Question
Wed June 01, 2011 By:

What is the difference between accuracy and precision?

Expert Reply
Wed June 01, 2011
Accuracy is defined as, "The ability of a measurement to match the actual value of the quantity being measured". If in reality it is 34.0 F outside and a temperature sensor reads 34.0 F, then than sensor is accurate.

Precision is defined as, "(1) The ability of a measurement to be consistently reproduced" and "(2) The number of significant digits to which a value has been reliably measured". If on several tests the temperature sensor matches the actual temperature while the actual temperature is held constant, then the temperature sensor is precise. By the second definition, the number 3.1415 is more precise than the number 3.14.
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