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Is 2.02% error acceptable?

  1. Sep 13, 2009 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    There was a Physics experiment that I and my friends conducted. The report is due in 5 days. We have written out our report, but there is one question:

    Is the eror acceptable?

    2. Relevant equations

    The error we got is 2.02 %

    3. The attempt at a solution

    We wrote our answer "The percent error of this is 2.02%, which is acceptable, because the 2% error is negligible."

    Is the 2% error negligible?

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 13, 2009 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    It really depends on the experiment, can you supply more details?
  4. Sep 13, 2009 #3
    For most intents and purposes, 2% errors are acceptable. They are not, however, by any means negligible. They're there to let you know that you could be wrong by so and so, and that if someone replicates your experiment and gets a result within that margin of error, then even though it isn't the exact same result you got, it still confirms your observations.
  5. Sep 13, 2009 #4


    Staff: Mentor

    IMO, the question is a bad question. The error is what it is, there is no choice about accepting it or rejecting it, it just exists. It simply places limitations on what you can conclude from your data. Regardless of how small the error is it is never negligible in general, you always need to keep it in mind when drawing conclusions. But as long as the error is small enough to make the conclusion you are claiming with statistical confidence then your conclusion is safe.
  6. Sep 13, 2009 #5

    We are doing gravity. The theoritical value is 9.8m/s^2, but in our experiment we received the value of 10 m/s^2.

    @RoyalCat and DaleSpam,

    THANKS!! :) Ya'lls answers does makes sense a lot! :) I will change the wording of my answer!! :)
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