Practice Problem 6

Which of the following procedures would lead to systematic errors, and which would produce random errors?

(a) Using a 1-quart milk carton to measure 1-liter samples of milk.

(b) Using a balance that is sensitive to 0.1 gram to obtain 250 milligrams of vitamin C.

(c) Using a 100-milliliter graduated cylinder to measure 2.5 milliliters of solution.


Procedure (a) would result in a systematic error. The volume would always be too small because a quart is slightly smaller than a liter.

Procedures (b) and (c) would lead to random errors because the equipment used to make the measurements is not sensitive enough.