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Statistical Analysis of the Experimental

Data and Probability distributions

Ranjith K

The data obtained from repeated measurements represent an

array of readings, not an exact result.
Maximum information can be extracted from such an array of
readings by employing statistical methods.
With elementary statistical methods, the experimentalist can reduce
a large amount of data to a very compact and useful form by,
Defining the type of distribution.
Establishing the single value that best represents the central
value of the distribution (mean).
Determining the variation from the mean value (standard
Summarizing data in this manner is the most meaningful form of
presentation for application to design problems or for
communication to others who need the results of the experiments.

Statistics is the science of facts and figures. It deals with the

methods of collecting, classifying and analysing the data so as
to draw some valid conclusions.
Measures of Central Tendency:
Mode - The mode of a distribution is simply defined as the most
frequent or common score in the distribution.
For example, the mode in this set of numbers is 21:
21, 21, 21, 23, 24, 26, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33
Median - median is the score that divides the distribution into
halves (middle number in a data set).
For example, The median in this set is 28 as there are 4
numbers below it and 4 numbers above:
23, 24, 26, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33

Mean - mean is the most common measure of central tendency and

It is defined as the average of a distribution.
For example, to find the mean of the following set of numbers:
21, 23, 24, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31, 33
First add them all together:
21 + 23 + 24 + 26 + 28 + 29 + 30 + 31 + 33 = 245
Then divide your answer by the number of items in your set. There
are 9 numbers, so: 245 / 9 = 27.222
In general, If each reading (x1,x2,x3..etc) is denoted by xi and there
are n readings, the arithmetic mean is given by,

The deviation di for each reading is defined by di= xi-xm

Measures of Spread or Variability:

Range - It is the difference between the highest and lowest score
in a distribution.
Where, XL= largest value of the quantity in the distribution.
Xs= smallest value of the quantity in the distribution.
Ex: The range of 10, 5, 2, 100 is (100-2)=98. Its a crude measure
of variability.
Standard deviation - The most commonly used measure of
variability to describe scores in a distribution. It is an index that
indicates how spread out scores are in a distribution relative to the
average score.
Standard deviation may be defined as the square root of the
average squared deviation of scores from the mean of the

Standard deviation () is defined by,

Biased SD
(large number of samples)

Sample or Unbiased SD
(small sets of data)

Variance - The variance of a set of observations is the average of

the squares of the deviations of the observations from their mean.
i.e., Square of the standard deviation 2 is called the variance.

Example: The following readings are taken of a certain physical

length. Compute the mean reading, standard deviation, variance,
using the biased and unbiased basis:

Mean xm= 5.613 cm
Standard deviation (biased) = 0.5944 cm
Variance (biased) 2 = 0.3533 cm2
Standard deviation (unbiased) = 0.627 cm
Variance (unbiased) 2 = 0.3931 cm2

How likely something is to happen ????
Many events can't be predicted with total certainty. The best we
can say is how likely they are to happen, using the idea of
Tossing a Coin
When a coin is tossed, there are two possible outcomes:
Heads (H) or
Tails (T)
We say that the probability of the coin landing H is .
And the probability of the coin landing T is .


When a single die is thrown, there are six possible outcomes: 1, 2,

3, 4, 5, 6.
The probability of any one of them is 1/6.
Probability of an event:
Let E be an event and S be the sample space. Then probability of
the event E can be defined as,

where, P(E) = Probability of the event E, n(E) = number of ways in

which the event can occur, n(S) = Total number of outcomes

0 P (E) 1
Note: Probability is always between 0 and 1
Sample Space: Sample Space is the set of all possible outcomes of
an experiment. It is denoted by S.
Ex: When a coin is tossed, S = {H, T} where H = Head and T = Tail
Event: Any subset of a Sample Space is an event.
Ex: When a coin is tossed, outcome of getting head or tail is an event.
Mutually Exclusive Events: Two or more than two events are said to
be mutually exclusive if the occurrence of one of the events excludes
the occurrence of the other.
Ex: When a coin is tossed, we get either Head or Tail. Head and Tail
cannot come simultaneously.

Independent Events: Events can be said to be independent if the

occurrence or non-occurrence of one event does not influence the
occurrence or non-occurrence of the other.
Ex: When a coin is tossed twice, the event of getting Tail(T) in the
first toss and the event of getting Tail(T) in the second toss are
independent events.

Addition Theorem:
Let A and B be two events associated with a random experiment.
P(A U B) = P(A) + P(B) P(A B)
If A and B are mutually exclusive events,
then P(A U B) = P(A) + P(B) because for mutually exclusive events,
P(A B) = 0
If A and B are two independents events, then
P(A B) = P(A).P(B)