types of error


What is error? Error can be define as a degree of uncertainty, not mistake. Errors can occur due to the observer, equipment and the environment the experiment is conducted. Error can also be a part of the very nature of the experiment itself. Precaution are used to eliminate or reduce error in an experiment. Precaution may include reducing or total excluding the effect of natural elements on the experiment. E.g. closing all the laboratory windows to reduce the influence of the wind on the Bunsen burner flame.

Error may be classified as:

  1. Systemic errors: This type of error occur as a result of faulty apparatus and the kind of technique use. Thus affecting the readings obtain. One example of systemic error is using a centimeter ruler to measure one (1) mile. The reading will be affected every time the centimeter ruler is move.
  2. Mistakes: This type of error occur when doing calculation, taking readings and writing down data. Mistakes can be avoid by observing instrument reading closely and experimenting carefully.
  3. Random errors: Random errors are as a result of a set of measurements differing haphazardly from each other; the reading of the measurements are limited by uncontrollable factors. E.g. No measurement can be taken exactly the same way. When presenting the result; an estimate of its precision should be included. If it is not included the reader will have no idea of the reliability of the results. Therefore error analysis such as mean deviation, percentage error and standard deviation should be included in the result.

Please read up on mean deviation, percentage error and standard deviation. You can click the link provided to obtain a Microsoft office word document on error analysis for experiment. Error analysis


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