Basic Data Analysis and Statistics
Progress in the physical sciences is based on an interplay between theory and experiment. Mathematical models designed by theorists must predict or explain measurements made by experimentalists. Revolutions in science have often begun with small but stubborn discrepancies between theory and measurement. On the other hand, the most embarrassing moments in the history of science have often arisen as a bandwagon of research grew around a reported observation of new and unexpected effects which, upon closer scrutiny, were revealed as a misinterpretation of data. It is obviously important to reap the maximum information from experimental data while understanding the limitations of the harvest.
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