Introduction to Science

Chapter 1, Section 1 - The Nature of Science                                                                                                                    

Science Knowledge that you get by observing things in order to discover facts and create laws/principles that can be tested.

Technology The application of science for a practical purpose.

Law A statement/equation that reliably predicts events under certain conditions.
  • Examples...
    • Law of Gravity
    • Newton's Laws of Motion
    • Law of Conservation of Matter
Theory - A set of ideas that explains many related observations and is supported by a large body of evidence.
  • Examples...
    • Atomic Theory
    • Big Bang Theory
    • Evolutionary Theory
  • Theories must...
    • explain observations clearly and consistently.
    • be able to be shown in experiments that can be repeated.
    • allow you to predict the results of an experiment.
  • Physical Model
    • Can be touched.
    • Look/act like the real thing.
  • Mathematical Model
    • Made up of equations and data.
    • Can include computer models, such as a weather map.
  • Conceptual Model
    • Made up of many hypotheses.
    • Provide a reference - such as the atomic model.

Chapter 1, Section 2 - The Way Science Works                                                                                                                

Scientific Method
  1. State the Problem (Ask a Question)
  2. Background Research (What is already known?)
  3. Make a Hypothesis (Educated guess to answer the question.)
  4. Do an Experiment (To see if your hypothesis is right.)
    • Make observations.
    • Collect data (raw information - not organized). 
  5. Analyze the Data (Organize it, see what it means.)
  6. Make a Conclusion (Accept/Reject/Modify your hypothesis.)
  7. Communicate Your Results.
Variable - Something that changes in an experiment.

SI - International System of Units
  • Seven base units - shown in the table at right.
  • Derived units - made of combinations of base units.
    • Volume
    • Speed
    • Pressure
    • Force
    • And so on...
  • Prefixes used for large and small measurements...
    • giga- (G) = billion
    • mega- (M) = million
    • kilo- (k) = thousand
    • deci- (d) = one-tenth
    • centi- (c) = one-hundredth
    • milli- (m) = one-thousandth
    • micro- (mc) = one millionth
    • nano- (n) = one billionth

Chapter 1, Section 3 - Organizing Data                                                                                                                              

  • Continuous Data
    • Data that continues over time.
    • Use a line graph.
  • Discrete Data
    • Data in clumps.
    • Use a bar graph.
  • Percent Data
    • Data that reflects "part of the whole".
    • Use a pie graph.
Scientific Notation - A method of expressing a quantity as a number multiplied by ten to a given power.
  • 93,000,000 miles (from the Earth to the Sun) is written as 9.3 x 107
  • 0.0000000199 is written as 1.99 x 108
  • This is helpful for very large and very small numbers.
  • When multiplying numbers written in Scientific Notation,...
    • multiply the first numbers
    • add the exponents on the powers of ten
  • When dividing numbers written in Scientific Notation,...
    • divide the first numbers
    • subtract the exponents on the powers of ten
Significant Figures
  • Tell you how to round off numbers, based on the precision of the measurement.
  • Always use the number of significant digits of the least precise measurement.
  • When adding/subtracting, you can't have more decimal places than the smallest number of decimal places.