Turn on thread page Beta

precision of stopwatch watch

    • Thread Starter

    hi i was just wonderin in a physics experiement what is the precision of a stopwatch and would 10 seconds be written as 10.0 or 10.00 seconds?

    It depends on the watch. And you! What is the smallest division on the scale/readout? Is it 1/10 s, 1/100 s, 1/1000s?
    The problem with stop watches is that the readout can often be as "precise" as 1/100 second, but it's not possible to measure the time to that level of certainty, because of your reaction time pressing the button at the start and end of the measurement. This can be of the order of about a tenth of a second at each end of the measurement.
    So if you measure a time with a stopwatch, you could have a typical uncertainty of about ± 0.2s.
    You would write your measurement of 10 seconds as 10.0 ± 0.2s
Submit reply
Turn on thread page Beta
Updated: February 10, 2010
Could you cope without Wifi?

The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

Write a reply...
Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.