The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation

The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
The Stepwise Method of Uncertainty Propagation
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5 MB|45 pages
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This PDF file - when displayed in presentation format (see the help menu of your PDF reader) - can be used as a classroom or lab lecture to teach students how to handle uncertainty propagation in their computations. It is intended for high school and college science students.

Note that the Stepwise method is not precisely the same as the Significant Figure ( Digit ) method. In the Stepwise method, one need not define or even mention "significant figure" or "number of sig figs", etc. In my opinion, the stepwise method is superior to the Sig Fig method in that i). it is just as easy to teach (easier?) and ii). it is **slightly less** of an over-simplification than is the Sig Fig approach.

The significant figure method and the Stepwise method are certainly related. In fact, the significant figure method is a simplification of the stepwise method, which is itself a simplification of a more rigorous method. While most instructors teach the significant figure method, I thought I would share this presentation of the Stepwise method in case some of you see some extra value in it over the significant figure approach.

Both the Stepwise method and the Sig Fig method are great places to **start** the discussion of uncertainty propagation. But eventually, please introduce your students to more rigorous methods and tools, such as my Measurator App!
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45 pages
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