Monthly Aphorism: On Precision Instruments

  • Any sufficiently precise instrument is a thermometer

That’s in addition to whatever it’s supposed to be measuring, of course, but it’s amazing how temperature effects creep into those last few digits without you noticing anything different.

The differences between precision, accuracy, and resolution remain relevant, if commonly misunderstood. In particular, precision is not the same as resolution. A good introduction is there.

I stand in awe of the analog IC design folks who can build temperature compensation into a chip by tweaking junction areas and currents. A tip o’ the cycling helmet to ’em!