Credit: Courtesy of NASA
License: CC BY-NC 3.0
Science has brought countless innovations and advances to humankind. This chapter reviews core principles of scientific inquiry including standard units, dimensional analysis, and unit conversion.
- Science is a broad method of inquiry that can be done in a different order as long as the results are potentially falsifiable and verified by experiment.
- Scientific data is analyzed by mathematics. Data will often include errors, which must be included and analyzed.
- A hypothesis is an educated guess; a theory is a synthesis of a substantial body of study that is generally accepted as true, a law is a broad unifying statement usually expressed mathematically.
- Unit conversions are based on the idea of multiplication by fractions of equivalent units.
- All measuring tools have a limit to their precision and therefore an intrinsic uncertainty of measurement.
- The last digit of any measurement is an estimate and significant.
- There are two types of errors: systematic and random. Systematic error is a consistent error that is usually associated with calibration and random error is associated with the precision of a measuring tool.