Chemistry 125A: Freshman Organic Chemistry I - Lecture 1: "How do you know?" - Professor J. Michael McBride
Lecture 1 - How Do You Know?
Professor McBride outlines the course with its goals and requirements,
including the required laboratory course. To the course's prime question
"How do you know" he proposes two unacceptable answers (divine and
human authority), and two acceptable answers (experiment and logic). He
illustrates the fruitfulness of experiment and logic using the rise of
science in the seventeenth century. London's Royal Society and the
"crucial" experiment on light by Isaac Newton provide examples. In his
correspondence with Newton Samuel Pepys, diarist and naval purchasing
officer, illustrates the attitudes and habits which are most vital for
budding scientists - especially those who would like to succeed in this
course. The lecture closes by introducing the underlying goal for the
first half of the semester: understanding the Force Law that describes
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