Zumdahl: The scientific method: To understand a given phenomenon

The scientific method:  To understand a given phenomenon

Steps in scientific method

1- Making observation
A. Qualitative : no numbers
Example: The sky is blue and water is liquid
B. Quantitative (called measurement): number+ unit Example: Water boils at 100 °C

2- Formulating hypothesis
Hypothesis is a possible explanation for an observation

3- Performing experiments to test hypothesis:
To gather new information that enable a scientist to decide whether the hypothesis is valid.
Theory (Model): Is asset of tested hypothesis that gives overall explanation of some natural

Observation versus theory
Observation: something that is witnessed.
Theory: interpretation (a possible explanation of why nature behaves in particular way).
Natural law versus theory
Natural law: is a summary of observed (measurable) behaviours (example: law of conservation of mass).
Theory: explanation of behaviour.