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What is a Scientific Theory?

What is a Scientific Theory?
A scientific theory is a specific type of theory used in the scientific method. The term "theory" can mean something different, depending on whom you ask. "The way that scientists use the word 'theory' is a little different than how it is commonly used in the lay public," said Jaime Tanner, a professor of biology at Marlboro College. The process of becoming a scientific theory Every scientific theory starts as a hypothesis. Tanner further explained that a scientific theory is the framework for observations and facts. Theory basics The University of California, Berkley defines a theory as "a broad, natural explanation for a wide range of phenomena. Any scientific theory must be based on a careful and rational examination of the facts. An important part of scientific theory includes statements that have observational consequences. The evolution of a scientific theory A scientific theory is not the end result of the scientific method; theories can be proven or rejected, just like hypotheses.

What is a Law in Science? Definition of Scientific Law While scientific theories and laws are both based on hypotheses, a scientific theory is an explanation of the observed phenomenon, while a scientific law is a description of an observed phenomenon. Kepler's Laws of Planetary Motion, for example, describe the motions of planets but do not provide an explanation for their movements. Both scientific laws and theories are supported by a large body of empirical data; both help unify a particular field of scientific study; and both are widely accepted by the vast majority of scientists within a discipline. While a scientific theory can become a scientific law, it does not happen often and each process has a revered and separate purpose as part of the scientific method. A common misconception is that a theory becomes a law after a certain amount of data has accumulated. Scientific laws are typically applied to a specific discipline such as biology, physics or chemistry. Many scientific laws can be boiled down to a mathematical equation. Related:

Text : Is Gravity a Theory or a Law? This week's experiment comes from a recent question, wanting to know whether gravity is a law or a theory. That question brings up so many more questions that I thought it would be fun to explore. To try this, you will need: - an object to drop. OK, pick an object that will not break, dent the floor, cause a mess, or get either of us in trouble. Actually, we should be talking about both. In the language of science, the word "law" describes an analytic statement. We can use Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation to calculate how strong the gravitational pull is between the Earth and the object you dropped, which would let us calculate its acceleration as it falls, how long it will take to hit the ground, how fast it would be going at impact, how much energy it will take to pick it up again, etc. While the law lets us calculate quite a bit about what happens, notice that it does not tell us anything about why it happens. Have a wonder-filled week. Home - Process of Science - What is Science?

Scientific Studies: Scientific Method Learning about the scientific method is almost like saying that you are learning how to learn. The scientific method is a process used by scientists to study the world around them. It can also be used to test whether any statement is accurate. You can use the scientific method to study a leaf, a dog, an ocean, or the entire Universe. We all have questions about the world. Just about everything starts with a question. So you've got a scientist. As more questions are asked, scientists build a foundation of answers. The whole process allows the world to advance, evolve, and grow. Experimental evidence is used to confirm the answers in science. Scientists start with general observations and then make a hypothesis. Once you have a scientific hypothesis, the fun can begin. It is very important that the experiment is objective. So what about that first hypothesis? There are different terms used to describe scientific ideas based on the amount of confirmed experimental evidence.