Register to reply

Quantifying the statistical error in a counting experiment

by JoePhysicsNut
Tags: binomial, branching fraction, statistics
Share this thread:
JoePhysicsNut
#1
Jan22-13, 03:54 AM
P: 34
I need to find the statistical error in a counting experiment. Specifically, a decay can proceed via option A or option B and I need to find the branching ratio BR_a=(N_a)/(N_a+N_b). If I were to do this counting experiment multiple times my results for BR_a would follow the binomial distribution since there are two decay channels.

How do I quantify the statistical error in my result given that I conduct the experiment only once?
Phys.Org News Partner Physics news on Phys.org
IHEP in China has ambitions for Higgs factory
The physics of lead guitar playing
The birth of topological spintronics
mfb
#2
Jan22-13, 10:25 AM
Mentor
P: 11,576
Do you have a fixed number of decays ("I take data until I have 100 decays in those two channels")?
No => you can treat N_a and N_b as the result of independent Poisson processes.
Yes => the denominator is fixed, and N_a comes from a binomial distribution.
Meir Achuz
#3
Jan28-13, 09:33 PM
Sci Advisor
HW Helper
PF Gold
P: 1,992
The usual statistical error gives N_A+ - sqrt{N_A}.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
Can we Measure and Quantifying smell? (Dog Experiment) Medical Sciences 8
Quantifying the statistical error in a counting experiment Advanced Physics Homework 0
Statistical physics: counting states, entropy and temperature Advanced Physics Homework 2
Introductory Statistical Mechanics - counting number of microstates Advanced Physics Homework 3
Statistical Physics - counting states Advanced Physics Homework 1