Experiments are the most effective way to learn about the world. By cleverly interfering with something to see how it reacts we are able to find out how it works. In contrast to passive observation, experimenting provides us with data relevant to our research and thus less time and effort is spent separating relevant from irrelevant information.
The art of experimentation is often learnt by doing, so an intuitive understanding of the experimental method usually evolves gradually through years of trial and error. The aim of this book is to speed up the journey for the reader to becoming a proficient experimenter.
Organized in two parts, this unique text begins by providing a general introduction to the scientific approach to experimentation. It then describes the processes and tools required, including the relevant statistical and experimental methods. Towards the end of the book a methodology is presented, which leads the reader through the three phases of an experiment: 'Planning', 'Data Collection', and 'Analysis and Synthesis'.
Part One Understanding the World
1 You, the Discoverer 3
2 What is Science? 11
3 Science's Childhood 33
4 Science Inclined to Experiment 53
5 Scientists, Engineers and Other Poets 65
Part Two Interfering with the World
6 Experiment! 83
7 Basic Statistics 113
8 Statistics for Experiments 139
9 Experimental Design 175
10 Phase I: Planning 211
11 Phase II: Data Collection 235
12 Phase III: Analysis and Synthesis 253
Standard Normal Probabilities 269
Probability Points for the t-Distribution 270