Scientific law: Difference between revisions
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Laws differ from [[scientific theory|scientific theories]] in that they do not posit a mechanism or explanation of phenomena: they are merely distillations of the results of repeated observation. As such, a law is limited in applicability to circumstances resembling those already observed, and may be found false when extrapolated. [[Ohm's law]] only applies to linear networks, [[Newton's law of universal gravitation]] only applies in weak gravitational fields, the early laws of [[aerodynamics]] such as [[Bernoulli's principle]] do not apply in case of [[compressible flow]] such as occurs in [[transonic]] and [[supersonic]] flight, [[Hooke's law]] only applies to [[strain (physics)|strain]] below the [[elastic limit]], [[Boyle's law]] applies with perfect accuracy only to the ideal gas, etc. These laws remain useful, but only under the conditions where they apply.
Many laws take [[mathematics|mathematical]] forms, and thus can be stated as an
Like theories and hypotheses, laws make predictions (specifically, they predict that new observations will conform to the law), and can be [[Falsifiability|falsified]] if they are found in contradiction with new data.