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Homework Help: How good is the sinusoidal fit?

  1. Nov 17, 2012 #1
    First off, this is NOT a homework question! That is, I'm not doing this for any course. So then, here's the question:

    I have some data points to which I fit a sinusoidal curve. I get the best (min) chi-square. Now, the question becomes how good a fit is my sinusoid? I was thinking that I could compare my sinusoid with a flat line and see which is a better fit to the data points. How would people suggest I go about doing this? One person suggested a sum of squares, but could not provide me with more than that (he does not remember much except that it "generally works"). I was hoping someone could provide me with much more details (a reference to look up, some examples perhaps?) I know Wikipedia has tons of pages on sum of squares, but I'm not sure which page to go to. Also, if people have other ideas other than sum of squares I am certainly open to it. I know there is something called an F-test, but I don't know how appropriate that would be here? Anyway, I'm hoping for help! Thanks, and yes my statistics is extremely rusty...
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 17, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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  4. Nov 25, 2012 #3
    Thanks for the response, but that's not what I'm looking for here. I have a few options I'm playing with, but I would still be interested in understanding the F-test if someone can explain how it can be applied to what I described above.
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