Sean Thornton ASTRO 142 Reading Memo #1 This chapter highlights several different key concepts to begin our study of cosmology, including a deep emphasis on the larger, key questions asked by science in general. These questions involve general concepts such as the overall size and shape of the universe, the key elements that make up the universe, and how the universe eventually began and even more specifically, how life ever began on Earth. The first chapter also goes into detail about the scientific method and several new terms that a scientist uses in his everyday work. A theory is “a proposed explanation for how some aspect of the universe behaves.” An experiment is “an observation made under conditions arranged so as to isolate and test a particular prediction made by a theory.” Uncertainty is defined as a “numerical expression of the precision of a measurement,” as in the age of the universe. A scientific law “describes a pattern that is observed to be true.” This chapter also highlighted theory testing and the fact that a scientific theory
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