More on Bias (systematic) and Random Errors

  • Systematic/bias errors are consistent and repeatable (constant offset)

  • Random errors - arise from random fluctuations in the measurements

To differentiate between the two:

  • random errors are reduced when experiment is repeated many times, get a mean value - >

  • The systematic error (bias) will not change

  • systematic errors can be studied through intercomparisons, calibrations, and error propagation - very common type of error

  • difficulties in determining systematic errors:

    • "truth" is hard to know - may also have uncertainty

    • sub-optimal environment for comparison

  • random errors - studied through statistical analysis of repeated measurements (mean, standard deviation, and variance are often used)