The Principles of Experimental Research

1st Edition

Authors: K Srinagesh
Hardcover ISBN: 9780750679268
eBook ISBN: 9780080497815
Imprint: Butterworth-Heinemann
Published Date: 1st December 2005
Page Count: 432
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The need to understand how to design and set up an investigative experiment is nearly universal to all students in engineering, applied technology and science, as well as many of the social sciences. Many schools offer courses in this fundamental skill and this book is meant to offer an easily accessible introduction to the essential tools needed, including an understanding of logical processes, how to use measurement, the do’s and don’ts of designing experiments so as to achieve reproducible results and the basic mathematical underpinnings of how data should be analyzed and interpreted. The subject is also taught as part of courses on Engineering statistics, Quality Control in Manufacturing, and Senior Design Project, in which conducting experimental research is usually integral to the project in question.

Key Features

  • Covers such essential fundamentals as "definitions," "quantification," and standardization of test materials

  • Shows students and professionals alike how to plan an experiment—from how to frame a proper Hypothesis to designing an experiment to accurately reflect the nature of the problem to "designing with factors."

  • Includes a separate section on the use of Statistics in Experimental Research, including overview of probability and statistics, as well as Randomization, Replication and Sampling, as well as proper ways to draw statistical inferences from experimental data.


Undergraduate and first-year graduate students in most engineering disciplines taking required or optional course in “Design of Experiments,” “Senior Design Project,” “Capstone Design Project,” “Engineering Statistics,” and other course related to experimental research, data analysis and statistical inference.

Table of Contents

1 Experimental Research in Science: Its Name and Nature 1.1 Defining Science 1.2 Science: Play or Profession 1.3 Science and Research 1.4 Varieties of Experimental Research 1.5 Conventional Researchers 1.6 Bibliography

2 The Importance of Definitions 2.1 Toward Definition 2.2 Defining "Definition" 2.3 Common Terms Used in Definitions 2.4 Varieties of Definitions 2.4.1 A. Direct and B. Indirect Definitions 2.4.2 C. Informal and D. Formal Definitions 2.4.3 E. Lexical and F. Stipulated Definitions 2.4.4 G. Nominal and H. Real Definitions 2.4.5 J. Definitions by Denotation 2.4.6 K. Ostensive Definitions 2.4.7 L. Definitions by Genus and Difference 2.5 Need for Definitions 2.6 What Definitions Should and Should Not Do 2.7 References 2.8 Bibliography

3 Aspects of Quantification 3.1 Quantity and Quality 3.2 The Uses of Numbers 3.3 An Intellectual Close-up of Counting 3.4 The Process of Measurement 3.5 Quantities and Measurements 3.6 Derived Quantities 3.7 Units for Measurement 3.8 Fundamental Quantities and Dimensions 3.9 Dimensional Analysis 3.10 Accuracy versus Approximation 3.11 Bibliography

4 The Purpose and Principles Involved in Experimenting 4.1 The Purpose of Experimenting 4.2 Cause and Effect 4.3 Pertinence and Forms of Cause 4.4 Mill’s Methods of Experimental Inquiry 4.4.1 Method of Agreement 4.4.2


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© Butterworth-Heinemann 2006
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About the Author

K Srinagesh

Affiliations and Expertise

Professor, Mechanical Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth