Definitions of Scientific Words

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Accuracy
An accurate measurement is considered to be close to the true value.
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Anomalies
These are values in a set of results that are not judged to be part of the variation caused by random uncertainty.
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Calibration
Marking a scale on a measuring instrument.
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Data
Quantitive or qualitive information that has been collected.
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Evidence
data which has been shown to be valid
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Fair Test
A test where only the indeoendent variable has been allowed to affect the dependent variable.
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Hypothesis
A proposal intended to explain certain facts or observations.
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Interval
The quantity between readings. (e.g. 6 reading equally spaced between 0 and 50cm would give an interval of 10cm)
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Precision
Precise measurements are one in which there is very little spread about the mean value.
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Prediction
A prediction is a statement suggesting what will happen in the future, based on observation experience or hypothesis.
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Range
The minimum and maximum values of the Independent Variable (IV) and Dependent Variable (DV). Important to detect any existing patterns.
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Repeatable
A measurement is repeatable if the experimenter can use the same method and equiptment and obtain the same result.
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Reproducible
A measurement is reproducable if the investigation is repeated by a different person, or by using different equiptment or technique and the same results are obtained.
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Resolution
The smallest change in the quantity being measured (input) of a measuring instrument that gives a perceptible change in the reading.
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Sketch Graph
A line graph, not necessarily on a grid, showing the relationship between two variables. No plots or scales used, but axes labelled.
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True value
This is the value that would be obtained in an ideal experiment.
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Uncertainty
The interval within which the true value can be expected to lie, with a given level of confidence or probability.
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Valid Conclusion
A conclusion supported by valid data, obtained from an appropriate experimental design and based on sound reasoning.
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Validity
Suitability of the investigation to answer the question being asked.
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Variables
These are physical, chemical or biological quantities or characteristics.
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Measurement Error
The difference between a measured value and the true value.
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Random error
Cause reading to unpredictably spread about the true value. Reduced by repeat meaurements and the calculation of the mean.
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Systematic Error
Measurements that differ from the true value by a consistent amount. Caused by the method used, equiptment or the environment.
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Zero Error
Any indication that a measuring instrument gives a false reading when the true value of a quantity is zero.
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Control Variable (CV)
A variable which is kept constant so that it does not affect the outcome of the investigation.
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Independent Variable (IV)
The variable that has values changed or selected by the experimenter.
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Dependent Variable (DV)
The variable that is measured for each and every change of the Independent Variable.
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Categoric Variable
Categoricvariables are labels. For instance, type of material, brand of shoe or name of plant.
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Coninuous Variable
A variable that can have a quantity, and can be given magnitude by counting (e.g. number of fish) or measuring (e.g. light intensity).
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

These are values in a set of results that are not judged to be part of the variation caused by random uncertainty.

Back

Anomalies

Card 3

Front

Marking a scale on a measuring instrument.

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Quantitive or qualitive information that has been collected.

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

data which has been shown to be valid

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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