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I am taking a lab and we are learning about measurement and uncertainty. Suppose we have to measure the length L of an object. Once the data has been collected we can calculate the mean (average) and the standard deviation s. The resulting measurement would be expressed as [ mean +- s/sqrt(N)] unit where N is the number of collected measurements.

In statistics, there is the practice to collect multiple samples and obtain statistics from the sampling distribution. But this approach does not seem to apply in in the context of measuring a physical variable. Why?

Would it be better, from a statistical standpoint, to collect a single sample of N=100 measurements or M=10 samples each containing N=10 measurements? On both cases the total number of measurements is 100...

Thanks,

fog37

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# Measurement and Statistics

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