Being aware of the uncertainty related to the measurement is a very fundamental concept and you should not really make any measurements unless you are aware of the related uncertainty.
Calibration uncertainty is a topic that is being discussed at length in the calibration insights blog*, specifically with the non-mathematician in mind. Uncertainty calculation can be a complicated subject and contains many mathematic formulas, in this series of posts Heikki Laurila (Product Marketing manager, Beamex OY) explains what uncertainty in calibration means without the complicated formulas. The first post covers the fundamentals of uncertainty
‘What is the uncertainty of measurement? Shortly and simply we can say that is the “doubt” of the measurement, so it tells us how good the measurement is. Every measurement we make has some “doubt”, and we should know how much this “doubt” is, in order to decide if the measurement is good enough for the usage.
It is good to remember that error is not the same as uncertainty. When we compare our device to be calibrated, against the reference standard, the error is the difference between these two readings. But the error does not have any meaning unless we know the uncertainty of the measurement.’ Read the full blog post here http://blog.beamex.com/calibration-uncertainty-for-dummies-part-1
In the second of the series Heikki looks into detail at the components such as standard deviation and reference standards and traceability read on and join in the discussion here http://blog.beamex.com/calibration-uncertainty-for-dummies-part-2-uncertainty-components
If you wish to download the white paper in full you can access it free here
*Calibration Insights is Beamex’s blog for calibration professionals, technical engineers as well as potential and existing Beamex users. The purpose of this blog is to provide insightful information, written by Beamex’s own calibration and industry experts or by guest writers invited by Beamex