Hypotheses, theories, laws and principles?

  • #1

Main Question or Discussion Point

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:
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
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  • #3
Evo
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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:
This is probably the answer you are looking for.

http://chemistry.about.com/od/chemistry101/a/lawtheory.htm
 
  • #4
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Don't forget Hooke's Law which is about as rigid as the springs it touches upon.
 
  • #5
Pythagorean
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I think 'principle' is interchangeable with 'law' in most cases.
 
  • #6
Wikipedia has a decent discussion on it.
A principle is one of several things: (a) a descriptive comprehensive and fundamental law, doctrine, or assumption; (b) a normative rule or code of conduct, and (c) a law or fact of nature underlying the working of an artificial device.
Principle as scientific law
Laws Physics. Laws Statistics. Laws Biological. Laws of nature are those that can not be proven explicitly, however we can measure and quantify them observing the results that they produce.
Pulled from the Wikipedia page. So are principles "fundamental" laws or, as Jimmy said, usually "just" laws?

Why do they have different names then?



Don't forget Hooke's Law which is about as rigid as the springs it touches upon.
How would this fit into the discussion about principles? Just wondering.
 

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