HOW SCIENCE WORKS GLOSSARY
· Accuracy - A measured result that is close to the true value.
· Calibration - Marking a scale on a measuring instrument.
· Data – Information that has been collected: it can be numbers or written information such as observations.
o Measurement error - The difference between a measured value and the true value.
o Anomalies - Values in a set of results which differ from the expected and variation caused by random uncertainty.
o Random error – Readings which vary from expected in an unpredictable way. The effect of random errors can be reduced by making more measurements and calculating a new mean.
o Systematic error – Readings, which differ from the true value by a consistent amount each time a measurement is made, they are usually due to the way measuring instruments have been read. If a systematic error is suspected, the data collection should be repeated using a different technique or a different set of equipment, and the results compared.
o Zero error - When a measuring system gives a false reading when the measured quantity is zero, e.g. the needle on an ammeter failing to return to zero when no current flows.
· Evidence - Data, which has been shown to be valid.
· Fair test - A fair test is one in which only the independent variable has been allowed to affect the dependent variable.
· Hypothesis - A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.
· Interval - The quantity between readings, e.g. a set of 11 readings equally spaced over a distance…