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Physical Science Ch. 1 “Introduction To Science”. Ch. 1 Section 1 Notes “The Nature of Science”. How Science Takes Place. Turn to page 5

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Physical science ch 1 introduction to science

Physical ScienceCh. 1 “Introduction To Science”

Ch. 1 Section 1 Notes

“The Nature of Science”

How science takes place
How Science Takes Place

  • Turn to page 5

  • A scientist may perform experiments to find a new aspect of the natural world, to explain a known phenomenon, to check the results of other experiments, or to test the predictions of current theories.

How science takes place1
How science takes place

  • Scientists answer questions by investigating.

  • Scientists plan experiments

  • Scientists observe

  • Scientists always confirm results.

Wilhelm roentgen
Wilhelm Roentgen

  • Found that the cathode rays passed through almost everything, but dense materials absorbed some of the rays.

  • He published his findings and called them X rays. (x represents an unknown in a mathematical equation.)

  • 3 months later, another doctor used his discovery to set the bones in a boy’s arm.

  • In 1901, Roentgen received the first Nobel Prize in physics for his discovery.

The branches of science
The Branches of Science

  • Science is observing, studying, and experimenting to find the nature of things.

Science can be broken down into two main categories
Science can be broken down into two main categories:

  • Social science (deals with individual and group human behavior)

  • Natural science (tries to understand how “nature,” or “the whole universe” behaves.

    • Most of the time, natural science is divided into biological science, physical science, and Earth science.

      • Look at Figure 3 on page 7

Scientific laws and theories
Scientific Laws and Theories

  • Theories explain why something happens, and laws describe how something works.

    • A scientific law describes a process in nature that can be tested by repeated experiments. A law allows predictions to be made about how a system will behave under a wide range of conditions.

      • It does NOT explain how a process takes place.


  • A theory gives an explanation of how a natural process works

To be valid a theory must pass several tests
To be valid, a theory must pass several tests:

  • A theory must explain observations clearly and consistently.

  • Experiments that illustrate the theory must be repeatable.

  • You must be able to predict the results from the theory.

Mathematics can describe physical events
Mathematics can describe physical events

  • Qualitative vs. Quantitative

  • Universal gravitation equation:

    • F=G m(1) x m(2) / d x d


  • Computer models

    • Meteorologists use it to help forecast the weather.

  • Water molecule models

  • Atom molecule models

  • Etc.

1 1 homework
1.1 Homework

  • 1.1 Concept Review

  • 1.1 Review page 12 #s 1-3, 5 & 6

Ch 1 section 2 notes
Ch. 1 Section 2 Notes

  • Turn to page 14

  • The Way Science Works

Science skills
Science Skills

  • Identifying problems, planning experiments, recording observations, and correctly reporting data are some of the most important science skills.

    • The most important skill is learning to think creatively and critically.

Critical thinking helps you solve problems logically
Critical thinking helps you solve problems logically.

  • If you approach a problem by asking questions, making observations, and using logic, you are using critical thinking.

    • How much is the big bag?

    • How much is the small bag?

    • How many ounces are in each?

    • Etc.

A science skills
A. Science Skills

  • Critical thinking—applying logic and reason; objective; consider all factors; analyze

    2. Using the scientific method—series of logical steps to solve problems

    a. ask questions, gather info, form hypothesis

Scientists use scientific methods to solve problems
Scientists use scientific methods to solve problems.

  • Scientific methods are general ways to help organize your thinking about questions.

  • Scientific methods are sets of procedures that scientists use, but the steps may vary

    • Look at Figure 2 Pg. 15

  • Most scientific questions begin with observation. Then, they are usually followed by a hypothesis.


    • Do you have to use exactly the same steps every time that you use a scientific method?

Scientists test hypotheses
Scientists test hypotheses.

  • A hypothesis is tested by doing a controlled experiment.

  • In a controlled experiment:

    • Variables that can affect the outcome of the experiment are kept constant, or controlled, except for the one that you want to measure.

    • Only the results of changing the given variables are observed.

  • It is best to only change one thing at a time to test the hypothesis. This will make it easier to reach your conclusion.

3. test hypothesis

a. a good experiment tests only one variable at a time

i. if more than one were tested, you wouldn’t know which one caused the change

b. variable—anything that can change

Experiments test ideas.

4. Conducting experiments

a. no experiment is a failure

b. scientists use results to revise hypothesis and plan new experiments

c. always keep question being tested in mind

d. sometimes scientists must make observations and use models instead of experiments

5. Using scientific tools

a. Observation

i. Senses

ii. Microscopes

iii. Telescopes

iv. Spectrophotometers

v. Particle accelerators

B. Units of Measurement

SI—Systeme Internationale

1. SI units are used for consistency

a. based on metric system

b. 7 base units

2. SI prefixes are added for very large or small numbers

Basic units in SI and metric








3. Making measurements (pp. 18-19)

i. length—distance between 2 points

unit: use:

ii. mass—quantity of matter

unit: use:

iii. volume—space; capacity

unit: use:

iv. weight—force of gravity on object;

not really used in SI

unit: use:

1 2 homework
1.2 Homework

  • 1.2 Concept Review

  • 1.2 Review page 21 #s 1-5, 9 & 10

Ch 1 section 3 notes
Ch. 1 Section 3 Notes

  • Turn to page 22

  • Organizing Data

1.3 Organizing Data

A. Presenting scientific data

1. line graph—shows continuous changes

B. Scientific Notation—a simple number x a power of ten

1. the exponent (power) tells how many places to move decimal

2. positive—move right; negative—move left

4 x 107 =

C. Significant figures—the digits in a measurement that are known with certainty

How many significant figures?

1.58 ____

2.0 ___

7000 ___

2.09 ___

60830 ___

1. precision—how close measurements are to each other are known with certainty

-the degree of exactness

-smaller measurements are more precise

1 3 homework
1.3 Homework value

  • 1.3 Concept Review

  • 1.3 Review #s 1-7 page 28