Assumption in Nature of Science within the context of IB Diploma Chemistry, there are several key assumptions that guide scientific inquiry and understanding. These assumptions include:
Empiricism: The idea that knowledge about the natural world can only be gained through observation and experimentation. Scientists need to conduct experiments to determine the chemical composition of a substance. Scientists are required to observe the physical and chemical properties to predict the composition. Tests of melting point, boiling point, solubility, and chemical reactions with other chemicals can be helpful to identify a substance.
Tentativeness: The recognition that scientific knowledge is always subject to revision based on new evidence and understanding. Initially few elements were known but gradually the discovery of new elements was done. Hence upgradation of scientific knowledge is a regular process.
Objectivity: The belief that scientific inquiry should be free from personal bias, and that evidence and data should be collected and interpreted objectively.When it comes to objectivity in chemistry, it is important to remain as neutral and accurate as possible so that personal biases do not affect the results. This can be seen in a chemist studying reaction kinetics, who would want to keep their observations and measurements impartial.
Testability: The requirement that scientific claims be testable and verifiable through experiment and observation. As for testability in chemistry, experiments must be conducted to validate hypotheses – whether it be a new polymer or molecule synthesis.
Predictability: The expectation that the natural world operates according to regular, predictable patterns that can be understood through scientific investigation.Predictability can be obtained by using the principles of thermodynamics and kinetics found in studying salt solubility and chemical reaction rates respectively. Experiments are then utilized to verify these predictions.
Conjecture and refutation: The recognition that scientific understanding is built through the testing of hypotheses, with the possibility of rejection based on new evidence or understanding.
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