Recording your results in a table

Neat headed tables should always be used to present the results of your experiments. Text books and 'write-on' question papers sometimes put results across the page to save space rather than putting them vertically in a column. You should put them in a vertical column.

    There should be a column for

    • each set of measurements taken (never omit these!)
    • each set of calculated values from the experimental data (you may need to calculate these from the readings you took so you can use them to plot a graph)

Headings should

    • be at the top of a column of numbers - there should not be units within the column
    • give the physical quantity measured in words (eg. current, potential difference, length, time) . Abbeviations (I, V, l, t) can be used only if it is clear what they stand for in the text - it is best to include both! Do not use 'amount of weght' or 'quantity of mass'' - use 'weight' or 'mass'
    • include the unit the physical property is measured in. This should preferably be the S.I. unit (as this is the one that will be required in calculations).e.g. Current I (A)
    • have border lines drawn around them.

Columns should

    • contain only numbers (your units are at the top already.... it would be a mistake to put them in again!)
    • contain numbers to the correct number of significant figures. This should indicate the accuracy to which you can read the instruments you have used. (e.g. 0.20 m indicates a reading taken to the nearest cm whereas 0.2 cm indicates you can only read to the nearest 10 cm and 0.200 m to the nearest mm). Therefore a column representing a set of readings taken with the same instrument should all have the same number of significant figures.
    • have border lines drawn around them