Bridgman, Percy W. Formerly, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Nobelist.
Margenau, Henry Department of Physics, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut.
Last reviewed:April 2021
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A tentative supposition with regard to an unknown state of affairs, the truth of which is thereupon subject to investigation by any available method, either by logical deduction of consequences which may be checked against what is known, or by direct experimental investigation or discovery of facts not hitherto known and suggested by the hypothesis. The formulation of a hypothesis about a solution to a problem or answer to a question is part of the scientific method. Testing the hypothesis—typically by running experiments, gathering observations, and analyzing results via statistical methods—is done to ultimately determine whether the hypothesis is true or false. The data must be objectively evaluated to determine whether they support the hypothesis. If the data do not support the hypothesis, then the investigator must reject the hypothesis. See also: Experiment; Philosophy of science; Scientific methods
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