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Hypotheses, theories, laws and principles?

  1. Mar 4, 2010 #1
    I had this discussion about the differences between hypotheses, theories, and laws in my physical science class today, and I suddenly remembered the principles I had learned about in physics (e.g. Bernoulli's principle, Pauli exclusion principle). I was curious how principles fit into this whole hypotheses/theories/laws thing, but unfortunately the teacher thought I was talking about values (like the principles scientists work by) and I couldn't quite explain what I was talking about. So can somebody please clarify this for me? :smile:
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 4, 2010 #2
  4. Mar 4, 2010 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    This is probably the answer you are looking for.

  5. Mar 5, 2010 #4
    Don't forget Hooke's Law which is about as rigid as the springs it touches upon.
  6. Mar 5, 2010 #5


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    Gold Member

    I think 'principle' is interchangeable with 'law' in most cases.
  7. Mar 5, 2010 #6
    Pulled from the Wikipedia page. So are principles "fundamental" laws or, as Jimmy said, usually "just" laws?

    Why do they have different names then?

    How would this fit into the discussion about principles? Just wondering.
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