Data Analysis Exam

Data Analysis Exam

The Rules

This is the Data Analysis portion of the final exam for Physics 134, and is held on a "redo" basis. It must be completed satisfactorily by Wednesday, May 2 for you to pass the course.

Each student must take this portion of the exam independently; do not seek help from other people, whether students in the course or not.

Submit your answers to Prof. Saeta's office. If I'm not in, slide them under the door.

The Problem

You are collaborating with a partner on an experiment when you are taken ill with a nasty flu bug and must scurry home to ride it out. Your partner takes all the data, which is saved in a text file, but doesn't have time to analyze it. When you recover, you decide to analyze it for the expected square root behavior.

The data are available by clicking here. You can save them from the browser to a text file that can be imported into your data analysis package of choice, or you can type them in again. (Browsers can convert tabs to spaces; if you want to avoid this, you may be able to by saving the Source of the page, not the Text.) Perform the necessary averages, prepare a plot and a fit to the expected square root dependence, and then either add the residuals to the plot or prepare a second plot of residuals. Be sure to include the fit results on one of the plots. Then answer the following questions:

  1. What is the value of c2?

  2. How many degrees of freedom does the fit have?

  3. What is the value of reduced c2?

  4. What is the probability that one would obtain a larger value of reduced c2 on repeating the experiment, assuming all significant errors are random and that the square-root theory is correct?

  5. As it turns out, you are on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" and have done very well. Indeed, you are at the final question and must answer for the cool million the following question: "Do the data support the theory?" Regis, Profs. Saeta and Sparks, and your grade are hanging on your answer. How do you answer and why? (i.e., justify your claim). No, there is no lifeline.