Simplify Uncertainty Analysis With Excel Macros
A simple classroom exercise is used to teach students about the law of propagation of uncertainty in experimental measurements and analysis. Students calculate the density of a rectangular wooden block with a hole from several measurements of mass and length using a ruler and scale. The ruler and scale give students experience with estimating fixed uncertainties from analog and digital instruments. The analysis is simplified using VBA macros in an Excel workbook that students create as a template for uncertainty analysis.