Special Article - Tools for Experiment and Theory
On the combination procedure of correlated errors
Instituto de Física, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apartado Postal 20-364, 01000, Mexico D.F., Mexico
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Accepted: 17 September 2015
Published online: 25 September 2015
When averages of different experimental determinations of the same quantity are computed, each with statistical and systematic error components, then frequently the statistical and systematic components of the combined error are quoted explicitly. These are important pieces of information since statistical errors scale differently and often more favorably with the sample size than most systematical or theoretical errors. In this communication we describe a transparent procedure by which the statistical and systematic error components of the combination uncertainty can be obtained. We develop a general method and derive a general formula for the case of Gaussian errors with or without correlations. The method can easily be applied to other error distributions, as well. For the case of two measurements, we also define disparity and misalignment angles, and discuss their relation to the combination weight factors.
© SIF and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg, 2015