# Lab Report: Centripetal Force - Should I Round or Extend?

• melchisio
In summary, the conversation was about a student working on a lab report for centripetal force and struggling with rounding numbers and using significant figures. They discussed whether to keep the figures rounded or extend them for more accuracy. The suggestion was made to mention it as a source of error in the report. The student expressed gratitude for the helpful suggestion.
melchisio
lab report--quickie!

im drawing up the graphs for my "centripetal force" lab report by hand, and we are instructed to use sig figs.

problem is, if i use sig figs and round my numbers, the graph's points are in a straight line with one other point that looks like an outlier. It isn't an outlier, and i know what the graph is supposed to look like... my points would follow that exact correlation if i extended the numbers one more digit.

Should i keep my figures rounded, however messed up my graph looks, or should i just leave it and explain the "lack of" trend in my conclusion??

HELP SOON!

How about mentioning as a source of error.I meam,u know how it looks like with accurate no-s and how it doesn't with the no-s rounded.How about you do it as it should come out (namely precision) and the end of the paper mention the reason for doing it:if u had used less sign.dig-s,your graph would have looked differently,possibly incorrect.

Daniel.

yea thanks, i wouldn't have thought of that. I think it'll work into my report really well!

## 1. Why is rounding or extending important in a lab report about centripetal force?

Rounding or extending values in a lab report about centripetal force is important because it affects the accuracy and precision of your results. If you round too much, you may lose important information and your results may be less precise. On the other hand, if you extend too much, you may introduce unnecessary digits and your results may appear more precise than they actually are.

## 2. How do I decide whether to round or extend in my lab report?

The decision to round or extend in your lab report should be based on the level of precision required for your results. This can be determined by considering the accuracy of your measurements and the significance of your data. In general, it is recommended to round to the same number of significant figures as the least precise measurement used in the calculation.

## 3. Can I use both rounding and extending in my lab report?

Yes, it is possible to use both rounding and extending in your lab report if it is necessary for your specific experiment. For example, you may choose to round your final result to the appropriate number of significant figures, but extend your calculations to show the full precision of your measurements.

## 4. How do I properly round or extend values in my lab report?

To properly round values in your lab report, follow the rules of significant figures. For example, round to the nearest whole number if your measurements are only accurate to the tenths place. To properly extend values, use all of the digits available on your calculator or use scientific notation to show the full precision of your measurements.

## 5. Is there a correct way to round or extend in a lab report, or is it subjective?

There is no one correct way to round or extend in a lab report, as it depends on the specific experiment and the level of precision required. However, it is important to be consistent and follow established rules for significant figures to ensure the accuracy and reliability of your results.

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