What is the difference between Accepted Value vs. Experimental Value?

1 Answer
Jan 18, 2017


Here is my understanding of the difference.


The accepted value is a number or value that scientists and the public regard as true.

The experimental value is the value that you get in an experiment.

The absolute value of the difference between the two values (the "error") is your experimental error.

#"Error" = "|experimental value - accepted value|"#

The difference is usually expressed as percent error.

#"% error" = "|experimental value - accepted value|"/"experimental value" × 100 %#

For example, suppose that you did an experiment to determine the boiling point of water and got a value of 99.3 °C.

Your experimental value is 99.3 °C.

The theoretical value is 100.0 °C.

The experimental error is #"|99.3 °C - 100.0 °C| = 0.7 °C"#

The percent error is #"|99.3 °C - 100.0 °C|"/"100.0 °C" = "0.7 °C"/"100.0 °C" × 100% = 0.7 %#