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Homework Help: Reducing uncertainty

  1. May 11, 2015 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    How would you reduce uncertainty when measuring the density of a material

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution
    I'm guessing you have to reduce the uncertainty in the mass and volume of the material
  2. jcsd
  3. May 11, 2015 #2


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    Well, that sure seems like a pretty good guess, since that's what density is calculated from, but HOW do you reduce the uncertainty of either measurement? That's really the question.
  4. May 11, 2015 #3
    wouldn't you just use a material with greater mass, ,but lower volume, i.e giving a greater measurement for density.
    % uncertainty = uncertainty/measurement * 100

    so if the measurement is greater, won't the % uncertainty be less
  5. May 11, 2015 #4


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    How do you propose that lowering the volume will improve the calculation's uncertainty?

    Changing material is cheating. Stick to one problem at a time.
  6. May 11, 2015 #5
    as we are calculating density, if we have a lower volume, we will have greater density. Greater measurements have less uncertainty.
    I have no idea
  7. May 11, 2015 #6


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    Surely you are trying to measure the density of a given substance. If you have a lower volume the mass will be less. The density won't change.
    It might help if you explain exactly what method you use for determining the density.
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