Error is the difference between the actual value and calculated value of any physical quantity. Basically there are three types of errors in physics, random errors, blunders, and systematic errors.
Sources of errors in physics
All measurements of physical quantities are uncertain and imprecise to some limit. There are three sources of errors.
- Negligence or inexperience of a person.
- Faulty apparatus.
- Inappropriate method or technique.
Difference between error and uncertainties
The basic difference between errors and uncertainties is that error is the difference between the calculated value and actual value, while uncertainty is usually described as an error in measurement.
Types of errors in physics
There are two major types of errors in the measurement of physical quantities.
- Random error
- Systematic error
Random error is said to take place when repeated measurements of the quantity, give different values under the same conditions.
Reasons of random errors:
It occurs due to some unknown reasons.
How can we reduce random error?
The random error can be reduced by taking several readings of the same quantity and then taking their mean value.
Systematic errors occur when all the measurements of physical quantities are affected equally, these give the consistent difference in the readings.
Reasons of systematic errors:
The systematic errors may occur due to:
- Zero error in measuring instrument
- Poor calibration of the instrument
- Incorrect calibration on the measuring instruments.
How can we reduce systematic errors?
We can reduce systematic errors by comparing the instrument with another instrument which is known to be more accurate. Thus, systematic error is reduced by applying a correction factor to all the reading taken on an instrument.