Laws of Physics

What are experience and observation?

Observation and experience in physics are the two main methods of knowing the laws of nature.


From time immemorial, man, observing nature, its structure and phenomena, noted various patterns for himself and made conclusions and discoveries.

On the basis of observations, assumptions about something often arise. These assumptions must somehow be confirmed and verified. In this case, experience comes to the rescue in physics.

During the experiment, the studied physical phenomenon is modeled, and special conditions are created for its occurrence. The experiment carried out can confirm the assumption put forward on the basis of observation, or it can refute it. This is the scientific method: as a result of observations, a hypothesis (assumption) is put forward, then this hypothesis is tested by experience and either confirmed or refuted by experience.

Read more articles: How are physical quantities measured?

We can say that observation precedes experience. The final point in the question is established by experience.

In the process of conducting an experiment, a new observation may arise, and in order to confirm it, the experiment is changed in one way or another.

The laws of physics were predominantly formulated on the basis of experiments.

Experience in science is often called an experiment.

Observation example: A ball rolls faster down a steeper mountain. Hypothesis: the closer to the vertical axis of the surface, the faster objects roll off it, and the objects develop the highest speed during vertical fall. 

An experiment that can be carried out to confirm the hypothesis: take a board, tilt it at different angles, and roll the same object off it, while measuring the time it takes for the object to cover the distance from the top of the board to the bottom. 

If the time decreases as the slope of the board gets closer to the vertical axis, then the hypothesis is correct. If not, then the hypothesis is not true, and the observation was based on some other law.

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