What the Scientific Method Consists Of

When I was taking Science courses, even just in High-School, one of the subjects which we were taught very early, was what the Scientific Method consists of.

Now, our version then might have been dumbed-down a little bit, or, since then, the exact definition may have been refined. But this is essentially what we were taught, the method consists of:

  • A party observes a Phenomenon, which deserves explanation. This could be a newly-discovered phenomenon, as easily as it could be a commonly-known phenomenon, which is thought to deserve a better explanation than the commonly-accepted explanation.
  • The party formulates a Hypothesis, to explain this phenomenon.
  • The party suggests and / or devises an Experiment, which will either confirm or disprove that hypothesis.
  • The party carries out that experiment and records the Results.
  • If the results confirm the hypothesis, the party next Shares these results with the Community.
  • Someplace else in the Scientific Community, another party attempts to carry out either the same experiment, or an equivalent experiment, the purpose of which are, to try to Reproduce the results obtained by the first party.
  • If the other parties are able to confirm the results, the hypothesis is Promoted to having the status of a Theory.

In Science, a theory is about as good as a set of facts, only, a theory is a set of rules, which can predict the outcome of events under given conditions, and with which Scientists can attempt to explain other phenomena.

Dirk

 

I just ordered a linear polarizer.

IF the type of camera we own is a DSLR, then we are used to exchangeable lenses and lens-attachments. One type of attachment that has always been available since the days of SLRs, is a polarizing filter of some sort.

But a DSLR differs from the older, film-SLRs, also, in having an auto-focus system which is physical, and which fails to work with linearly-polarized light, aka plane-polarized light. And so where ‘in the old days’, we used to buy linear polarizers, these days, we’d buy circular polarizers, for use with DSLR cameras. In the pursuit of photography, they do everything a linear polarizer used to do, and never prevent the auto-focus from working.

This also has as practical consequence, that it will be difficult in most localities, to find a photographic retail store, that still sells linear polarizers. Usually, such stores only sell the so-called Cir-Pols. Yet, because the linear polarizer has always been technically easier to design and manufacture, than a cir-pol, it only stands to reason, that the linear variety can still be bought somewhere. It’s just that retail stores need to pay their rent, and frequently can’t make a profit out of stocking those.

One place where one can certainly still buy those is on-line, which is where I just ordered one. And I did so, because I wanted to test the hypothesis of This earlier posting. In other words, where I’ve run into a self-imposed question which I cannot find the answer to, just by thinking about it, I now intend to find the answer, using the Scientific Method.

(Updated 02/21/2018 : )

Continue reading I just ordered a linear polarizer.