Explain the difference between random error and systematic error.

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asked May 21, 2012 in General Chemistry by Gummmys ~Expert~ (1,105 points)

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Best answer
Random error is an error that has equal probability of being too high or too low.  Pretty much all measurements will have some random error.  However, with enough trials, random error will average itself out.

Systematic error is an error that is either always too high or too low, but not both.  It will not average itself out with repeated trials. For example, a balance that is not calibrated properly may systematically read too high or too low.
answered May 23, 2012 by yoshi ~Expert~ (919 points)
selected May 23, 2012 by Gummmys