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 is the smallest prime number?

A: The smallest prime number, according to primality as defined by modern mathematicians, is 2. To be prime, a number must be divisible only by itself and 1. ... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What interesting facts are there about the number 40?

A: The number 40 is the only number, in word form, whose letters are in alphabetical order. It is also used to signify important time periods in Christianity,... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What is the highest number in the world?

A: Integers proceed upward in an infinite sequence, so no number can be said to be the "highest," as it is always possible to add one and get a higher number.... Full Answer >Filed Under: -
Q:
## What are the multiples of 30?

A: 30 has an infinite number of multiples. Some multiples of thirty include 30, 60, 90, 120 and 150. Three and 10 divide evenly into all multiples of 30.... Full Answer >Filed Under: