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Difference between accuracy and resolution

  1. May 9, 2006 #1
    I have a few questions regarding measuring devices in systems such as ventilation, heating, cooling etc. When calibrating these I come accross the terms "accuracy" and "resolution" (directly translated from norwegian). I a bit confused about the difference of these. Can someone explain this to me...?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 9, 2006 #2


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    Gold Member

    A layperson's answer - might not be as formal as someone in the industry:

    I have two tape measures A and B, A measures down to 1/8th inch increments, while B measures down to 1/32 inch increments. B has higher resolution.

    B has a little hook on the end on a slidey bit with a rivet (it took me a long time to figure out what that was for). Anyway, the slidey bit allows for too much play when I measure; it can slide around by as much as 1/16th of an inch.

    Ironically, while tape measure B has higher resolution, if I don't use it correctly, it is actually less accurate.
  4. May 9, 2006 #3


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    Just to echo what Dave mentioned:

    Accuracy: The closeness of a measurement to the actual value being measured.

    Resolution: The smallest detectable increment that an instrument will measure/display to.
  5. May 9, 2006 #4
    Accuracy: accuracy is the maximum spread in measurements made of slide movements during successive runs at a number of target points
    Resolution: Resolution refers to the smallest units of measurement that the system can recognize.
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