format a measurement result and its error in "scientific" way

jmfauth wxjmfauth at
Fri Feb 17 13:13:04 CET 2012

On 17 fév, 11:03, Daniel Fetchinson <fetchin... at> wrote:
> >> Hi folks, often times in science one expresses a value (say
> >> 1.03789291) and its error (say 0.00089) in a short way by parentheses
> >> like so: 1.0379(9)
> > Before swallowing any Python solution, you should
> > realize, the values (value, error) you are using are
> > a non sense :
> > 1.03789291 +/- 0.00089
> > You express "more precision" in the value than
> > in the error.
> My impression is that you didn't understand the original problem:
> given an arbitrary value to arbitrary digits and an arbitrary error,
> find the relevant number of digits for the value that makes sense for
> the given error. So what you call "non sense" is part of the problem
> to be solved.

I do not know where these numbers (value, error) are
coming from. But, when the value and the error
have not the same "precision", there is already
something wrong somewhere.
And this, *prior* to any representation of these


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