# The Game of Science David P. Maloney & Mark F. Masters

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The Game of Science David P. Maloney & Mark F. Masters
Adapted by Takoa Lawson for Great Neck North Science Dept.

The Nature of Scientific Investigations
We can imagine that this complicated array of moving things which constitutes ‘the universe’ is something like a great chess game being played, and we are observers of the game. We do not know what the rules of the game are; all we are allowed to do is to watch the playing. Of course, if we watch long enough, we may eventually catch on to a few of the rules. The rules of the universe are what we mean by fundamental physics. Richard Feynman

Thought Experiment Imagine you were interested in understanding a game played by two opponents If you couldn’t communicate directly with the players how would you go about trying to understand the game? What questions would you ask about the game? How could you obtain data or seek answers to your questions? Would you want to collaborate with others? Is sharing the result(s) of the process important? The class should brainstorm answers to the questions posed and also feel free to propose new questions

Game Understanding Questions
How many pieces does each player have? Are the turns symmetric (that is do the players have similar roles in the game)? Do the players take turns? Do the pieces belong to individual players or are all the pieces “community” pieces? What are the starting positions for the pieces? How do the pieces move? Do all of the pieces move the same way, or do different pieces have different move patterns? If there are different move patterns, how many are there and what are they? How does a player win the game? Can the game end in a draw? Students (groups) should be provided with these questions on a dido and there should be space for them to add questions of their own.

Delta Game Practice Round
This is an opportunity for students to practice the activity before attempting it. Students can answer the dido questions on loose-leaf if they want to practice answering the questions too.

Player P Wins

Game Understanding Questions
How many pieces does each player have? Are the turns symmetric (that is do the players have similar roles in the game)? Do the players take turns? Do the pieces belong to individual players or are all the pieces “community” pieces? What are the starting positions for the pieces? How do the pieces move? Do all of the pieces move the same way, or do different pieces have different move patterns? If there are different move patterns, how many are there and what are they? How does a player win the game? Can the game end in a draw? Students (groups) should be provided with these questions on a dido and there should be space for them to add questions of their own.

Game Play Conclusions (Theories)
The starting position theory The legal moves theory The winning theory Possible class theories; the goal is to get all of your pieces off of the board, one player’s pieces can not jump over another players, diagonal movement is not allowed, only two players can compete at once,

Gamma Game Round 1

Player Brown Wins

Gamma Game Round 2

Player Brown Wins

Gamma Game Round 3

Player Brown Wins

Understanding the Universe
The basic processes and reasoning behind easily observed phenomenon Describe the processes and reasoning behind complicated or difficult to observe phenomenon Develop the skills and knowledge to participate readily and fully Recognizing advantages, risks, and costs of knowledge and technology

The “Games” in Physics A fundamental component of science is asking questions skillfully and making extremely careful observations Questions we want to ask about our universe pertain to the following topics Light Energy Mechanics Electricity Electromagnetism Waves Thermal Physics Electronics Atomic Physics

The Scientific Method Our agreed upon strategy to better understand the games the universe is playing

The Scientific Method

The Scientific Method

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