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Scientific Method

A logical, systematic approach to the solution of scientific problems


A proposed explanation for an observation.


A procedure that is used to test a hypothesis

Independent Variable

The variable that the experimenter changes during an experiment. It is also called the manipulating variable.

Dependent Variable

The variable that is observed during the experiment. It is also called the responding variable.


A well-tested explanation for a broad set of observations. It can never be proven because it is possible that it may be changed in the future.


A concise statement that describes an observation and is well-tested.

Chemical Change

A change that produces matter with a different composition than the original matter

Chemical Property

A description of the ability of a substance to undergo a specific chemical change.

Physical Change

A change during which some properties of a material change, but the composition of the material does not change

Physical Property

A description of a quality or condition of a substance that can be observed or measured without changing the composition of the material

Extensive Property

A property that depends on the amount of matter in a sample

Intensive Property

A property that depends on the type of matter in a sample, not the amount of matter


A solid that forms and settles out of a liquid mixture


The closeness of a measurement to the true or accepted value of what is being measured


Describes the closeness of a set of measurements taken under the same conditions.

International System of Units

The revised version of the metric system adopted by international agreement in 1960


A quantitative description that includes both a number and unit

Percent error

The percent that a measure value differs from the accepted value

Significant Figures

All the digits that can be known precisely or with certainty in a measurement plus a last estimated digit.


The temperature scale in which the lowest temperature is absolute zero

Dimensional Analysis (Factor-label)

A technique of problem solving that uses units that are part of a measurement to help solve the problem

Conversion Factor

a ratio of equivalent measurements used to convert a quantity from one unit to another

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