value of pi and 22/7

boB Stepp robertvstepp at
Sat Jun 18 11:22:19 EDT 2016

On Sat, Jun 18, 2016 at 12:47 AM, Tim Harig
<timharig at> wrote:

> The main problem I have with significant figures is that measurement
> accuracy is often not constrained to a decimal system.  A scale that can
> measure in 1/5 units is more accurate than a scale that can measure only
> in whole units but it is not as accurate as a scale that can measure
> all 1/10 units.  Therefore it effectively has a fractional number of
> significant figures.

Probably in this type of discussion a more careful distinction between
"precision" and "accuracy" should be made.  A measuring instrument may
allow for many significant digits in its reported result, giving it a
high level of precision, but could, in fact, be giving an inaccurate
measurement (How close it is to the "true" value.), especially if it
is an instrument that has not been properly calibrated (Made to agree
as well as possible with known standards.).


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