Statistics and supermetallicity: The metallicity of Mu Leonis
Department of Physics and Astronomy, N283 ESC, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602-4360, USA
Accepted: 2 October 2001
For the often-studied "SMR" giant μ Leo, Smith & Ruck ([CITE]) have recently found that [Fe/H] dex. Their conclusion is tested here in a "statistical" paradigm, in which statistical principles are used to select published high-dispersion μ Leo data and assign error bars to them. When data from Smith & Ruck and from Takeda et al. ([CITE]) are added to a data base compiled in 1999, it is found that conclusions from an earlier analysis (Taylor [CITE]) are essentially unchanged: the mean value of [Fe/H] dex, and values ≤ +0.2 dex are not clearly ruled out at 95% confidence. In addition, the hypothesis that [Fe/H] dex which emerges from the Smith-Ruck analysis is formally rejected at 98% confidence. The "default paradigm" which is commonly used to assess μ Leo data is also considered. The basic characteristics of that paradigm continue to be unexplained exclusion of statistical analysis, inadequately explained deletions from an [Fe/H] data base containing accordant data, and an undefended convention that μ Leo is to have a metallicity of about +0.3 dex or higher. As a result, it seems fair to describe the Smith-Ruck application and other applications of the default paradigm as invalid methods of inference from the data.
Key words: stars: abundances / stars: individual: μ Leo
© ESO, 2001