Q:
# Can percent error be a negative number?

**Percent error can be a negative number.** In some cases a positive percent error is typical, but applications such as chemistry frequently involve negative percent errors.

Credit:
Fuse
N/A
Getty Images

Percent error is useful in experiments and calculations involving known values; it provides a means of ascertaining the accuracy of calculations. Determining percent error is simple; subtracting the actual value from the experimental value, dividing by the actual value and multiplying the entire product by 100 yields percent error.

A percent error of zero indicates that an experimental value is exactly the same as the actual, accepted value. Percent errors are often positive with the difference between experimental and actual results being an absolute value. This is the case when it is important to determine error, but the direction of the error makes no difference. In some situations, however, the direction of the deviation is important.

Chemistry, and some other sciences, maintain negative percent error values. For instance, a given reaction between two substances may have a previously published final yield. It is important for any scientists performing this reaction to report on its accuracy. It is also important to know the direction of the error. A positive percent error means that the reaction had a higher-than-expected yield while a negative error indicates a lower yield.

Learn more about Numbers-
Q:
## What are some fun facts about the number two?

A: Two fun facts about the number two are that it is the only even prime number and its root is an irrational number. All numbers that can only be divided by ... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## Is zero an even number?

A: In math, zero is considered to be an even number. In order to be even, a number must be able to be divided exactly by two. Zero qualifies because zero divi... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## Why does pi not have units?

A: Pi does not have units because it is a number, not a measurement. However, pi is sometimes treated like a unit when referring to angle measurements because... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## How do you write a number in scientific notation?

A: To write a number in scientific notation form, write the digits of the original number with a decimal point after the first digit. Then write a multiplicat... Full Answer >Filed Under: