussion on how errors in multiple measured quantities affect the final measured or calculated values.
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