The efficacy of any calculation or experiment is based on the principles of precision and accuracy

Precision, Accuracy and Error

Example #1: The principles of precision and accuracy are essential in the minimization of error in all experimental calculations.  

Example #2: A student must measure the weight of a sodium bicarbonate compound and obtains the following measurements: 23.12 g, 23.26 g, 23.08 g and 23.17g. If the true weight of the compound is 18.01 g what can be said about the student’s results?

a) They are accurate and precise.

b) They are accurate, but not precise.

c) They are not accurate, but precise.

d) They are neither accurate or precise. 

As the number and complexity of calculations increases it will become more essential to rely on standard deviation to determine their precision.