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Ideas in Science: Theories, Hypotheses, and Laws

Ideas in Science: Theories, Hypotheses, and Laws

Scientific Notation Do you know this number, 300,000,000 m/sec.? It's the Speed of light ! Do you recognize this number, 0.000 000 000 753 kg. ? This is the mass of a dust particle! Scientists have developed a shorter method to express very large numbers. The number 123,000,000,000 in scientific notation is written as : . The second number is called the base . To write a number in scientific notation: Put the decimal after the first digit and drop the zeroes. In the number 123,000,000,000 The coefficient will be 1.23 To find the exponent count the number of places from the decimal to the end of the number. In 123,000,000,000 there are 11 places. Exponents are often expressed using other notations. 1.23E+11 or as 1.23 X 10^11 For small numbers we use a similar approach. 0.000001 sec. or 1.0E-6 or 1.0^-6 or For online assessment question in scientific notation (including multiplication and division problems) --- click here.

Critical thinking | Learning resources | Institute for Academic Development Advice and resources on the subject of critical thinking. Why is being critical important? It affects your academic success: if you wish to achieve higher grades, being able to take an informed and analytical approach to your studies is very important. Simply memorising and explaining concepts and ideas will not be sufficient for a strong pass at masters level. It affects your employability: one of the main reasons students undertake postgraduate study is to improve their employment prospects. What do we mean by ‘critical’? Being ‘critical’ does not mean just being negative, or pointing out what is wrong about something. You can find out more about the framework at : SCQF level descriptors (PDF) Taking a critical approach in your studies and professional development can include behaviours such as: You can find out more about being critical in your studies in the following factsheets: Critical thinking ‘stairway’ Critical thinking: online guidance from the Open University Further reading

Accuracy and Precision Tutorial Error refers to a lack of accuracy, precision, or both. Systematic and gross error are controllable, random error is not. Knowing the type of error can lead to a solution. Systematic error arises from the experimental design and affects the result in one direction, up or down. Gross error arises from an undetected mistake that causes the measurement to be greatly different than the average. This measurement is called an outlier. Random error arises from nature and affects the result in two directions up and down. Let's look at what these look like in your data sets. Random Error These results show the scattering of the data above and below the line. Systematic error This graph shows systematic error in the blue line. Gross error Sometimes in science you mess up. If you did not notice anything go wrong it would be dishonest not to record the outlier. So there's three types of error that can happen. Systematic - all a little up or a little down Random - all a little up and a little down

Critical reading techniques You will probably find that there is a lot of reading required for your module. Like many students, you might find that you are time-poor and you will, therefore, need to be speedy and efficient in your reading. This section will help you become an efficient reader and information processor. Covered in this section How to read efficientlyHow to read actively in an engaged wayCritically processing what you read25 mins to complete this sectionVideo (3)Audio (4) Reading university texts requires a more strategic approach from that used when you read for pleasure. Making notes is an essential part of the reading process. Make sure you are comfortable Finding the right space and time to read in is important Find a comfortable and quiet place to read, where you will not be disturbed or interrupted.

Critical thinking Critical thinking is a type of clear, reasoned thinking. According to Beyer (1995) Critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgements. While in the process of critical thinking, ideas should be reasoned and well thought out/judged.[1] The National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking defines critical thinking as the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action Etymology[edit] In the term critical thinking, the word critical, (Grk. κριτικός = kritikos = "critic") derives from the word critic, and identifies the intellectual capacity and the means "of judging", "of judgement", "for judging", and of being "able to discern".[3] Definitions[edit] According to the field of inquiry [weasel words], critical thinking is defined as: Skills[edit] Procedure[edit]