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ERIC Number: EJ1000749
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Dec
Pages: 2
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0031-921X
Exploring Uncertainty with Projectile Launchers
Orzel, Chad; Reich, Gary; Marr, Jonathan
Physics Teacher, v50 n9 p546-547 Dec 2012
The proper choice of a measurement technique that minimizes systematic and random uncertainty is an essential part of experimental physics. These issues are difficult to teach in the introductory laboratory, though. Because most experiments involve only a single measurement technique, students are often unable to make a clear distinction between random and systematic uncertainties, or to compare the uncertainties associated with different techniques. In this paper, we describe an experiment suitable for an introductory college-level (or advanced high school) course that uses velocity measurements to clearly show students the effects of both random and systematic uncertainties. (Contains 1 figure.)
American Association of Physics Teachers. One Physics Ellipse, College Park, MD 20740. Tel: 301-209-3300; Fax: 301-209-0845; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: High Schools; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A