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## Main Question or Discussion Point

I guess this question applies to deriving empirical equations from any data set but in my engineering studies I've wondered this when working with heat and mass transfer.

When you do an experiment and want to identify the governing equation for the process, is it simply a case of bringing together all the variables you think appropriate and then trying to make an arrangement of them fit the curve on your graph?

It crosses my mind now as I'm working out the performance ratio of a multi-stage flash distillation plant and wondering how the hell someone derived this equation with 9 different terms, 7 different variables and 2 constants!

When you do an experiment and want to identify the governing equation for the process, is it simply a case of bringing together all the variables you think appropriate and then trying to make an arrangement of them fit the curve on your graph?

It crosses my mind now as I'm working out the performance ratio of a multi-stage flash distillation plant and wondering how the hell someone derived this equation with 9 different terms, 7 different variables and 2 constants!