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Study Unit : When Does a Theory Become a Law?

Study Unit : When Does a Theory Become a Law?
This is something that comes up quite frequently in discussions between scientists and the general public. How much proof does it take for a theory to graduate to being a law? Theory Law Because the words theory and law have such different meanings in the language of science, it is often a difficult question to answer, so instead, I'll start by giving you a few similar questions to answer. How perfectly do you have to build a house so that it will become a single brick? If you are thinking that those questions don't make much sense, then you are feeling very much like a scientist who has been asked "How much proof does it take for a theory to graduate to being a law?" Ohm's Law In science, laws are simple facts and formulas that are so basic that they apply universally. So just as houses don't become bricks, theories don't become laws. Laws tell us what happens. But what if a theory turns out to be wrong? Albert Einstein The same is true for new explanations of how and why things work. Related:  Citizen Science

Can a Theory Evolve into a Law? In general when we refer to a theory we mean something that’s not proven yet. In science it’s a bit different. Today, on “A Moment of Science,” we are clearing up the difference between a scientific theory and a scientific law. Well, the definition of a law is easy. The law of gravity describes and quantifies the attraction between two objects. According to the National Academy of Sciences, a scientific theory is a “well- substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world that can incorporate facts, laws, inferences, and tested hypotheses.” Based on that definition, theories never change into laws, no matter how much evidence out there supports them.

10 Sci Laws The British physicist and novelist C.P. Snow once said that a nonscientist who didn't know the second law of thermodynamics was like a scientist who had never read Shakespeare [source: Lambert ]. Snow's now-famous statement was meant to emphasize both the importance of thermodynamics and the necessity for nonscientists to learn about it. Thermodynamics is the study of how energy works in a system, whether it's an engine or the Earth's core. It can be reduced to several basic laws, which Snow cleverly summed up as follows [source: Physics Planet ]: You can't win. Let's unpack these a bit. The second statement -- you can't break even -- means that due to ever-increasing entropy, you can't return to the same energy state. Finally, the third law -- you can't quit the game -- refers to absolute zero, the lowest theoretical temperature possible, measured at zero Kelvin or (minus 273.15 degrees Celsius and minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit).

Do-it-Yourself experiment The main requsite for experiments studying visuomotoric adaptation are prism goggles. With these goggles you'll see everything shifted horizontally. You'll fail if you try to grasp an object with eyes closed (i.e. without constant visual feedback). However, stunningly fast you'll learn to grasp correctly. If you train only one hand, the other will still fail to grasp correctly. When at the end you put your goggles off, you'll again fail to grasp correctly with the trained hand, this time deviating in the other direction. Prism goggles are perfectly suited for class room demonstrations, as the effect shows already within half a minute. This page does not contain an experimental design. How to obtain prism goggles? You can order them from your optician. We offer a set that will allow you to produce better and even cheaper goggles. We buy the prisms from Fresnel Optics. If you are interested follow the ordering instructions below.

Hunter Scott In his testimony, Scott said: "This is Captain McVay's dog tag from when he was a cadet at the Naval Academy. As you can see, it has his thumbprint on the back. I carry this as a reminder of my mission in the memory of a man who ended his own life in 1968. I carry this dog tag to remind me that only in the United States can one person make a difference no matter what the age. The testimony of Scott and the Indianapolis Survivors Organization resulted in passage of a Congressional resolution, signed by President Bill Clinton in October 2000, exonerating McVay. Scott's story and that of the Indianapolis were told in Left for Dead: A Young Man's Search for Justice for the USS Indianapolis by Pete Nelson. In 2011, Warner Bros. obtained the rights to develop the story into a feature film with Robert Downey, Jr. as producer.[5][6]

Claude Shannon: Tinkerer, Prankster, and Father of Information Theory Editor’s note: This month marks the centennial of the birth of Claude Shannon, the American mathematician and electrical engineer whose groundbreaking work laid out the theoretical foundation for modern digital communications. To celebrate the occasion, we’re republishing online a memorable profile of Shannon that IEEE Spectrum ran in its April 1992 issue. Written by former Spectrum editor John Horgan, who interviewed Shannon at his home in Winchester, Mass., the profile reveals the many facets of Shannon’s character: While best known as the father of information theory, Shannon was also an inventor, tinkerer, puzzle solver, and prankster. The 1992 profile included a portrait of Shannon taken by Boston-area photographer Stanley Rowin. On this page we’re reproducing that portrait along with other Shannon photos by Rowin that Spectrum has never published. Shannon died in 2001 at age 84 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Who is the real Claude Shannon? The Gold Bug Influence

The Increasing Problem With the Misinformed (by @baekdal) #analysis When discussing the future of newspapers, we have a tendency to focus only on the publishing side. We talk about the changes in formats, the new reader behaviors, the platforms, the devices, and the strange new world of distributed digital distribution, which are not just forcing us to do things in new ways, but also atomizes the very core of the newspaper. But while the publishing side of things is undergoing tremendous changes, so is the journalistic and editorial side. The old concept of creating a package of news was designed for a public that we assumed was uninformed by default, but this is no longer the case. The public is no longer uninformed. So, in this article, we will talk about the rise of the misinformed using some really interesting data, as well as the threat to freedom of the press. Things are hard If we look at the trends, we see that the newspaper is the form of media that is struggling the most. Arguably, news is incredibly important, but it's also a very hard sell.

Citizen scientists collected rare ice data, confirm warming since industrial revolution In 1442, Shinto priests in Japan began keeping records of the freeze dates of a nearby lake, while in 1693 Finnish merchants started recording breakup dates on a local river. Together they create the oldest inland water ice records in human history and mark the first inklings of climate change, says a new report published today out of York University and the University of Wisconsin. The researchers say the meticulous recordkeeping of these historical "citizen scientists" reveals increasing trends towards later ice-cover formation and earlier spring thaw since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Sapna Sharma, a York University biologist, and John J. "These data are unique," says Sharma. The records from Lake Suwa in the Japanese Alps, says Sharma, were collected by Shinto priests observing a legend about a male god who crossed the frozen lake to visit a female god at her shrine. Explore further: Winter Ice on Lakes, Rivers, Ponds: A Thing of the Past?

The Bronx - Helping Adult Students Develop Research Skills for the Workplace Some professors assume that learning research skills is essentially a short-term remedial task. This is not only mistaken but constitutes an error of serious proportions. We may define “research skills” as the ability to identify a problem, determine what sorts of informational resources are needed to respond to the problem, find those resources efficiently, evaluate the gathered information for quality and relevance, and use the information effectively to address the problem. These are complex, higher order tasks that take extensive effort over time to develop well. Teaching them is not remedial. Given the fact that most university students are weak in research skills, what existing abilities do adult students have that can help them as they strive to become better researchers? So what do adult students need to learn? Third, adult students need to be educated past rudimentary Google skills in using research databases of various types. To what end are research skills to be developed?

Quebec teen discovers ancient Mayan ruins by studying the stars [ William Gadoury visiting the Canadian Space Agency in 2014 / Facebook] A teenager from Quebec has discovered an ancient Mayan city without leaving his province’s borders. William Gadoury is a 15-year-old student from Saint-Jean-de-Matha in Lanaudière, Quebec. The precocious teen has been fascinated by all things Mayan for several years, devouring any information he could find on the topic. During his research, Gadoury examined 22 Mayan constellations and discovered that if he projected those constellations onto a map, the shapes corresponded perfectly with the locations of 117 Mayan cities. Then Gadoury took it one step further. Gadoury’s hypothesis? Satellite images later confirmed that, indeed, geometric shapes visible from above imply that an ancient city with a large pyramid and thirty buildings stands exactly where Gadoury said they would be. Scientists across the board have been blown away by Gadoury’s discovery. The next step for Gadoury will be seeing the city in person.

My response to the NYTimes article on school districts, test scores, and income. – Random Critical Analysis On April 29th the New York Times posted a nominally data driven article on school districts, test scores, and socioeconomic status. Though it contained some useful data, the analysis was terribly misleading and it excluded a tremendous amount of pertinent information. Many progressives took the article as proof that the system is “rigged”. The NYTimes did not help matters by conflating the measures of socioeconomic status (SES) with income. The words income, economic, wealth, money, rich, poor, and other related words were littered liberally throughout the article. The SES measure they used was defined in the SEDA archive as: the first principal component factor score of the following measures: median income, percent with a bachelor’s degree or higher, poverty rate, SNAP rate, single mother headed household rate, and unemployment rate [emphasis mine] Table of Contents Intelligence is highly heritable [back to top] Measured intelligence is a strong predictor of achievement test scores source

Backyard telescopes and amateur eyes see where “pro” astronomers can’t The United Kingdom is a terrible place to use a telescope, at least if you consider the weather. There might be one clear night a week, or worse. So it probably takes a certain amount of bravery for somebody like John McKeon to invest in a telescope and use it to look at the planets in between dodging clouds and rainstorms and snow. Yet, McKeon—by all accounts an amateur telescope enthusiast—spotted something to spark the interest of a professional. A video on March 17, taken using only an 11-inch telescope, shows a flash of something impacting Jupiter. "I didn't know for 10 days after I had recorded video that I had discovered it," said McKeon, who originally took the footage to track the double shadow of moons Ganymede and Io moving across the planet. "In the second-last video, there was the impact," McKeon said. No longer partying like 1994 Planets in the outer solar system beckon to astronomers, but there's only so much telescope time available. The public's camera Price to play

Deep in the night, hunting deadly bugs in the name of science LEE COUNTY, Texas — The hunt took place after dark, on a rickety homemade radio tower high above the post oak savanna. The hunter sat in a folding chair encrusted with vulture droppings, waiting for his quarry. He listened to the yipping of coyotes, the lowing of cows, the ghostly trilling of a nearby screech owl. Then he froze. And with a guttural frog-like sound — a kind of primal predatory yelp — he lunged forward, his hand darting toward something at his feet. “Bingo,” he said. The animal didn’t look like much: a blackish bug with orange markings on the back. Yet this insect — known as a kissing bug — is responsible for killing 12,000 people a year worldwide. The bug itself isn’t toxic, but it likes to crawl onto mammals’ faces to suck their blood — and it often defecates at the dinner table. Untreated, the parasite can lodge itself in your heart, spewing toxic enzymes and killing muscle cells, which harden into scar tissue. He is a citizen scientist. Investigating isn’t easy, though.

Texas School Triples Recess Time And Sees Immediate Positive Results In Kids posted Categories: Education More and more, parents are protesting school policies that allow teachers and administrators to withhold recess to punish student misbehavior. Common infractions include tardiness, acting out in class and failure to complete homework—everyday childhood behaviors that result in numerous children having to go without recess on any given day. A Texas school started giving children four recess breaks a day, and teachers and parents say the results have been wonderful. Recess is a lot more than just a free break for kids to play after lunch period. According to Today, the Eagle Mountain Elementary in Fort Worth, Texas, has been giving kindergarten and first-grade students two 15-minute recess breaks every morning and two 15-minute breaks every afternoon to go play outside. “There was a part of me that was very nervous about it,” said first-grade teacher Donna McBride. “We’re seeing really good results,” she said, and those results make sense.