Error Analysis

  • Zdeněk Kopal
Part of the Astrophysics and Space Science Library book series (ASSL, volume 77)


Having evaluated the most probable values of the elements of an eclipsing binary system from an analysis of its light curve in the time- (Chapter IV) or frequency- (Chapters V–VI) domain, we have not yet arrived at the end of their investigation; for it still remains for us to determine the uncertainty within which such elements can be specified from the available observational data. A quest of this uncertainty constitutes a point whose importance cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, to say that the most probable value of any such element (say, r1) is equal to r1 = 0.123 represents a statement whose actual information contents is still quite limited: for it obviously would make a great difference to the physical significance of the results if it were to signify that, in fact, r1 = 0.123 000… or again that its uncertainty may amount to several units of the third decimal place. The answer is, of course, implied in the photometric observations at the basis of our study — in their quality as well as number — but appropriate procedures for extracting it remain still to be described.


Light Curve Light Curf Light Change Geometrical Element Close Binary System 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zdeněk Kopal
    • 1
  1. 1.Dept. of AstronomyUniversity of ManchesterEngland

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