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# Re: [Phys-L] Statistics question

I don't understand fully Paul's post, but must add the distrib. TF posted is, I'm rather certain, the appropriate distribution.

bc, IHRC, used the Lorentz fit in the Mössbauer expt.

On 2012, Aug 24, , at 15:11, Paul Nord wrote:

But John, don't we generally use the standard deviation and not the HWHM? Standard deviation is slightly smaller.

Tossing more gas on the fire...

Is the standard deviation still defined for any set of measurements even it they are widely scattered?

For example, if I measure the wavelength of the sodium yellow doublet, I can calculate a mean frequency for the spectrum. And I can calculate the root mean squared difference of the frequencies of all other measured photons observed. Can I call that the standard deviation even though a normal distribution clearly will not fit the data?

Paul

On Aug 24, 2012, at 3:23 PM, John Denker wrote:

On 08/24/2012 11:35 AM, Paul Nord wrote:
Do you say "half-width" or Full Width at Half Max (FWHM)? And what
does it mean?

Well, the rule is simple: Say what you mean, and mean what you say.
cut