SAT Subject Test Chemistry

PART 2

REVIEW OF MAJOR TOPICS

CHAPTER 1

Introduction to Chemistry

SCIENTIFIC METHOD

Although some discoveries are made in science by accident, in most cases, the scientists involved use an orderly process to work on their projects and discoveries. The process researchers use to carry out their investigations is often called the scientific method. It is a logical approach to solving problems by observing and collecting data, formulating a hypothesis, and constructing theories supported by the data. The formulating of a hypothesis consists of carefully studying the data collected and organized to see if a testable statement can be made with regard to the data. The hypothesis takes the form of an “if … then” statement. If certain data are true, then a prediction can be made concerning the outcome. The next step is to test the prediction to see if it withstands the experimentation. The hypothesis can go through several revisions as the process continues. If the data from experimentation show that the predictions of the hypothesis are successful, scientists usually try to explain the phenomena by constructing a model. The model can be a visual, verbal, or mathematical means of explaining how the data is related to the phenomena.

The stages of this process can be illustrated by the diagram shown below: