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# Chapter 12 Various Stages in Practical Work

Sine experiential nihil sapienter sciri protest.
(“Without experience one cannot understand anything”)

Quoted by J.L. Lewis in The Proceedings of the
International Conference on Energy Education 
Budapest, 1989

In scientific work you are often faced with problems to which you have to find the answer by doing experiments, i.e. by observations and measurements. The practical work should be carried out in an organised way and should have the following stages:

Stage 1 Formulating the aim of the experiment

You need to fully realize what you intend to find out by doing the experiment. Often this could have been explained by the teacher or supervisor. Discuss the aim with your colleagues.

Stage 2 Designing and planning the experiment

Having understood the aim, you need to design an experiment that gives an answer to the problem raised. Plan the exact manner in which the experiment is going to be carried out. You should realize that it will be carried out with apparatus that is available to you. If necessary discuss your list of apparatus including ranges, scales, quality of instruments etc. with your supervisor.

Stage 3 Performing the experiment

Carry out the experiment and record measurements and observations.


Do you like anecdotes, interesting and challenging problems, fun facts, puzzles, jokes related to metric system and measurement? Read them in the 2006 on-line edition of "SI Units, Conversion and Measurement Skills",186 pp.