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# 1 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

## Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Lecturer: Mrs. A. Baker Student Name: Kimani Lawrence Course Title: Engineering Mechanics Lab 1 Course Code: MEE2018 Institution: University of Technology, Jamaica

## 2 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Abstract
The lab report was on experimental uncertainty calculation. The aim was to determine the uncertainty associated with the lack of accuracy of measuring equipment, the random variation in the measurands and lack of repeatability in the output of the measuring system. The experiment was done in groups. It implemented the use of triple beam balances, vernier calipers and four 3.8 cm internal diameter washers. Each member of the group measured the mass, internal diameter, outer diameter and the thickness of each washer. The results were tabulated and used for calculations to obtain the major results volume, density, mean, standard deviation, bias error, precision error and the different uncertainties. In the analysis of this data it could be assumed that the manufacture was very consistent. This was shown when the experimenter calculated the density to be 0.33 g/cm3 less than that of which was published by the manufacture. This confirmed the objectives of the experiment. The experiment showed that sources of errors are in the environment and is very unpredictable; therefore one should be very careful when taking measurements in order to be accurate. Conclusions could then be made.

## 3 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Nomenclature .......................................................................................................................................... 4 Objectives: .............................................................................................................................................. 5 Theory: .................................................................................................................................................... 5 Apparatus: ............................................................................................................................................... 6 Procedure: ............................................................................................................................................... 6 Results: ................................................................................................................................................... 8 Calculations:............................................................................................................................................ 9 Discussion: ............................................................................................................................................ 10 Conclusion: ........................................................................................................................................... 10 Recommendations ................................................................................................................................. 11 References ............................................................................................................................................. 11 Appendix C (Sample Calculations) ........................................................................................................ 12 Appendix B (Raw Data) ..15

## 4 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Nomenclature
Symbol OD ID l V B P r0 r1 m t S Sx W WV W Wl Wm Wr0 Definition Outer Diameter Inner Diameter Thickness Density Volume Bias Error Precision Error Radius of Outer Ring Radius of Inner Ring mass Student-t Distribution Standard Deviation of the Mean Standard Deviation of the Measurement Uncertainty Uncertainty of the Volume Uncertainty of the Density Constant [pi] = 22/7 Partial Differential Uncertainty of the Thickness Uncertainty of the mass Uncertainty of the Radius of the Outer Ring

## 5 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Objectives:
y y y To determine the uncertainty associated with the lack of accuracy of measuring equipment To determine the uncertainty associated with random variation in the measurands To determine the uncertainty associated with the lack of repeatability in the output of the measuring system

Theory:
A measurement error, in the lab, is defined as the difference between the measured value and the true value of the measurand. There are two main types of errors namely precision errors and bias errors. Precision errors are errors caused by the lack of repeatability in the output of the measuring system. Bias errors are consistent repeatable errors, caused by factors associated with the measuring instrument, such as incorrect calibration or weak batteries in digital instruments. The main difference between bias error and precision error is how the calculation is done. Precision error is the difference between the true value and the average reading. Bias error is the difference between the average reading and the true value. There are three major types of bias errors. These are calibration errors, loading errors and spatial errors. It is very important to determine the errors prior to the start of the experiment. This will allow the experimenter to correct the measurement at the end of the experiment or decide whether to use a different measuring instrument for the experiment. All experimental uncertainties estimates should be made at the same confidence level. It is normally made at 95%. This implies that 95% of the time an uncertainty is made, the actual error will be less than the estimated uncertainty.

## 6 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Apparatus:
y OHAUS 600 Series Triple Beam Balance of least count 0.1gram. The subsystems associated with this instrument are the metal plate which is the sensing element, the sliding weights which is the modification sub system and the lever arm which is the indicator and recorder. y Aerospace Vernier Caliper of least count 0.002cm. The subsystems associated with this instrument are the jaws which are the sensing element, the slide assembly of the jaws which is the modification sub system and the vernier scale which is indicator or recorder. y Four 3.8 cm (ID) flat steel washers of density 7.85 g/cm3

Procedure:
The experiment was done in groups of four. The measuring instruments were inspected. The manufacture, model, least count and the three subsystems of the instruments were recorded. The measuring instruments were calibrated. The washer was placed on the plate on the triple beam balance. This displaced the lever arm. The weights on the lever arm were adjusted until the arm returned to its initial condition. The positions of the weights on the lever arm were observed and recorded. The readings were summed. This revealed the weight of the washer. Each member of the group took individual turns to measure the weights of each washer. The upper jaws of the caliper were placed in the center of the washer and then slide down until it touched the ring of the washer. y The experimenter observed the reading on the caliper and then recorded it. This gave the internal diameter of the washer. y The lower jaws of the caliper was opened to about the size of the washer.

y y y y y y y y y

## Student ID#: 1104173

7 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation y The washer was placed perpendicular between the jaws and the experimenter slowly pulled it through the jaws. y The experimenter observed the reading on the caliper and then recorded it. This gave the outer diameter of the washer. y The washer was then placed parallel between the jaws of the caliper and the experimenter closed the jaws on the washer. y The experimenter observed the reading on the caliper and then recorded it. This gave the thickness of the washer. y All readings were collected and recorded.

## 8 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Results:
Washer # 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 n Mean Standard Deviation Bias Error [B] Precision Error [P] Uncertainty [W] Mass [g] 102.7 110.6 111.6 111.3 104.5 105.7 107.9 110 111.9 114.1 122.3 113 102.7 105.1 104.7 108.6 16 109.17 ID [cm] 4.17 4.17 4.144 4.17 4.142 4.14 4.142 4.15 4.168 4.17 4.162 4.166 4.16 4.174 4.7 4.154 16 4.19 OD [cm] Thickness, l Volume Density [cm] [cm3] [g/cm3] 7.65 0.431 13.93 7.37 7.636 0.46 14.79 7.48 7.64 0.464 15.02 7.43 7.64 0.46 14.81 7.51 7.654 0.42 13.67 7.64 7.628 0.428 13.80 7.66 7.644 0.462 14.98 7.20 7.648 0.432 14.01 7.85 7.644 0.468 15.10 7.41 7.616 0.48 15.32 7.45 7.618 0.5 15.99 7.65 7.61 0.466 14.85 7.61 7.638 0.438 14.12 7.27 7.638 0.432 13.89 7.57 7.678 0.46 13.32 7.86 7.644 0.46 14.88 7.30 16 16 16 16 7.64 0.45 14.53 7.52

5.086285 0.135821 0.016264 0.02164014 0.7228022 0.19079 0.05 0.001 0.001 0.001

2.709718 0.072359 0.008665 0.01152879 2.710179 0.072365 0.008722 0.01157208 0.3738011 0.28645

## 9 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Calculations:
Volume [V] = l(ro2-r12) Density [ ] = m/V Bias Error [B] = * least count Precision Error [P] = tS S = Sx/n :. P = t(Sx/n) Uncertainty [W] = (B2 + P2)1/2

## 10 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Discussion:
In carrying out the experiment various problems were encountered. Firstly it was found that the triple beam balance did not retain its calibration after each use. This was observed when the experimenter measured the same washer more than once. It was realized that the reading deviated further and further away in that same direction at each instance. As a result, the experimenter had to recalibrate it after each use. Continuing the experiment, the measurement of the outer diameter of the washer was very tedious. Each time a measurement was made, the experimenter got different readings. The most accurate procedure found was to slowly allow the washer to open the jaws of the vernier caliper to its fullest. At this point, the experimenter would be certain that it was the true outer diameter of the caliper that was measured. The calculated density of the material used to make the washer is 7.52 g/cm3 and the published density is 7.85 g/cm3. It can be said that the method used by the manufacture was consistent. This is evident when a density of 7.52 g/cm3 was calculated, which was under the published density by 0.33 g/cm3. The cause of this would most likely be some minor experimental errors.

Conclusion:
The aim was to determine the uncertainty associated with the lack of accuracy of measuring equipment, the random variation in the measurands and lack of repeatability in the output of the measuring system. Now in the experiment, it was found that there was a contrast between the measured value and the true value. There was a very small deviation from the true value which the experimenter could neglect. It can therefore be concluded that the uncertainty associated with the lack of accuracy of measuring equipment, the random variation in the measurands and lack of the repeatability in the output of the measuring system can be determined. This should also be done within the limits of experimental errors.

## 11 Experimental Uncertainty Calculation

Recommendations
To better the output of future experiments, the experimenter recommends that experiments be done more than once. This will decrease the chances of having an error in the output in the measured value.

References
Glenn Elert (1998 January 20). Density of Steel, University of Wisconsin-Stout Physics Department, Retrieved September 21, 2011 from http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2004/KarenSutherland.shtml