Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Some recent developments in the theory of significant figures and their applications to chemical instrumentation Public Deposited

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https://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/3r074x38s

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  • Significant figures have been a nebulous area in the physical sciences. The results of a literature survey, and of a questionaire distributed among the Chemistry Department faculty at Oregon State University, revealed widely differing interpretations regarding the proper role of significant figures. The present study has a two-fold nature. First the existing theory was extended to include the Root Rule, which unambiguously assigns the correct number of significant figures to the result of a chemical or physical calculation. Then significant figure theory was applied in developing improved methods for recording (and transmitting) tables of measurement data. The upshot is two novel data compression techniques- Decimal Coded Binaries (DCB) and Eight Code- which efficiently combine a measurement and its uncertainty into a single number. An investigation of the computer interfacing requirements of DCB and of Eight Code vis-a-vis a pH meter and a spectrophotometer demonstrated that these new communications tools are easily implemented.
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