INFORMATION FOR - .Scientiststryto .Therules ,whichexpl

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INTRODUCTION TO THE LABORATORY Science is the endeavor to understand the physical characteristics of our universe. Scientists try to  deduce general rules through the process of  experimentation  and deductive and inductive  reasoning . The rules  which are derived are  models or theories , which explain the basis for the physical phenomena. A theory can  never   really   be   proven   correct;   its   usefulness   derives   from   its   ability   to   make   predictions   about   new  experiments and observations. When these predictions are consistently verified, then the theory is useful and is  generally   accepted.   Learning   to   do   science   involves   understanding   the   general   rules   for   how   to   make  experimental observations, how to analyze the resulting data, and how to form these data into the necessary  theory, whether this is testing an existing theory or developing a new one. Chemistry is the branch of science which deals primarily with the behavior of matter and how to  understand it using models at the atomic level. There are already a great many theories which allow us to  predict much about the behavior of atoms and molecules, all of which have been derived from careful  experimentation. In the development of such theories it is necessary to be quantitative in the analysis. The  quantitative testing of a theory is often a much more rigorous test of its reliability than its ability to make  qualitative   predictions.   Thus   an   important   part   of   chemistry   is   learning   how   to   carry   out   quantitative  experiments, and how to judge their reliability. The purpose of the laboratory part of this course is threefold: First, it will introduce you to some of the  basic experimental   techniques   which are useful in chemistry (as well as biology, medicine, geology, etc.).  Second, it will help you to learn some of the basic  principles  of chemistry and experimental design through  practical experiments, i.e. hands-on experience. Finally, and most importantly, it will teach you how to reach  logical  conclusions  by interpretation  of   observations   (facts)  and  how  to design  experiments   to  test the  application of theories. An essential part of this is understanding how accurate your observations are by  analyzing the sources and magnitudes of both systematic and random errors. The capability to “reason” is of  great value in many other aspects of life as well. Since  chemistry  is playing an ever greater role in our lives, it  is particularly important to understand how it might have an impact on our future in either positive or negative 
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2011 for the course CHEM 4a taught by Professor Gordon during the Fall '06 term at University of California, Berkeley.

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INFORMATION FOR - .Scientiststryto .Therules ,whichexpl

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