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First Semester Chem Notes

First Semester Chem Notes - Chemistry The Scientific Method...

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Chemistry The Scientific Method - Science is categorized as a naturalistic metaphysics o Metaphysics: most fundamental cause o Naturalistic: obeying fixed rules of nature Limits the scope of science to be observable - Empirical epistemology o Epistemology: how do I know what I know o Empirical: way we know is based on experience; observable and subject to experiments; must be reproducible - Scientists do controlled experiments o Ideally: structure experiments by changing one variable and fixing all others o Best way to show is graph X axis: independent variables (you chance) Y axis: dependant variables (response of system) Goals of Science - Explanation and prediction o The process of doing science never ends o New insights inspire new experiments and raise new questions L / | \ E 1 E 2 E 3 L: Laws (initially hypothesis) Empiricism: inductive logic; reliable, but not certain Theory inspires laws P 1 P 2 P 3 \ | / Theory P: Postulates, assumptions Rationalism: Uses deductive logic Theory follows necessarily initially a theory can also be called hypotheses - Scientists don’t use the word “proof” o Very cautious about the claims we make o Confident in them, but always open minded
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Comparing Measuring Devices with Very Different Precisions - How do we deal with this in less obvious situations? o Definition of precision and we need rules for manipulating measured numbers Uncertainty in Measurement - some numbers are exact o 5280 ft/mi o 12 units/dozen - measurements have unvertainty - How would you report volume? o Always report one figure beyond the markings o Then assume that the last significant figure in an instrumental reading has some uncertainty This uncertainty is known as experimental “error” “error” is not a mistake, just an expression of limits - push the glassware and instruments to their limits and express those limits Precision vs. Accuracy -
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