Usually, equal time is given to measuring the background and the sample, or even a longer background measurement is taken as it has so few counts. While this seems the right thing to do, the relative error after background subtraction improves when more time is spent counting the measurement with the highest amount of scattering. As the available measurement time is always limited, a good division must be found between measuring the background and sample, so that the uncertainty of the background-subtracted intensity is as low as possible. Herein outlined is the method to determine how best to divide measurement time between a sample and the background, in order to minimize the relative uncertainty. Also given is the relative reduction in uncertainty to be gained from the considered division. It is particularly useful in the case of scanning diffractometers, including the likes of Bonse-Hart cameras, where the measurement time division for each point can be optimized depending on the signal-to-noise ratio.
- Pub Date:
- October 2012
- Physics - Data Analysis;
- Statistics and Probability;
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics
- independently derived prior to this publication in 1993 (reference included). 5 pages, 2 figures