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An Introduction to Uncertainty in Measurement
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Book description

Measurement shapes scientific theories, characterises improvements in manufacturing processes and promotes efficient commerce. In concert with measurement is uncertainty, and students in science and engineering need to identify and quantify uncertainties in the measurements they make. This book introduces measurement and uncertainty to second and third year students of science and engineering. Its approach relies on the internationally recognised and recommended guidelines for calculating and expressing uncertainty (known by the acronym GUM). The statistics underpinning the methods are considered and worked examples and exercises are spread throughout the text. Detailed case studies based on typical undergraduate experiments are included to reinforce the principles described in the book. This guide is also useful to professionals in industry who are expected to know the contemporary methods in this increasingly important area. Additional online resources are available to support the book at


'… although it has plenty of equations and some discussions of complex issues, it is a remarkably readable text. I wish that the textbooks that I was required to buy at university were half as understandable. If you start at the beginning with a Granny Smith apple and a cup of tea, you will probably find that the cup is empty and the apple core brown before you put this book down … there is some maths … but if you are not maths-literate and think there is nothing in them for you, you are wrong … I find that I can truthfully recommend this book to anyone with a serious interest in measurement and uncertainties, whether they are beginner or an old hand.'

Jeffrey Tapping

'Les Kirkup … and Bob Frenkel … have written a book to address the lack of texts that 'set out the concepts and terminology of measurement in a clear and consistent manner.' In this endeavour they are to be congratulated … this book is good reading as an introduction to uncertainty of measurement.'

Source: Accreditation and Quality Assurance

'All of the metrology a second-year science student might reasonably be expected to know is to be found in the remarkably concise and very readable textbook … Kirkup and Frenkel have succeeded in accomplishing the difficult task of presenting the basic principles while at the same time keeping the amount of mathematics used down to the essentials … a very useful book for undergraduates.'

Source: Chemistry World

'It probably was not until my second undergraduate year that I started to understand the important of uncertainty analysis … I still remember that there was a lack of reference books uncertainty analysis directed toward the undergraduate student. This book fills that gap for the present and future generations of science/engineering undergraduate students … a well written book with useful and clearly presented examples. by using GUM as the basis of the text, Kirkup and Frenkel have developed a self-contained and consistent book for the analysis of measurement uncertainty … it is a much needed text for teaching undergraduate students the importance of experimental and uncertainty analysis.'

Source: ScienceDirect

'Yet another introductory book on the topic of measurement uncertainty … No, not in this case! No formulas for partial derivatives on the surprising cover, but instead a picture from real life: a motor cyclist attempts a daring jump over the water. Is the momentum sufficient? is the stunt safe? … already we are into the topic of the book … A highly recommended book; at a level which is suitable even for those in their first semester of study.'

Ludger Koenders Source: translated from Physik Journal

'…remarkably concise and very readable textbook… Many worked examples, a series of set problems with answers, numerous footnotes that expand upon the material covered, and a helpful index also play their part in making this a very useful book for undergraduates.'

Source: Chemistry World

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