Some Fundamental Definitions In The Science of Chemistry – Precision, Accuracy and Instrument Calibration


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The world in which we live in today, is very complex, and as we grow and learn from it, we should never limit our learning of our world, to just what we learn at home.

But we should be learning also, from other places such as primary the bible, the school and the Internet.

In today’s article we are going to continue to learn, about chemistry, we are going to learn about precision, accuracy, and instrument calibration

Certainty has two aspects, known as precision and accuracy, and although we use these terms interchangeably in everyday life; in science they have their own distinct meanings.

The proximity of the distance between measurements in a series, is known as precision or reproducibility.

Accuracy on the other hand, is known as the proximity of a measurement, to the actual value

Two common types of errors, are used to link the concepts of precision and accuracy, namely: Systematic errors, which are known to be values that are higher or lower, then the actual value.

Faulty measuring devices, are usually the blame for these types of errors, also these errors, occur due to a consistent mistake in taking the readings of the results; these errors occur as part of the experimental system.

Another type of error used to link the concepts of precision and accuracy is: Random Error, which always occurs, depending on the measurer’s skill, and the instrument’s precision.

Random Error shows, some values, which are lower or higher to the actual value, when, there is an absence of Systematic Error.

A lack of random error, which is small deviations from the average, is not present in precise measurements

Systematic errors and random error as well, however; is found to be absent, in accurate measurements.

Through calibration of the measuring device, a systematic error, can be avoided, or at least taken into account.

Calibration of a measuring device is done, by comparing it, to a known standard, and changing its configuration, to match that standards.

The final digit of a measurement is estimated, because all measurements have a limit to their certainty, and the number of significant figures, is used to express that number.

The certainty of the data will often times, drive the certainty of the calculated results, and excess digits, will be rounded off in the measurement.

In order to measure something exactly, many significant figures are used as the calculation requires

It is extremely important in real life, for us to be able to measure things accurately and precisely, so learning about these concepts, is a good idea too.

This way you’ll be able to measure things, better than most people, because now you know what types of errors, to avoid, and how, you’ll be able to get as closely to the actual value as you can and be accurate and precise.

It is indeed a lot to learn in chemistry, and we dismiss certain terms, because we believe we understand them, but, unfortunately many of us don’t understand them.

Unless we take classes, or read up on articles, and I mean even after years of studies, one can forget what we learn, if we don’t continue to practice and stay current with our the knowledge we acquire.

Thank you for reading this article!!!