About This Chapter
Scientific Inquiry - Chapter Summary
Our instructors for this chapter delve into the major terms, concepts and principles that guide scientific inquiry. By watching the entertaining video lessons, you'll learn about the key characteristics of scientific research. You will examine the importance of strong critical thinking skills when working in science, as these are essential to understand and interpret scientific evidence and theories. After viewing all of the videos in the chapter, you should be able to:
- Distinguish between laws, theories, predictions and hypotheses
- Identify the uses and limitations of evidence in scientific model development
- Explain the scientific response to an experiment's unexpected observations or results
- Understand the importance of reproducible data in scientific experiments
- Explain how scientists avoid biases in experiments
- Describe the criteria used to judge scientific theories
- Understand the importance of skepticism, curiosity and honesty in the scientific process
To help you grasp the major concepts and terminology of this chapter, we offer a number of features with our lessons. A lesson transcript is attached to each lesson with key terms highlighted in bold. Videos include a jump feature in the timeline so that you can rewatch certain excerpts without having to replay the entire video. Once you think you've got a solid understanding of the covered material, you can take self-assessment quizzes to check your comprehension of scientific inquiry concepts.
1. What is Scientific Research?
Scientific research involves using the scientific method to study a phenomenon systematically allowing researchers to draw reliable conclusions. Learn about the nature of scientific research and explore some components of scientific research, including the scientific method, peer review, and statistical significance.
2. Hypothesis, Theory & Law in Science
Observations can be recorded and analyzed to formulate an educated guess, the hypothesis, which can also be used to generate a scientific law or theory through experimentation. Discover this process, and see the importance of comparing and contrasting results of experiments.
3. When Observations Differ From Accepted Scientific Theory
Science is the process of observing the world and trying to explain and predict what will happen. Often, as more information becomes available, the accepted scientific theories must change.
4. How to Avoid Bias in Scientific Investigations
Scientific investigations are studies carried out in order to answer questions, but it is important to avoid bias when doing so. Learn what a scientific investigation is all about, how to avoid bias, and how to conduct a proper investigation.
5. What is Critical Thinking? - Definition, Skills & Meaning
Critical thinking is making reasoned judgements that are logical and well thought-out. Discover more about the definition, meaning, and core skills of critical thinking (curiosity, skepticism, humility), and how to develop and use critical thinking skills.
6. Unexpected Observations & Results in Experiments
Observations and experimental results do not always agree with what we expect. However, these results are not necessarily mistakes, and in this lesson we'll take a look at how they can even lead to useful discoveries.
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Other chapters within the College Physics: Help & Review course
- Formulating Scientific Questions
- Planning a Scientific Investigation
- Observation and Data Collection
- Data Analysis and Graphing
- Drawing and Explaining Conclusions
- Safety During Science Experiments
- Scientific Ethics
- Motion and Newton's Laws
- Kinematic Equations in Physics
- Properties of Rotational Motion
- Linear Momentum Principles
- Work, Energy and Power
- Heat and Thermodynamics
- Characteristics of Waves
- Electrical & Magnetic Forces
- Electric Potential & Capacitance
- Physics Circuits
- Magnetic Forces and Fields
- Quantum Mechanics and the Standard Model
- Science Literacy
- Diversity in Science
- Historical Perspectives in Physics
- Science, Technology and Beliefs