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April 20, 2014

Homework Help: Biology - Uncertainty (Repost)

Posted by Stuck on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:10pm.

I'm doing a bio lab, and I have collected data on heart rate measured in beats/15 secs with an uncertainty of +/- 1 beat/sec. To get heart rate per minute, I multiplied my data by 4, making my uncertainty +/- 4 beats/min. However, what I need to do now is some subtraction, but my uncertainty ends up being much too large...for example:

(72 beats/min +/- 4 beats/min) - (68 beats/min +/- 4 beats/min) = (4 beats/min +/- 8 beats/min)

Have I done this correctly? Is it even possible to have uncertainty larger than the actual value? Thanks!

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