# Accuracy and Precision

JoVE Core
Physik
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JoVE Core Physik
Accuracy and Precision

### Nächstes Video1.9: Random and Systematic Errors

Scientists make repeated measurements of a quantity during experimentation to ensure that their results are accurate and precise.

The accuracy of a measurement is the degree of closeness of the results to the true or accepted value.

Consider two students, A and B, who repeatedly weighed a gold bar known to have a true mass of 10 grams. Students A and B each reported three values from repeated measurements of the gold bar. Student A reported values closer to the true mass of the bar compared to student B. Thus, measurements by student A were, therefore, more "accurate".

Precision, on the other hand, is the measure of how closely the results agree with each other, or how reproducible they are.

A measurement is said to be precise if it gives highly similar results when repeated under the same conditions.

For instance, the values for the mass of the gold bar reported by student B were very similar to one another, as compared to student A. That is "precision".

Accuracy and precision are two distinct qualities of measurement which are independent of each other. Thus, a particular set of measurements can be either accurate, or precise, or neither, or both.

Highly accurate values tend to be precise too. Like a weighing balance showing true or close to true masses for all of the objects, repeatedly. However, highly precise measurements may not necessarily be accurate – if the same balance is improperly calibrated, it may give precise but inaccurate readings. This may lead to scientific errors.

## Accuracy and Precision

Scientists typically make repeated measurements of a quantity to ensure the quality of their findings and to evaluate both the precision and the accuracy of their results. Measurements are said to be precise if they yield very similar results when repeated in the same manner. A measurement is considered accurate if it yields a result that is very close to the true or the accepted value. Precise values agree with each other; accurate values agree with a true value.  Highly accurate measurements tend to be precise, too. However, highly precise measurements may not necessarily be accurate. For example, an improperly calibrated thermometer or a faulty weighing balance may give precise readings that are inaccurate.

This text is adapted from Openstax, Chemistry 2e, Section 1.5: Measurement Uncertainty, Accuracy, and Precision.