A measurement is a value which reflects the presence or magnitude of some characteristic. Without measurements there could be no science: indeed, there could be no knowledge. The nature of our knowledge is entirely conditioned by the nature of our measurements. The definitions of physical characteristics that we make, the procedures we choose to evaluate quantity, the representativeness of our observations and the methods we adopt to minimize error of one kind or another are all part of the technique of measurement and they all influence our interpretation of nature. In the environmental sciences, as in other branches of knowledge, an appreciation of the measurement process is fundamental to real understanding of any subject matter. That is the theme of this chapter.
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R. M. Haynes
J. G. Harvey
T. D. Davies
- Springer Netherlands
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