AS Science- The Scientific Process


Background of Science

Science gives answers to questions, it's a method of gaining knowledge. The scientific process is the way in which scientific ideas are developed. The stages of this process are given below;

1) A question is asked from an observation, e.g. What is the nature of light?
2) An answer (or part of one) is suggested by forming;

  • A theory; possible explanation of the observations e.g. Light is a wave. (a theory is only scientific if it can be tested)
  • A model; simplified picture of what's happening physically.

3) A prediction or hypothesis is made- a specific testable statement, based on the theory, about what will happen in a test situation e.g. Light should interfere and diffract.
4) A test is carried out- to provide evidence to support the prediction, or help disprove it e.g. Young's double-slit experiment.

After the scientific process has been carried out the results are published in scientific journals in the form of scientific reports;

1) The report undergoes a peer review before publication.
2) The report is sent out to "peers" i.e. scientists that are experts in the same field of work. These scientists examine the data and results to see if the work is of a good enough standard to be published.
3) Peer review doesn't guarantee…


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