Observation is the active acquisition of information from a primary source.

Observation Sources
Living Beings use our Senses
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Science uses data measured through scientific instruments
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Observation Types
Qualitative; when something is Present or Absent
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Quantitative; measuring or counting the numeric value of something
Observation in science

The scientific method requires observations of natural phenomena to formulate and test hypotheses.[1] It consists of the following steps:[2][3]

  1. Ask a question about a natural phenomenon
  2. Make observations of the phenomenon
  3. Formulate a hypothesis that tentatively answers the question
  4. Predict logical, observable consequences of the hypothesis that have not yet been investigated
  5. Test the hypothesis' predictions by an experimentobservational studyfield study, or simulation
  6. Draw a conclusion from data gathered in the experiment, or revise the hypothesis or form a new one and repeat the process
  7. Write a descriptive method of observation and the results or conclusions reached
  8. Have peers with experience researching the same phenomenon evaluate the results

Observational Paradoxes

Relativity: In relativistic physics which deals with velocities close to the speed of light, it is found that different observers may observe different values for the length, time rates, mass, and many other properties of an object, depending on the observer's velocity relative to the object. For example, in the twin paradox one twin goes on a trip near the speed of light and comes home younger than the twin who stayed at home. This is not a paradox: time passes at a slower rate when measured from a frame moving with respect to the object. In relativistic physics, an observation must always be qualified by specifying the state of motion of the observer, its reference frame.

Quantum mechanics

Quantum mechanics: In quantum mechanics, which deals with the behavior of very small objects, it is not possible to observe a system without changing the system, and the "observer" must be considered part of the system being observed. In isolation, quantum objects are represented by a wave function which often exists in a superposition or mixture of different states. However, when an observation is made to determine the actual location or state of the object, it always finds the object in a single state, not a "mixture". The interaction of the observation process appears to "collapse" the wave function into a single state. So any interaction between an isolated wave function and the external world that results in this wave function collapse is called an observationor measurement, whether or not it is part of a deliberate observation process.