Section 2 review
The skills of scientific inquiry and problem solving are at least as important as physics facts and knowledge. The scientific method is the process of posing questions about how things work, proposing hypotheses to explain physical phenomena, and continually testing and refining hypotheses by comparison with observational scientific evidence. Scientific evidence must be objective, which means it must describe only what actually occurs. Popular or historical opinions and interpretations do not qualify as evidence. Scientific evidence must also be repeatable, which means others must be able to make the same observations and get the same results. Experiments are controlled situations specifically set up to collect scientific evidence. Read the text aloud
hypothesis, theory, objectivity, reproducibility, experiment, scientific method, error, average, standard deviation, standard error

Review problems and questions

  1. Which of the following three questions cannot be answered by science?
    1. What is the age of planet Earth?
    2. What is the maximum speed of a cheetah?
    3. Are humans entitled to use all the natural resources of Earth? Read the text aloud Show
  1. Identify whether each of the following is scientific evidence. Give reasons for your choices.
    1. The speedometer on a car reads 57 miles per hour.
    2. A photograph shows the planet Venus at a specific position in the evening sky.
    3. A newspaper headline announces the discovery of a previously unknown fundamental particle.
    4. You notice that the temperature outside is 27ºC.
    5. A teacher tells you that the atomic mass of carbon is 12.0 grams per mole. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Suppose you want to invent a better device for catching a mouse. List five different qualities or capabilities your invention must have. For each one, list one possible solution for how your device might achieve that quality or capability. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Is a scientific theory or hypothesis a more reliable explanation of how the physical world works? Read the text aloud Show
  1. Describe the control that could be used in each of the experiments described below.
    1. A drug company tests the effectiveness of a new pill for treating headaches.
    2. NASA tests various seeds to determine which types of grain germinate best in a weightless environment.
    3. Acousticians test the effectiveness of sound barriers of varying heights and materials in blocking highway noise. Read the text aloud Show
  1. Write one paragraph (of three to five sentences) that defines science. Your paragraph should include the concept of theories, hypotheses, and observational evidence. Read the text aloud Show

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