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Typesetting plus-minus uncertainties with different upper and lower bounds

TeX - LaTeX Asked on January 5, 2022

I’m making a data table and need to include my error bars with my data. $pm$ works great if the upper and lower bounds are the same, however, several of my data points has a different upper limit than lower. In papers I’ve read, I’ve seen plenty of uncertainties expressed as plus x minus y stacked on top of one another with the $pm$ sign.
Could someone tell me how to typeset such a thing?

I’m using a journal-specific document type (aastex) and the deluxetable coding.

3 Answers

Had the same issue, but wanted the uncertainties to not extend outside the original text height too much. As with the use of simple super- and subscript:

$1.06^{+0.04}_{-0.05}$

An alternative (that turned out to be quite useful in tables where vertical spacing is a problem) can be accomplished with raisebox and reducing the fontsize.

documentclass{article}
usepackage{amsmath}
begin{document}
    $1.06${raisebox{0.5ex}{tiny$substack{+0.04 \ -0.05}$}} or 
    $1.06${raisebox{0.5ex}{tiny$^{+0.04}_{-0.05}$}
    as opposed to $1.06^{+0.04}_{-0.05}$
end{document}

Answered by adruino-io on January 5, 2022

How about just using subscripts and superscripts?

$3.6^{+1.1}_{-1.4}$

Answered by jazzwhiz on January 5, 2022

Do you mean something like

documentclass{article}
usepackage{amsmath}
begin{document}
 $1.23substack{+0.4 \ -0.5}$,pb
end{document}

(I've been asked about this for siunitx, but have never really worked out what it actually means or a good interface for an 'automated' approach.)

Answered by Joseph Wright on January 5, 2022

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