The Puzzling Weighted Average

Monday, November 21, 2011 - 08:31 in Psychology & Sociology

For you today here is a test of whether you shoud trust your intuition when confronted with an apparently simple problem. Incidentally, this article is the answer to the "Guess The Plot" riddle I posted a few days ago here.Suppose you are given two measurements of the same physical quantity. Make it something easy to visualize, such as the length of a stick. They tell you that when measured with method 1 the result was x1=10 cm, with a estimated uncertainty s1=0.1 cm, and when measured with method 2 the result was x2=11 cm, with estimated uncertainty s2=0.5cm. Here is a question for you today: What is your best guess of the length of the stick ? read more

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