Science and the scientific method


Science is an inquiry about the truths and empirical evidences of various phenomenon. It is the systematic body of knowledge to address why, where, what, how and which aspects of a phenomenon. The scientific method is a logical deduction of a measurable formula about a complex process. It is associated with observing, recording, analyzing and generalizing the conclusions. Science as a subject inherently able to explain things with a clearly defined, empirical, measurable and in a descriptive way. In a discipline like physics ( a science), there is the least scope for the illogical and baseless imagination, for example, it is illogical to say that earth is much lighter in weight hence it revolves around the sun. Scientific evidences have proved that gravitation is the reason behind the elliptical movement of the earth around the sun.


Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Steps of a scientific method

    2.1 Making observation

    2.2  Making a list of questions.

    2.3 Prepare a list of explanations for each  question or form a                  hypothesis

    2.4 Testing the prediction

    2.5 Generalizing the results

    2.6  Application of the results to make hypotheses                                        or predictions.



Steps of a scientific method

The scientific method is not a random task of knitting a story around a given phenomenon. Instead, it is a series of events being conducted in a controlled environment. The following are some of the steps of the scientific method.

A. Making observation.

B. Making a list of questions.

C. Prepare a list of explanations for each question or form a hypothesis.

D. Testing the prediction.

E. Generalizing the results

F. Application of the results to make hypotheses or predictions.

Steps of Scientific method



Although the scientific method is used in different fields including chemistry, physics, biology, geology, and psychology, in this section let`s be specific to discipline physics. The following are some of the sequential steps followed in science.

1. Making observation

Observation doesn’t simply mean to look at things in a perspective of oneself but it is in the perspective of how the whole world looks at it. In other words, observation must have a completely acceptable theory with an acceptable degree of rationalization. For example, having said that earth revolves around the sun because of gravitation must have observed facts. The findings out of observation must be universally acceptable. Another essential element of making an observation is that there must be scientific tools with an organized method of inspecting a particular phenomenon. For example, the use of a telescope to watch the movement of earth proves to be a supportive device that aids in good observation of planets, and other celestial bodies.

2. Making a list of questions

Post-observation, it is a time of further exploring the difference of opinion posed by many people. If you take an example of the phenomenon of earth movement around the sun,  few questions that can be enlisted are, how fast the earth is revolving around, what is the duration required for the earth to finish one complete round? which direction does it revolve? From where the rotation begins and which point it ends? These questions need to be logical, clear and makes sense.

3. Prepare a list of explanations for each question or form a hypothesis

At this stage, each question must be separately written with a possible explanation for each question. The answers deducted against these questions must be prioritized in such a way that, the most sensible answer to be pinned to the top of the list and the least sensible explanation go to the bottom of the list. For example, if there was a question on how long does it take for the earth to revolve around the sun, then this can be answered with at least 5 options say, 5 hours, 24 hours, 1 year, 1 week and so on but the answer that makes sense (1 year). This right option floats on top of the list only when there is a proper hypothesis with a clear explanation of why is it exactly 365 days.  A hypothesis is although an assumption, it must result in an option that addresses the question.

4. Testing the predictions

At this stage, the predictions must be tested with evidence. For example, the earth takes 365 days to finish its journey around the orbit must have some visual, auditory or another form of clues captured through devices such as a telescope, videos, etc. A prediction is an outcome of what people expect or what a sensible mind thinks but not what everyone argues.

5. Generalizing the results

This is the most important phase because the predictions must be applicable on any day, any condition, any place. For example, the universal truth of 365 days period for earth’s rotation must remain the same in any books, any country, any place and anytime. To put it simply, the period doesn’t change even if you are an Indian, an American or any nation. Generalizing is the process of convincing where the universal rule never changes due to the influence of factors like time, place, people, etc.

6. Application of the results to make hypotheses or predictions

This is the essence of science. After doing all the homework, things must be put to work. At this phase, the research must move to the labs, books, and minds of people. Using this hypothesis, there must be a further development of the question, hypothesis, and predictions. Today we see that many toys, equipment, tasks work based on gravitation and this is what people call research and development based on the fixed theory.





Course List