Credit: CK-12 Foundation - Christopher Auyeung, using image copyright Cory Thoman, 2010
License: CC BY-NC 3.0
Aristotle (384-322 BC) was an incredibly important thinker in his time; he made contributions to logic, mathematics, physics, biology, politics, theater, and more. Nonetheless, he followed the tendency of the time to make unsubstantiated claims, such as his false proclamation that men eat more than women, and therefore have more teeth. The scientific method became common after Aristotle's time, and ushered in the scientific era of careful observations instead of opinions. Without this method, the hypotheses, theories, discoveries, and inventions we think of as "Science" would not be possible. In this chapter, you will be introduced to physics, as well as the methodology of physics experiments.
Physics is the branch of science that studies primarily matter, energy, and their interactions. Using the scientific method, physicists hypothesize relationships, design experiments, and complete tests to turn hypotheses into theories. Physicists around the world not only work from the same body of knowledge - the same laws and theories - but they also use standard units and the SI system of measurement to ensure replication of their experiments is possible. Physics is more than numbers and equations; it is about asking how and why things work and questioning everything we see in the natural world.