# California Physical Science Chapter 1 Introduction to Physical Science

## 41 terms

### science

The study of the natural world.

### observing

Using one or more senses to gather information.

### inferring

The process of making an inference; an interpretation based on observation and prior knowledge.

### predicting

Making a forecast of what will happen in the future based on past experience or evidence.

### physical science

The study of matter, energy and the changes they undergo.

### chemistry

The study of the properties of matter and how matter changes.

### physics

The study of matter, energy, motion, forces, and how they interact.

### scientific inquiry

The ongoing process of discovering science.

### hypothesis

A possible answer to a science question or possible explanation for a set of observations.

### parameter

A factor that can be measured in an experiment.

### manipulated variable

The variable parameter that a scientist changes during an experiment.

### responding variable

The variable parameter that changes as a result of changes to the manipulated or independent variable in an experiment.

### controlled experiment

An experiment in which only one parameter is manipulated at a time.

### data

The facts, figures and other evidence gathered through observations.

### communicating

The process of sharing ideas and conclusions with others through writing or speaking.

### scientific theory

A well-tested explanation for a wide range of observations or experimental results (atomic theory states that all substances are composed of tiny particles called atoms).

### scientific law

A statement that describes what scientists expect to happen every time under a particular set of conditions (law of gravity).

### SI

An expanded metric system, International Systems of Units, which allows scientists to compare data using a standard system of measurement.

### meter

SI unit of length.

### weight

A measure of the force of gravity on an object.

### mass

A measure of how much matter is in an object.

SI unit of mass.

### volume

The amount of space matter occupies.

### cubic meter

SI unit of volume.

### meniscus

The curved upper surface of a liquid in a column of liquid.

### density

The ratio of the mass of a substance to its volume.

### kilogram per cubic meter

SI unit of density.

SI unit of time.

### Kelvin scale

SI unit of temperature.

### absolute zero

The temperature at which no more energy can be removed from matter.

### estimate

An approximation of a number based on reasonable assumptions.

### accuracy

How close a measurement is to the true or actual value.

### reproducibility

How close of a group of measurements are to each other.

### significant figures

A ll the digits in a measurement that have measured exactly, plus one digit whose value has been estimated.

### precision

A measure of the exactness of a measurement.

### graph

A picture of information from a data table; shows the relationship between variables.

### line of best fit

A smooth line that reflects the general pattern in a graph.

### linear graph

A line graph in which the data points yield a straight line.

### slope

The steepness of a line on a graph, equal to its vertical change divided by its horizontal change. Rise/Run

### nonlinear graph

A line graph in which the data points do not fall along a straight line.

### Celsius scale

The temperature scale on which water freezes at 0 degrees and boils at 100 degrees