What is the difference between systematic and random error?

Answer

Systematic error is a series of errors in accuracy that are consistent in a certain direction, while random errors are those which are caused by random and unpredictable variation in an experiment. Generally, systematic error is introduced by a problem that is consistent through an entire experiment. Random error is statistical fluctuations that are introduced by imprecision in measurement.

Systematic and random error are best contrasted by using examples. An example of random error would be weighing the same ring three times with the same scale and getting the different values of 17.1, 17.3 and 17.2 grams. Random errors tend to follow a normal distribution. An example of systematic error would be using an electric scale that reads 0.6 grams too high to take a series of masses. Every mass recorded would deviate from the true mass by 0.6 grams.

Both systematic and random error are types of experimental error, and minimizing them is key to a successful and meaningful experiment. Random error is generally corrected for by taking a series of repeated measurements and averaging them. Systematic error is more difficult to minimize because it is hard to detect. Using a second instrument to double-check readings is a good way to determine whether a certain instrument is introducing systematic error to a set of results.

Q&A Related to "What is the difference between systematic and..."
Random error is the error made because of some calculation mistakes but systematic error is the difference between the real value and the value that you found.
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Systematc (or systemic) errors are errors caused by the apparatus you're using, the system you're using for measurement. If you have a meter that reads in 1 volt increments, then
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Resolution is a measurement of the output quality of an image, or the number of pixels in a file. For example, 72 pixels per inch (ppi) is an acceptable number for televisions and
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.ac is a country code top-level domain (ccTLD) reserved for use by Ascension Island, but appears to have been licensed by the government to a comercial entitiy based in the UK: http
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1 Additional Answer
Ask.com Answer for: difference between systematic and random error
The Difference Between Systematic & Random Errors
Errors of various kinds are unavoidable in technical environments. However, in these environments, an error isn't necessarily the same as a mistake. The term is sometimes used to refer to the normal expected variation in a process. Being able to... More »
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