Summing Up What We Have Learned
This week's activity allows you to bring together everything we've learned about experiment design and reporting.
Review some aspect of Faraday's demonstrations that we haven't covered in lab work.
Chose one of Faraday's demonstrations (but not one we already performed as an experiment!), or select some other aspect of the concepts and information he presented that interests you.
- Frame an hypothesis. This is a statement summing up some set of observations you have made, and it must be testable by you for this assignment.
- Valid example: Carbon dioxide is heavier than nitrogen gas.
- Valid but untestable example: Air at the top of the Earth's atmosphere does not contain enough oxygen to support life.
- Invalid example: Carbon dioxide is a prettier color than nitrogen gas (a matter of opinion).
- Determine how you will test the hypothesis.
- What observational evidence would confirm your observations?
- What observational evidence would prove your hypothesis wrong?
- Identify the data you will collect as observational evidence that can confirm or disprove your hypothsis.
- What equipment do you need to collect the data?
- What form will the data take (numerical, descriptive, time-based)?
- How will you record the data (directly, yourself, by reading instruments, or indirectly using instruments to capture data and record it)?
- How will you present the data (in tables, with graphs or plots, with pictures)?
- Will the data require analysis, that is, further calculations?
- Consider any safety or ethical issues that your experiment might involve. For example, testing whether your sister's hamster can survive in a bell jar after a candle has burnt out may be scientifically interesting in some way, but it is both unethical and unkind.
Complete the design of your experiment,then carry it out.
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