Thursday, 27 March 2014

Integration of Experiments and theories in Science

Role of Experiments in Science
Prepared by
M.Sc., M.Ed., JRF & NET
Lecturer in Physical Science, Arafa Institute for Teacher Education
Attur, Thrissur.

Experiments are a special kind of controlled observation. Experiments are at the core of the scientific method. It emphasizes observation and shows the way how to confirm hypotheses in science.

The main purpose of experiment is to study nature in a specific kind of way. By experiments we make various concepts, principles, laws and theorems in Science. Experiments help to make valuable findings and conclusions. Experiments allow us to get access to things that we might not normally be able to see. Experiments help us to give empirical findings. So it is that the ability to do an experiment differentiates science from non-science subjects. Experiments may have come to be thought of as the defining feature of science but they are really just a special case of something we all do every day – observe the world around us.

Integration of theories and experiments in Science

The invention or discovery of new things may be initiated by the experimenter or the theoretician. Experimenter cannot make progress without a basic knowledge of the theoretical structure. Similarly theories in science cannot be supported without experiments.
Ø Theory can precede or follow experiment
Ø Simple experiments always helped in breaking vague principles and traditions in science.
Ø After experimental validation of the basic concept, a theory on its own can develop.
Ø Theory and experiment use, affect and enrich each other
Ø Undetermined constants appearing in basic theories can  only  be determined experimentally.
Ø Advanced experimental techniques for accurate measurements depend on theoretical development in diverse areas.

The fundamental unity of physical science can be seen only with the help of both experimental and theoretical aspects. Theory of the ideal world and experiment of the real world are two non-orthogonal axes, each having a component in the other. They together define the knowledge plane of Science.