ABSTRACT

Experimentation drives engineering and scientific knowledge. It is human nature to try to make some sense out of the complex events and occurrences around us and be able to either harness or avoid the powerful forces that are at work. In science and engineering, this is manifested through numerous theories being devised, with only a few of them surviving the rigors of experimental observations over time. Experimentation is also fundamentally important in the development of theories; it is experimental observations that allow the formulations of theories. We use, for example, Newton’s second law to describe a wide range of apparently disparate phenomena, from fluid acceleration by pressure gradient to motion of celestial objects. Newtonian dynamics was developed to synthesize and generalize the observed motions of celestial objects and, through demonstrations and observations, it was proven to be applicable universally to the motion of all objects in the nonrelativistic and nonquantum-mechanical realm, including the “falling of the apple.”