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Investigations

C21 GCSE Investigation keywords

TermDefinition
hypothesis prediction that can be tested by experiment
prediction what you think will happen in an experiment
independent variable what you choose to change in the experiment
dependent variable what you see changing as a result in the experiment
hazard what could cause an injury, e.g. wet floor = slip hazard, bags left on floor = trip hazard;
risk the consequence of a hazard – including how LIKELY and how SERIOUS are the consequences, e.g. using Bunsen burner with loose long hair = moderate to high risk
precaution something you can do to reduce the risk, e.g. tie back long hair (reduce likelihood), wear goggles (reduce seriousness of injury in event of chemical spraying out)
units many measurements have units, e.g. newtons for force, metres for distance – write the units in the column headings in results tables
major factors all the variables that pretty obviously might make a difference
variable anything that can change and that might make a difference in an experiment
quantitative prediction a prediction based on a mathematical relationship, e.g. proportional to, inverse proportional to; or including numbers, e.g. it will peak at about 40˚C
precision indicated by a small spread in the repeat readings
accurate a measurement that is close to the TRUE VALUE is accurate
range (of independent variable) all the different values of the independent variable (usually in the left hand column in the results table)
full / appropriate risk assessment will describe the relative risk of the various hazards; will state precautions needed to ensure risk is acceptable
repeatability indicated by the spread of results obtained by ONE operator using ONE set of equipment
reproducibility indicated by the spread of results obtained by DIFFERENT operators using DIFFERENT equipment / arrangement(s)
outlier a result that looks out of place with the other repeats; OR a result that looks out of place with the rest of the pattern of all the results
spread of data can be shown by plotting ALL repeats on the graph (good for 2 or 3 repeats); OR by plotting mean and range bars (better for large numbers of repeats)
scale a number line (evenly spaced, with marks, like a ruler) for a graph axis
line of best fit SHOWS the PATTERN of the results; can be straight of a smooth curve; not fuzzy, not wiggly, not thick; does not NEED to touch any point at all.
scatter graph one that shows ALL the recorded results, not just the mean (or mean plus range bars)
limitations of equipment mention the resolution (the smallest change it can show), e.g. thermometer measured to the nearest whole ˚C, newton meter measured to the nearest 10N.
limitations of technique e.g. was it difficult to take the reading, capture all the gas, make sure the temperature really stayed the same throughout, line up the ruler with the other equipment?
accounting for outliers suggest genuine reason that could explain e.g. why that reading was higher than expected (or lower than expected)
secondary data any results that did not come from YOUR experiment
secondary data (three good sources) exam board data; another group in your class; internet / text book – can be a mathematical model, a computer simulation, a graph, a table of results etc
Created by: allydavies