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Historical Perspectives on Contemporary Physics

EPJ Plus Highlight – Statistical uncertainty in line shift and width interpretation

A general statistical analysis (classical statistics) is a common experimental procedure to determine the uncertainty of photon statistics in measuring a line shift and width. Given the importance of taking into account the background as well as the measured signal in any photon measurement, the paper describes both the perfect spectrometer measurements with a zero and nonzero background as well as the case of an imperfect spectrometer.

More complex line shapes are reviewed and the problems of their evaluation are discussed. The paper then addresses all situations when, instead of making continuous measurements, modern detection arrays with finite-width wavelength bins (pixels) are employed. By providing detailed mathematical descriptions for the line width and shapes discussed with either zero or nonzero background subtraction, this work will be of considerable use for many researchers in assessing their experimentally obtained results.

Statistical uncertainty in line shift and width interpretation. I. H. Hutchinson, Eur. Phys. J. Plus (2012), 127: 81 DOI: 10.1140/epjp/i2012-12081-3

Managing Editors
W. Beiglböck and F. Guerra
ISSN (Print Edition): 2102-6459
ISSN (Electronic Edition): 2102-6467

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