Scientific Methods

What is the Scientific Method?

Have you ever wondered what steps do scientists follow to give such amazing theories and inventions? The immense knowledge and world-transforming theories that the scientific society provides us are incredible indeed. Sometimes these theories and experiments can even shake the roots of our understanding. We can find the answers to our unanswered questions through science. In a real sense, this field plays a crucial role in advancing our civilization and building a better future for ourselves. It is all thanks to the scientific methods that we can enjoy such a comfortable life that was never possible before. So you must be thinking, what is the scientific method? To understand and discuss the essential methods of Scientific method of research and scientific method steps, we must first understand the scientific method definition physics.    


Scientific Method Definition

What is the scientific method? Well, the scientific method definition states that a method that is devised to gather knowledge and further develop the field of science is known as the scientific method. This rigorous process involves several steps, mainly  8 steps of the scientific method in order. We have been using this process since the 17th century for the development of science. It involves using observation scepticism since assumptions can twist the things that we observe. Scientists use observations to formulate their hypotheses and perform experiments regarding the same. Going through several processes, they refine their hypothesis to give accurate results. Some of these are investigation, verification, and construction of reliable observation and theories. They often use scientific inquiry to create a reliable framework and based upon that bring out the positive or negative results scientifically. Let us discuss the essential methods of Scientific method of research. We will further look at a scientific method example, scientific method steps, and definitions. 


What are the Scientific Method Steps?

To discuss the essential methods of the Scientific method of research, we will have to look at the steps objectively through a broad perspective. Generally, all scientific methods follow the same pattern of analyzing and giving results. However, there are many steps involved in the entire process. 

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                                            (Steps of Scientific Method of Research) 


The Steps Involved In The Scientific Method Are As Follows:

  • Formulate a Question Based on Observation:- This is the initial step of the scientific method that involves observing every aspect of the phenomenon. And then based on these observations formulate the relevant questions regarding the aspect of the topic. Suppose if we were to observe a natural phenomenon such as the colour of the sky, then we can ask questions such as why is the colour of the sky blue?. These observations and evidence will help formulate the right question that will affect the outcome in turn. 

  • Collect Data and Form Hypothesis:- The next step consists of collecting all the required data and forming a hypothesis(a conjecture explaining any given behaviour) based on that information. It can be very specific or cover a broad spectrum—for example, unknown species at the depths of the ocean. There are several types o hypothesis, such as null, alternative, statistical, etc. A hypothesis must be in such a way so that there can be a different possible result as deduced from the hypothesis.

  • Experimentation:- We must perform a thorough investigation of observations and hypotheses so that we can know whether our theory behaves similarly to the real world or not. This observation can be achieved through rigorous testing and experiments.

  • Analyzes the Result:- After getting the results through testing and experimentation, we must analyze it thoroughly. So we can determine our next step. The results are compared to the predictions given by the hypothesis in the earlier stages. If the result comes out to be false, then we form a new hypothesis. And if the result is not adequate, then we perform further experiments. 

  • Forming a Conclusion:- Lastly based on the entire process, we formulate a relevant conclusion.      


Scientific Method Example

Let us look at a scientific method example to understand the process. The topic is growing a money plant. 

  1. Observation and Question:- We want to find out how does the environment affect the growth of a money plant in a time frame of five weeks.

  2. Hypothesis:- The hypothesis would be that money plants can grow anywhere regardless of the environment.

  3. Experimentation:- An experiment would be to take four money plants in different pots. And keep two of them inside and the remaining outside. We will Keep the initial conditions such as soil quality, amount of sunlight, amount of water, etc. constant. Upon completion of five weeks, we will observe all the plants and measure their size.

  4. Analyzing:- We will analyze the data such as the growth of plants, height, etc. and compare the results from the two environments to determine which is better suited for the purpose.

  5. Conclusion:- we can draw a logical conclusion from the analyzed data and form a relevant report.     

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Scientific Enquiry?

To predict the results of several experiments, scientists gather knowledge in terms of testable explanations. This process is called scientific Enquiry. It helps them to get a better understanding of the topic they are studying. Then further using this study in several mechanisms such as finding a cure for a variety of diseases. A better explanation of the topic helps produce more accurate results(i.e. to produce better solutions than its alternatives).. 

2. What are the Properties of Scientific Enquiry?

The scientist’s knowledge is based upon their findings in the research, and it is subject to falsification, that is if the observations are not compatible. Generally, no theory is said to be final. It entirely depends upon the future evidence that can change the theory. If we find any such evidence, then the theory needs to be reformulated. Hence the process is subject to repetition multiple times to find a better result.