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ERIC Number: EJ1016968
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Jun
Pages: 3
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Measuring the Gas Constant "R": Propagation of Uncertainty and Statistics
Olsen, Robert J.; Sattar, Simeen
Journal of Chemical Education, v90 n6 p790-792 Jun 2013
Determining the gas constant "R" by measuring the properties of hydrogen gas collected in a gas buret is well suited for comparing two approaches to uncertainty analysis using a single data set. The brevity of the experiment permits multiple determinations, allowing for statistical evaluation of the standard uncertainty u[subscript "R"] within a laboratory period, while calculating "R" from the several measured quantities (pressure, volume, etc.) invokes a number of different methods of estimating the individual uncertainties involved in the calculation of the combined standard uncertainty u[subscript c]("R"). The two uncertainties, as obtained by several classes of upper-level college students, are typically within a factor of two or three. In the course of the data analysis, students interpret a q-q plot, identify outliers using Dixon's test, and apply the "F" test to the ratio of the two variances. Thus, the experiment gives students experience with a variety of methods for evaluating data they have gathered themselves. The Supporting Information contains an Excel workbook containing student data and all the above-mentioned calculations.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A