Reference value

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The reference value is in many fields of a particular numerical value which to compare is used.


For example, all information in percent is based on a reference value. If this is not specified, misunderstandings or contradictions can easily arise. If 20% of the population of a country is affected by poverty , the population (total population) is the reference value:


The comparison value is the number of people affected by poverty, the reference value is the total population, the percentage is called the poverty rate .

Use in physics and technology

In the physical-technical context, the following uses are highlighted in the specialist literature :

  • In measurement technology as well as in quality assurance and statistics, the reference value is a clearly defined value to which reference is made to define a result deviation ( measurement deviation ). The reference value can be, for example, the upper limit of a measuring range , the scale length or any other clearly defined value. In particular, depending on the definition or agreement, it can be the true , correct or expected value .
  • On closer inspection, many material constants turn out to be dependent on influencing variables . Then they are given at a fixed reference value. As far as deviations of the constants can be indicated, these are determined from the reference value. Example: Influence of temperature of the specific resistance .

The variable to be compared is often related to the reference value via a difference (e.g. for the measurement deviation), but the values ​​can also be linked via a quotient (e.g. for the ratio) or a quotient of the difference to the Reference value (e.g. for the relative error limit ).

Further subject-specific uses

In various specialist fields, the term reference value, possibly also called reference value, is defined in a special way, or it is replaced by a whole reference system of many individual reference values.

Such reference values ​​can be:

See also

Individual evidence

  1. IEC 60050, see DKE German Commission for Electrical, Electronic and Information Technologies in DIN and VDE: International Electrotechnical Dictionary IEV entry 311-01-16.
  2. Martin Klein (Ed.): Introduction to the DIN standards. Springer Fachmedien, 12th edition, 1997, p. 788
  3. DIN 55350-13, Terms of Quality Assurance and Statistics - Part 13: Terms for the Accuracy of Determination Procedures and Determination Results , 1987, No. 1.2
  4. Sigmar German, Peter Drath: Manual SI Units: Definition, Realization, Preservation and Distribution of SI Units, Fundamentals of Precision Metrology , Vieweg, 1979, p. 257
  5. Herbert Bernstein: LF and HF measurement technology: measuring with oscilloscopes, network analyzers and spectrum analyzers. , Springer Vieweg, 2015, p. 265
  6. Erwin Meyer, Dieter Guicking: Schwingungslehre. Vieweg. 1974, p. 19
  7. ^ Karl-Heinrich Grote, Jörg Feldhusen (Hrsg.): Dubbel: Pocket book for mechanical engineering. Springer, 23rd edition, 2011, p. 29
  8. Horst Germer, Norbert Wefers: measuring electronics: Volume 1 , Hüthig, 1985, p. 41