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BYU - PHY S 100 - Class Notes - Week 1

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BYU - PHY S 100 - Class Notes - Week 1

School: Brigham Young University
Department: OTHER
Course: Physical Science
Professor: Patricia Ackroyd
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: Physics
Name: Phy S 100, Week 1 Notes
Description: Notes covering important sources of knowledge, the scientific method, six "self-evident" truths of our universe, and the universe itself; models and extra notes included for explanation
Uploaded: 09/14/2017
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background image Important Sources of Knowledge *Science uses all four shared sources* 1 Authority: a "An accepted source of expert information or advice" (3)
b Trusting the knowledge of another person because of their experiences (usually not like
your own) c When two conflicting authorities are present, we tend to adhere to authority that has  lasted the longest time and have the most supporting "witnesses" (bigger the support 
group, the more we wish that knowledge to be true)
d Easy to gather more info about world around us than experiencing it all ourselves, but  also proves difficult when authorities say different things (who to trust?) 2 Intuition: a "the act or faculty of knowing or sensing without the use of rational processes;  immediate cognition involved" b Knowing something without proof from the five senses ("I believe" "a gut feeling" "feels right" "hunch" etc.) c Often religious knowledge (ex: pondering the purpose of life)
d BUT that's also how scientific observation starts
e Not able to hold scientific claim with only intuition as proof, and it's hard to really prove
to yourself if what you remember is what actually occurred (interpretation: is your 
interpretation correct and properly communicated?)
2 Reason: a "the capacity for logical, rational, and analytic thought--intelligence"
b Based on assumptions, judgements, conclusions, verdicts, etc. based on logic
c Most respected scientific source (in fact, public scrutiny almost demands reason as 
foundation for knowledge) d However, reason is based on assumptions, which can be incorrect or unreliable  (especially damaging with limited knowledge yielding more slanted assumptions) 2 Sensory Data: a "knowledge obtained through the senses" "sensation" 
b Basic day to day functions executed when we have immediate sensory information 
c Accurate portrayal of our environment (just maybe not our perception/inference/"take 
away") d BUT senses can be tricked (ex: magicians) or fooled; accuracy or sensitivity can  diminish with time or injury   The Scientific Method *Mostly uses sensory data and reason in research and scientific explorations*   Sensory Data --} Reasoning --}  Hypothesis --} Experiment --} Sensory Data --}… 1 Hypothesis: a tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem  that can be tested by further investigation a Reasoning after limited sensory data, intuition, and authority (Einstein's Special Theory  of Relativity began with a hypothesis that the speed of light in empty space is 
constant--came from own feelings, writings of other scientists, experiments)
2 Theory: a well-tested and refined hypothesis, more mature detail and foundation
3 Laws: theories proven accurate (law of conservation of momentum, law of gravity, etc.)
4 Models: simplified and symbolic description of a system, theory, or phenomenon that 
accounts known properties and may be used for further characteristic study a Often pictures, some emphasizing more concepts surrounding systems than others
b Used to represent reality; refined through theory and data
   
background image *Scientific research is a test of an hypothesis, theory, law, or model against the behavior of 
nature*
Six "Self-Evident" Truths Assumptions So Large and Basic That We Accept Easily 1 Existence: physical world outside our bodies and minds that is governed by "laws of nature" a Your dream log! Sometimes those crazy dreams you have leave you going about your  morning wondering what's real b Even though we all see the physical world differently, the fact remains that there is a  reality where we all independently exist c Chuang Tsu, philosopher (butterfly dream) 2 Causality: causes precede effects a Natural world events have natural world causes
b Time travel: because causes precede effects, time travel to the past cannot happen 
without constraints that ensure causality (no paradoxes!) 2 Position Symmetry: if it's true here, it's true three million light years away a The laws of nature are the same everywhere in the universe
b We can't go out to the end of the Milky Way and study its properties, but we can still 
assume and study the galaxy using laws of nature that apply on Earth (ex: gravity) 2 Time Symmetry: the laws of the universe do not change with time (gravity will always be  gravity!) a We can reasonably use laws of nature now to explain the past and predict the future 2 Principle of Non-contradiction: of two contradictory propositions, both cannot be true a One or both could be wrong if this is the case (could prove a lack of full understanding  that needs further study) 2 Occam's Razor: if alternative explanations of any phenomenon are available, with each  logical and equally well, then the simplest explanation should be chosen a Ex: Ptolemaic Model (earth is the center of the universe) versus simpler Copernican  Model (Sun is the center of the universe) i Ptolemaic: used in its day to determine when and where the planets and sun 
would appear in the sky; more data added and changed the model; model became
entangled mess of orbital circles just to tell you where to spot Saturn; replaced by 
Copernicus's simpler model
 
 
 
  Ptolemaic Model Of course, the Earth isn't the center of the universe. But this model was  used to determine where and when objects would appear in the sky for us, so  technically it wasn't wrong. But once new data appeared and crazy weird patterns were being 
added to the model…well, no wonder we use the simpler Copernican model. 

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School: Brigham Young University
Department: OTHER
Course: Physical Science
Professor: Patricia Ackroyd
Term: Spring 2017
Tags: Physics
Name: Phy S 100, Week 1 Notes
Description: Notes covering important sources of knowledge, the scientific method, six "self-evident" truths of our universe, and the universe itself; models and extra notes included for explanation
Uploaded: 09/14/2017
4 Pages 13 Views 10 Unlocks
  • Better Grades Guarantee
  • 24/7 Homework help
  • Notes, Study Guides, Flashcards + More!
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