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Chapter 1: What Is Science?

Difficulty Level: At Grade Created by: CK-12

Credit: Courtesy of NASA
Source: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-26/html/s133e010411.html
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.

Chapter Outline

Chapter Summary

  1. Science is a broad method of inquiry, the steps of which can be completed in a different order as long as the results are potentially falsifiable and verified by experiment.
  2. Scientific data is analyzed by mathematics. Data will often include errors, which must be included and analyzed.
  3. A hypothesis is an educated guess. A theory is a synthesis of a substantial body of study that is generally accepted a true. A law is a broad unifying statement usually expressible mathematically.
  4. Unit conversions involve multiplying fractions of equivalent units.
  5. All measuring tools have a limit to their precision and therefore an intrinsic uncertainty of measurement.
  6. The last digit of any measurement is an estimate and a significant figure.
  7. There are two types of error: systematic and random. Systematic error is a consistent error that is usually associated with calibration, while random error is associated with the precision of a measuring tool.

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: Courtesy of NASA; Source: http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/gallery/images/station/crew-26/html/s133e010411.html; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


Difficulty Level:

At Grade



Date Created:

Dec 05, 2014

Last Modified:

Feb 06, 2015
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