Scientific Methods

A. Outline of essential components of the method of repeated experiments. Experiments can be constructed in a laboratory or in the field, but they are carefully controlled. A theory results after hypotheses have been deemed as very reliable through multiple experiments. An example would be atomic theory–the theory that all matter is composed of atoms. A law is a result of extensive confirmation of a theory under a wide variety of circumstances. Often, but not always, laws can be expressed through simple mathematical statements. An example would be the law of gravity in which acceleration(a) imparted by gravity (g) to a falling object over a given time period (t) over can be expressed as a = 1/2gt2.

B. Outline of essential components of the historical method. In this case data that tests hypotheses comes from the real world rather than from controlled experiments. Several hypotheses are evaluated in light of growing data produced by more studies. Eventually weaker hypotheses are eliminated until only the most strongly supported hypothesis remains. A theory results after related hypotheses have been deemed as very reliable through extensive testing . An example would be the theory of plate tectonics, which unifies the validation of many hypotheses that explain related phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes, locations of ocean basins and continents, distribution of specific mineral deposits and rock types, and many other hypotheses about Earth.