GALTON BOARD - what it is and what can we do with it?
Galton board is a device which we use for simulation of the measurement process.
Measurement is the base source of information in science and technology.
A number being the result of measurement is never determined with an absolute precision.
For this reason the result of measurement should always contain an estimation of the
accuracy of the obtained number. Without this complementary information the result of measurement is useless and sometimes can lead to complete
The computer simulation described below presents the mechanisms leading to the measurement errors and the methods of quantitative estimations of the precision of measurements. The statistical interpretation of the result of measurement is presented as well.
The original Galton board was made with the plate placed vertically. A lot of pins were distributed at the surface of the plate. The balls dropped from the top scatter by the pins an finally drop to the cells located at the bottom. The scattering leads to the horizontal
displacement of the balls.
Let us make a measurement. In order to do it we drop the ball from the top of the board.
- The process of measurement --- corresponds to --- the movement of the ball on the board.
- The measurement errors --- correspond to --- the horizontal displacement of the ball.
- The result of measurement --- correspond to --- the cell number where the ball drops.
The details of simulation procedure are given in the page Simulation....
At the same time we will see that the process of random error creation has a lot of properties which are common for the class of statistical processes and the knowledge gained here will be useful in very different domains of the science, technology, sociology etc. - not only in physics.
...lead to complete misunderstanding.
A mountaineer say to the tourist.
Do you know that this mountain is 100 million years and three weeks old?
It is very interesting, but how it is possible that you know it so exactly? - asks the tourist.
Because one professor of geology told me exactly three weeks ago that this mountain
is 100 million years old.