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Physical Science. Unit 1: Introduction Chapter 1. What is Science. Science is a system of knowledge and the methods you use to find that knowledge . Science begins with curiosity and often ends with discovery. What is Science?.

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Physical science

Physical Science

Unit 1:


Chapter 1

What is science
What is Science

  • Science is a system of knowledge and the methods you use to find that knowledge.

  • Science begins with curiosityand often ends with discovery.

What is science1
What is Science?

  • Generally scientists believe that the universe can be described by basic rules and these rules can be discovered by careful, methodical study.

Science vs technology
Science vs. Technology

Technology – the application of


Science and technology are interdependent. Advances in one lead to advances in the other

Branches of science
Branches of Science

Chemistry: The study of Matter and its changes

Physics: The study of Forces and Energy

What is the scientific method
What is the Scientific Method?

  • Scientific method refers to the techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge

  • It’s an organized plan for gathering, organizing, and communicating information.

  • Everyone can use the scientific method

  • The goal of any scientific method is to solve a problem or to better understand an observed event

How science is conducted
How Science is conducted

  • Science is an investigation, which starts with observations leading to inferences.

    • An observation is any information collected with the senses.

    • An inference is conclusions or deductions based on observations.


  • Observations:

    • I hear people screaming

    • I smell cotton candy, popcorn, and hamburgers

    • I see a lot of people

  • Inference = ?

Basic steps of scientific method
Basic steps of scientific method

  • Make an observation

  • Ask a question

  • Form a hypothesis

  • Test hypothesis

  • Analyze data/draw conclusion

  • Develop theory

Scientific method steps 1 3
Scientific Method Steps 1-3

  • Begins with an observation

    (ex. I see smoke in the distance)

    2. that leads to a question.

    (ex. what’s causing the smoke)

    3. Form a hypothesis – a possible answer that you can test.

    (ex. Some one is burning leaves.)

Scientific method step 4
Scientific Method Step 4

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

  • No experiment is a failure.

Conduct an



Variable – anything that can change in an experiment

  • Independent variable – what you change. (manipulated)

  • Dependent variable – what changes because of the independent variable. (responding)

  • Control-what you keep the same

Qualitative vs quantitative
Qualitative vs Quantitative

  • Qualitative – describes with words.

  • Quantitative – describe with measurements

Scientific method step 5
Scientific Method Step 5

  • Data DOES NOT support hypothesis then you need to revise the hypothesis and retest

  • Data supports hypothesis than additional testing is needed before developing a theory

Analyze data

Scientific method step 6
Scientific Method Step 6

  • Is an explanation that has been tested by repeated observations.

  • Are always being

    questioned and examined.

  • To be valid, a theory must continue to pass each test.

Scientific Theory

Scientific theory cont
Scientific Theory (cont.)

  • A theory must explain observations simply and clearly.

  • Experiments that illustrate the theory must be repeatable.

  • You must be able to predict from the theory

Scientific method step 6 cont
Scientific Method Step 6 cont

  • States a repeated observation about nature.

  • Does not explain why an event happens.

Scientific Law

Theories and laws are not absolute
Theories and Laws are not absolute

  • Sometimes theories or Laws have to be changed or replaced completely when new discoveries are made.

Scientific model
Scientific Model

  • Model is an representation of an object or event.

  • Scientific models make it easier to understand things that might be too difficult to observe directly


  • A way of organizing and presenting data.

  • Makes relationships more evident.

Line graphs
Line graphs

  • Best for displaying data that change. (anything over time)

  • Numerical vs.


Multiple line graphs
Multiple Line Graphs

  • Best for comparing multiple values and distributions

Bar graphs
Bar Graphs

  • Best when comparing data for several individual items or events.

  • Numerical vs. non-numerical

Circle graphs pie charts
Circle Graphs (pie charts)

  • Best for displaying data that are parts of a whole.

Scientific notation
Scientific Notation

  • When writing very large or very small numbers, scientists use a kind of shorthand called scientific notation.

  • This is a way of writing a number without so many zeros.


  • The speed of light is about

    300,000,000 m/s

    • Or 3.0 x 108

  • The mass of a proton is


    • Or 1.673 X 10-24

All you do is move the decimal
All you do is move the decimal

  • 850,000,000.0

    8 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 . 0

    = 8.5 x 108

  • 0.000,000,025

    0 . 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 5

    = 2.5 x 10-8



Scientific notation examples
Scientific Notation Examples

  • 3.256 x 104

  • 9.78 x 109

  • 5.24 x 10-3

  • 2.41 x 10-7

Scientific notation examples1
Scientific Notation Examples

  • 0.007899 = ?

  • 898745.30 = ?

  • 0.00003657= ?

  • 531120 = ?

Units of measurement
Units of Measurement

  • Scientists use the International System of Units (SI units) for measurements.

  • When everyone uses the same units, sharing data and results is easier – less mistakes.

Base units
Base Units

  • The official SI units to measure:

    • Length = meter (m)

    • Volume = liter (L)

    • Mass = gram (g)

    • Time = seconds (s)

    • Temperature = Kelvin (K)

Derived unit
Derived Unit

  • derived units, are made from combinations of base units.

    • Area: square meter (m2)

    • Volume: cubic meter (m3)

    • Density: kilograms per cubic meter (kg/m3) [a measurement of mass/area]

    • Pressure: pascal (Pa) [a measurement of force/area]

    • Energy: Hertz (Hz) [a measurement of force/distance]

    • Electric charge: coulomb (C) [is a measurement of current /time]

Metric prefixes allow for more convenient ways to express si base and derived units

Metric Prefixes

Metric prefixes allow for more convenient ways to express SI base and derived units.

King henry conversions
King Henry - Conversions

  • Use the sentence “King Henry Died by Drinking Chocolate Milk.” to remember the order of prefixes.

Kilo HectoDekabaseDeciCentiMilli




Limits of measurement
Limits of Measurement

  • Precision is a gauge of how exact a measurement is.

  • Precise measurements are close to each other

  • Accuracy is the closeness of a measurement to the actual value of what is being measured

  • An accurate measure is close to the true or expected value