Explain how learning to do this might be helpful in any career, even one far removed from chemistry.
directs you to the Chemistry in Focus feature in the chapter
Chemistry is the branch of science that is associated with the study of composition, properties, and changes experienced by different substances present in the universe. It is the study of various interactions that take place among the distinct samples of matter, the human body, a chemical laboratory, and so on. The initial study of chemistry seems challenging because of the unfamiliar and completely new vocabulary used in the study. Initially, the terminologies are memorized but the study becomes genuine and effortless after gradual understanding. In order to solve a problem related to chemistry, the provided information is sorted and the important ones are chosen to proceed further. Further, the problem is simplified by thinking of all the possible ways to tackle it. If one of the assumptions to solve the problem fails, the mistakes are acknowledged and another careful attempt is made by using the other assumption. The process consumes time and requires patience. Initially a problem is solved by using a general technique so that the basic concepts that are learned are applicable further to the complicated problems of life.
A large number of problems are encountered in day-to-day life. There are certain steps that are executed to resolve the daily problems. The problems are identified and analyzed. Real-life problems are not as simple as textbook problems. Whatever information is gathered from the recognition of the problem is called observation. Suitable and possible explanations are stated in light of the observation. The set of possible explanations is termed a hypothesis. Out of all the possible hypotheses, the one that successfully explains the different types of observations is converted into a theory or model. This step requires a sequence of actions to be performed in order to prove the authenticity of the explanation. These actions are collectively referred to as experiments. Just like experiments are performed to validate the theories in science, daily problems and tasks are resolved and simplified for better understanding by performing experiments.
Just like scientists deal with multiple possible hypotheses to explain the observations, students also focus on generating different ways by which a given problem is resolved. The consistent practice of problem-solving does not come by just reading the theories and going through the examples. A proper assessment of the study can only be made after striving to solve the problems based upon chemistry. It challenges the creative mind and promotes independent exploration of different possible ways to identify, solve, and illustrate a problem. For studying chemistry, one needs to think like a chemist. It encourages an individual to ponder about long-term profits and ignore short-term frustration.
For instance, the course of solving a problem both by a scientist and a poet follows a similar pattern. Scientists use a scientific approach to analyze any sudden and new change in their surroundings. It forms the base for the generation of several explanations of why the change is occurring. Different proposals are enlisted as hypotheses. The best explanation is tested by performing experiments in the laboratory. If the results of the experiments are consistent with the proposed hypotheses, the particular explanation is converted into a scientific model or theory and a scientific law is stated, respectively.
Similarly, a poet works to express his ideas and experiences in a literary work. The ideas, experiences, or any sort of inspiration that influences the poet to write are the observations made by the poet. The different possible ways, choice of vocabulary, mode of expression, and figures of speech in which the ideas are expressed are recognized as hypotheses. Besides, the writings and literal works composed by the poet represent the experimental work of the poet.