What is Science experiments: Definition and 27 Discussions

An experiment is a procedure carried out to support or refute a hypothesis. Experiments provide insight into cause-and-effect by demonstrating what outcome occurs when a particular factor is manipulated. Experiments vary greatly in goal and scale, but always rely on repeatable procedure and logical analysis of the results. There also exists natural experimental studies.
A child may carry out basic experiments to understand how things fall to the ground, while teams of scientists may take years of systematic investigation to advance their understanding of a phenomenon. Experiments and other types of hands-on activities are very important to student learning in the science classroom. Experiments can raise test scores and help a student become more engaged and interested in the material they are learning, especially when used over time. Experiments can vary from personal and informal natural comparisons (e.g. tasting a range of chocolates to find a favorite), to highly controlled (e.g. tests requiring complex apparatus overseen by many scientists that hope to discover information about subatomic particles). Uses of experiments vary considerably between the natural and human sciences.
Experiments typically include controls, which are designed to minimize the effects of variables other than the single independent variable. This increases the reliability of the results, often through a comparison between control measurements and the other measurements. Scientific controls are a part of the scientific method. Ideally, all variables in an experiment are controlled (accounted for by the control measurements) and none are uncontrolled. In such an experiment, if all controls work as expected, it is possible to conclude that the experiment works as intended, and that results are due to the effect of the tested variables.

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  1. K

    Can you stop rubber from bouncing?

    Is there anyway to stop rubber from bouncing? My class is doing an experiment on material absorption. I have been given the task to stop a rubber ball from bouncing. I was given a rubber ball that weighs 5 and a half ounces and has a circumference of 8 in. My material can't be over an inch...
  2. M

    Chemistry Why moles of (S2O3 2-) is equal to mol of ( MnO4-) times 5

    Homework Statement The ratio of KMnO4 to I2 is given by 2 MnO4 - + 16 H+ + 10 I - ⇌ 2 Mn2+ + 5 I2 + 8 H2O the ratio is 2:5 - The ratio of I2 to S2O3 2- is given by 1 I2 + 2 S2O32- ⇌ 2 I-+ S4O5 2- the ratio is 1:2 therefore n(S2O3 2- ) = n(MnO4 - ) x 5 Homework Equations Why the mole of...
  3. J

    Introducing Myself -- I have a 6 yo son that I'm trying to get interested in all things science

    Hi all, I hope everyone is well? I'm James Fitzpatrick-Ellis and I have a 6 yo son that I'm trying to get interested in all things science. It is working so far where he wants to make his own experiments up. So far we have: Made slime - if you add red food colouring during the mixing process it...
  4. klotza

    History History's First Science Experiments - Comments

    klotza submitted a new PF Insights post History's First Science Experiments Continue reading the Original PF Insights Post.
  5. ScrollPortals

    Barrier to entry for hardware material science experiments?

    I read phys.org and science daily, daily. I read about all these amazing experiments and discoveries and I want to try my own experiments. A lot of articles are about emerging computing technologies, and often the article emphasizes how inexpensive these materials and processes are becoming. I...
  6. M

    Where can I get Casimir plates?

    Where can I find actual Casimir plates? To buy or hire for experiments, I mean. If so, what do they cost?
  7. D

    Magnetic Lift & Earth's Magnetism: Exploring Possibilities

    Hello, I have an idea i have been working on for some time. I am a meteorologist and pilot, and i love aviation, especially design. I have been playing with the idea of magnetic lift (as in when one magnet is repelled from another magnet) or electromagnetism in an engine, to create a different...
  8. M

    Materials Science Experiments to find unknown material

    Homework Statement I have a project for my Materials Science and Engineering class and we have were given 4 unknown materials and we have to determine which kind of materials they are. We have to come up with our own experiments. As of now, I've done the Rockwell hardness test, electrical...
  9. D

    I am doing a science experience prooving giant ships can float

    I am trying to prove why ultra large crude carriers and other kinds of ships can float, and why they are stable in water? The experiments need to be simple and doable at home. I also could use some formula for stability and dead weight and so on. Could someone please help me, maybe point me...
  10. I

    Archived Momentum science experiment help

    Hello, I am a ninth grade student in high school and I have a science fair project experiment idea. There will be a homemade marble shooter made with a rubber band. the rubber band will be pulled about half of a foot back and will propel a marble through a tube. the marble will hit a book and...
  11. mrspeedybob

    I need an idea for a science experiment

    My daughter is entering a science fair competition in 3 weeks. I'm helping her with her experiment. She is 10 years old, in 4'th grade and about average to slightly less interested in science. I'm trying to come up with an idea that meets the following criteria... I want it to be at a...
  12. S

    Need help with science experiment calculations

    me and my partner did an experiment of turning copper coins into 'silver' and 'gold' we used this site or the info: http://www.nuffieldfoundation.org/practical-chemistry/turning-copper-coins-silver-and-gold But we're having trouble with knowing how to make the calculations of : How much...
  13. F

    The science behind the so called Philadelphia Experiment ?

    The science behind the so called "Philadelphia Experiment"? I have done some digging on the Philadelphia Experiment after watching the actor from Fringe stuble along trying to do a sci-fi science show called "Dark Matters". It was disgusting even to an intelligent, but mostly layperson. Anyway...
  14. Phrak

    What Minimum Wetness of Steam Ensures Buoyancy in a Balloon Experiment?

    Homework Statement A small balloon was inflated with air at 1460 ft above sea level at a temperature of about 75 F. After inflating it was attached to a nanometer and depressed 18.25 inches of water. It was then tied-off. It's mass, with the nipple removed, measured about 156 milligrams. The...
  15. M

    Science experiment- light and magnetic fields

    Hello, I'm in 9th grade looking for some interesting topics to do my science experiment on this year. I'm particularly interested in how magnetic fields affect photons. I know photons are electrically neutral but I'm looking for some "what if?" types of questions. I think somehow being able to...
  16. C

    I with a Schrodinger's cat Science fair experiment?

    I am in my freshman year, and I am doing a Schrodinger's cat science fair experiment for AP physics. I know that I might use flipping a coin inside a box, or exploding a raw egg in a microwave instead of killing cats. Anyhow, I was wondering if someone could assist in making this an experiment...
  17. Femme_physics

    What are some great science experiments explained in a book?

    Hi guys, I'm looking for a book that will detail all the great science experiments (such as double slit, oil drop experiment, thompson's cathode ray) in a nice, detailed, chronological fashion, that can also be understood by non-science experts. Anyone got a good resource?
  18. S

    Your thoughts/experiences on hard science grads going the MBA route?

    Background: BS physics, double minors in chem and math, c/o 2008. Started with chem major, but switched to physics for interest/challange. No absolute career goals, but always considered bigpharma as a good place to go. Considered physics grad school, but never that interested in teaching...
  19. D

    In Science what usually comes first - Theory or Experiment

    When ideas are being developed what usually comes first? Theory or Experiment?
  20. JasonRox

    What is the McDonald's Diet Experiment?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/j-ljW5YEdao&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed...
  21. R

    For a science experiment you need to electroplate

    Homework Statement For a science experiment you need to electroplate a 130 nm thick zinc coating onto both sides of a very thin, 3.0 cm*3.0 cm copper sheet. You know that the charge carriers in the ionic solution are divalent (charge 2e) zinc ions. The density of zinc is 7140 kg/m^3 If the...
  22. P

    Grade 9 Science Experiment Help

    Homework Statement I didn't get time to finish the experiment, and didn't get much done, so my teacher told me to copy someone elses work and varify if it was correct, but i don't know how. here is the info i have: Qualitative Analysis of Unknown Gasses In this experiment, you will be...
  23. B

    Seeking easy to understand science facts behind simple experiments

    Hi. I am writing preschool science activities and would like to verify what the scientific principles behind them are. First example: when you put raisins in clear soda pop, exactly what causes the bubbles around the raisins to pop when they reach the top? Is it only the outside air...
  24. B

    6th Grade Science Experiment Help

    Homework Statement The problem is "will studying using flash cards improve my grade on a test?" I was wondering what would be the materials, what would be the control group and experimental group, and what would be the procedure and what would be the stuff for the observation chart...
  25. S

    My blog about my experiences defending science

    (Hello physics forums. I absolutely love the level of discussion here, and I look forward to contributing as soon as I figure out what you're all talking about.) I attend creationism/ID meetings to defend against misrepresentations of science. Since there is no debate, I don't attend to do...
  26. L

    Medical Science Of Near Death Experience

    Religious people believe in NDEs but there's debate in Science. They say it's just a hallucination. What if you're hallucinating about something real? Blind people could help solve this. Habe any blind people with the visual part of their brain permanentlydamged ever had a near death experience?
  27. P

    Need ideas for a 7th grade science experiment?

    Does anybody have any good ideas for easy science experiments? I have a proposal due tomarrow for a science experiment. I'ts a 7th grade science class, but I've just been coming up with ideas that are way to complex and ahead of the class. I need smoething simple, yet shows good understanding of...