The Scientific Method<br /><ul><li>Based on Observations and Data
Observations – hopefully quantitative measurements that appear to relate two or more concepts: heating time and temperature, pond depth and sound of splash, number of “skips” compared to “flatness” of rock, etc.
Law – Statement or equation showing the relationship between properties or concepts
Hypothesis – a proposal to explain the relationship between one concept or property on another
Experiment – set of controlled steps that are meant to determine whether or not the hypothesis is correct. Control for other variables is important
More Experiments/Evaluation of Hypothesis – Further tests to see if predicted behavior holds
Theory – Hypothesis that has held up after many experiments and tests</li></li></ul><li>The Scientific Method<br /><ul><li>The experiment must control for the variables that might impact the observations beside the one(s) you are trying to test.
An hypothesis is often changed as new kinds of data or methods of measurement become available.
Once tested, an hypothesis becomes a Theory. Theories are used to explain the behavior of things until different or better ways of making observations become available, and remain valid unless the new observations provide conflicting predictions. </li></li></ul><li>Scientific Law<br /><ul><li>Scientific Laws, like the Law of Gravity or Newton’s Laws of Motion, are rare.
Scientific Laws provide a relationship (usually mathematical) that is widely used and accepted, but do not usually provide an explanation of the observed effect. </li></li></ul><li>Accuracy vs Precision<br />Accurate and Precise<br />Precise<br />Systematic error<br />Accurate<br />Neither Accurate nor Precise<br />Random Error<br />