Lecture 1 - How Do You Know; Divine or Human Authority vs Logic and Experiment

Freshman Organic Chemistry I

Yale

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 chemical bonds.

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