The temperature measured in an experiment was #"64.9"^@"C"#. The theoretical temperature is #"55.0"^@"C"#. What is the percent error?
Percent error =
In this example, the theoretical is 55.0 Celsius and the measured is the experimental which is 64.9 Celsius.
The difference in terms of absolute value is 9.9:
The purpose of percent error is to provide a measure of how close you are to an accepted standard.
The error can be attributed to imprecision of instrumentation or due to experimental error or both.
A small percent error such as 5 % validates that the experiment was conducted with precise thermometers or that experimental technique was carefully carried out.
Theoretical values determined after numerous careful experiments are set as a standard value such as the standard kilogram.