Frank Solmitz, Ann. Rev. Nucl. Sci. 14, 375 (1964)
In 1958 it was common to use probable error rather than
standard deviation. Also some physicists would deliberately
multiply their estimated standard deviations by a
"safety" factor (such as ). Such
practices are confusing
to other physicists who in the course of their work must
combine, compare, interpret, or manipulate experimental
results. By 1980 most of these misleading practices had
An equivalent statement is that in the inverse probability
approach (also called Baysean approach) one is implicitly
assuming that the prior probabilities are equal.
H. Cramer, Mathematical Methods of Statistics,
Princeton University Press, 1946.
M. Annis, W. Cheston, and H. Primakoff, Rev. Mod. Phys.
25, 818 (1953).
A. G. Frodesen, O. Skjeggestad, and H. Tofte,
and Statistics in Particle Physics. (Columbia University
Press, 1979) ISBN 82-00-01906-3. The title is misleading,
this is an excellent book for physicists in all fields
who wish to pursue the subject more deeply than is done
in these notes.
J. Orear, "Least Squares When Both Variables have
Uncertainties", Amer. Jour. Phys., Oct. 1982.
Some statistics books written specifically for physicists
H. D. Young, "Statistical Treatment of Experimental Data,"
(McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York, 1962).
P. R. Bevington, "Data Reduction and Error Analysis for
the Physical Sciences," (McGraw-Hill Book Co., New York
W. T. Eadie, D. Drijard, F. E. James, M. Roos, and
B. Sadoulet, "Statistical Methods in Experimental
Physics," (North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam-London,
S. Brandt, "Statistical and Computational Methods in
Data Analysis," second edition (Elsevier North-Holland
Inc., New York, 1976.)
S. L. Meyer, "Data Analysis for Scientists and Engineers"
(John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1975).
Reprinted from Rev. Mod. Phys. 52, No. 2, Part 11, April
1980 (page 536).