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PHSC 350 Week one notes

by: Kieyrra Lucas

PHSC 350 Week one notes PHSC 350

Marketplace > Radford University > Physical Science > PHSC 350 > PHSC 350 Week one notes
Kieyrra Lucas
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About this Document

These notes cover chapter one and the prologue
Physical Science
Libby Watts
Class Notes




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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kieyrra Lucas on Friday February 12, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to PHSC 350 at Radford University taught by Libby Watts in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 9 views. For similar materials see Physical Science in Physical Science at Radford University.


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Date Created: 02/12/16
Physical Science 350 Notes The Nature of Science We make observations and search for cause and effect. The Scientific Method – an organized method for gaining knowledge 1. Make observations and recognize a question or problem 2. Form a hypothesis (an educated guess) or multiple working hypotheses 3. Make predictions that can be observed 4. Do experiments to test hypothesis 5. Interpret and modify hypotheses based on test results; form the simplest rule that fits 6. Repeat steps 1­5 Multiple working hypotheses – deriving as many logical hypotheses as possible to explain a  given set of facts Fundamental Terms  Fact – a piece of information that is agreed upon by observers, it is revisable  Law – (a.k.a principle) – a tested hypothesis that has been proven to be true (no  contradiction)  Theory – a large body of information about a well­tested hypothesis… theories in science  are not fixed, but are constantly tested and revised  Evidence   having a test for wrongness  Pseudoscience lacks either evidence or a test for wrongness Examples: astrology, dowsing of water Albert Einstein said “No number of experiments can prove me right; a single experiment can  prove me wrong.” Metric System  Based on powers of ten  Developed in France in 1700s  Simpler than English system of measurement  Used in all sciences  Basic unit of length is meters  Basic unit of mass is kilogram Experimental Error – in any measurement there is an inherent error or uncertainty Random Error – results from reading between the lines of a ruler, or it may be an accident such  as spilling. It affects the precision of the data. Ex: measuring length, temperature, or spilling  chemicals Systematic Error – results from a flaw in the measurement, affects the accuracy of the data. Ex:  contaminated chemical Precision – how close the measurements are to each other, how finely divided the measuring  units are Accuracy – how close the measurements are to the true value Ex: if the true value is 5.000m, then which is more accurate 5.003m or 5.020m? Answer: 5.003m Precision vs. Accuracy – you must compare the data to determine the precision and accuracy Human Population Growth  # 1 Environmental problem  Population “time bomb”: Exponential growth  Exponential growth: note that the doubling time is getting shorter and shorter  Earth’s carrying capacity limited, but as population increases: more resources and land  space are needed, more waste is generated. Sustainability Sustainability – a concept that seeks to ensure that future generations will have the same access  to the planets resources as we have  An evolving concept  Expectations vs. reality  What are long­term implications?  Requires careful resource allocations, large­scale development of new tech for resource  use, recycling, and waste disposal. Chapter 1 Notes Aristotle – Greek philosopher & scientist, he classified motion as natural or violent motion. He  taught that heavy objects fall faster than lighter objects. Inertia – the tendency of things to resist changes in motion. Things at rest tend to stay at rest,  things in motion tend to stay in motion. This was proposed by Galileo, an Italian scientist. Mass – the quantity of matter in an object. It is a measurement of an objects inertia. It is  dependent of gravity, and its unit is kg. Weight – the force on an object due to gravity. Mass and weight are proportional to each other. Weight = (mass)(acceleration due to gravity) =  m x g = (kg)(m/s2) = Newton (unit) Example:  What is the weight of a 10­kg block on earth? Weight = mg = (10kg)(9.8m/s2) = 98N Classifying items – grouping like things together 1. Binary classification: dividing a set into two groups 2. Multi­stage classification: using binary classification repeatedly until each item in the set  has a separate box 3. Serial ordering: listing items in order   Ex: shortest to tallest When you push on an object you are applying a force to it. Force is a vector quantity. A vector has both magnitude (a number) and direction. Vectors can be shown by an arrow.   Ex: pushing a couch across a room Add the vectors to find the net force. Pulling in opposite directions causes the force called tension.   Ex: tug of war If the net force on an object is zero, then the object is in mechanical equilibrium. It is either at  rest, or moving in a straight line at a constant speed. Sum of forces = 0   Ex: scaffold A book lying on a table is held up by a support force. The normal force is the weight of the book  pressing on the table. The net force is zero, (the support force = the normal force). Sum of forces  = ∑ F = 0    Ex: a bathroom scale reads the support force for your weight *Forces up = Forces down   (support force formula) Equilibrium is a state where the net force = 0, either an object at rest (static equilibrium) or the  object is moving at constant speed in a straight line (dynamic equilibrium). Friction occurs when an object rubs against something else. It always occurs in a direction  opposite to the motion. Friction with air is wind resistance or drag. Galileo calculate speed = distance/time Instantaneous speed is the speed measured at a given moment. Average speed = total  distance/total time Velocity is speed in a given direction. It is a vector quantity. Galileo: acceleration = change in velocity/time Change in velocity can be a change in speed or a change of direction. Acceleration is a vector quantity (has a number and a direction). Galileo studied acceleration by  rolling balls down ramps. The steeper the ramp, the faster the acceleration Free fall – an object is falling free of all restraint, including air resistance. When an object is in  free fall, its acceleration is g (9.8 m/s2 on earth) Acceleration = 9.8m/s2. Distance an object falls: d = 1/2gt2 Ex: ½(9.8)(1s2) = 4.9m ­­­about 5m @ 1s *The 2’s are supposed to be exponents. Scientific notation – a simpler way of writing very large or very small numbers *Always put decimal after first non­zero digit. th Ex: 25,000,000 = 2.5 x 10 to the 7  power  th 0.0000643 = 6.43 x 10 to the ­5  power


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