Skip to Content

PHY 2780 Scientific Thought & Method

Exploration of methods employed in the natural sciences primarily through an undergraduate research project designed to illustrate scientific thinking and related mathematical skills especially as they apply to physics. Intended for physics majors. Two classroom, two lab hours per week.

Division: Science, Mathematics and Engineering
Department: Physics
Repeatable Credit: No
Offered Online: No

Prereqs: PHY 2201 AND Restricted to Majors 


  • Develop testable hypotheses. Design tests of competing hypotheses. Derive predictions from a hypothesis.
  • Design scientific investigations, based on testable questions, taking into account variable definition (e.g. independent and dependent) and incorporating experimental controls where appropriate.
  • Distinguish between the terms theory, law and hypothesis. Describe the tentative nature of scientific ideas and the role of testable questions in scientific research.
  • Discuss the role of direct observation and inference in scientific research. Discuss the difference between observation and inference including the role of probability and statistics in drawing conclusions. Apply proper measurement techniques accounting for uncertainties.

Credit Hours: 3

Classroom Hours: 2
Lab Hours: 2