I am a high school student that believes as many others that natural sciences is an area of knowledge that is about reliable information. However, I see that scientific instruments play an significant role in the reliability of findings to form scientific knowledge assertions. Nonetheless, from my point of view, I still see that reliability of instruments is important in all fields of natural sciences which include: chemistry, physics and biology, in forming knowledge assertions.

Is it true that the degree of reliability is important in all fields? Which one is more about the general idea?

Example: in physics, lots of measurements are based upon specific measurement such as finding the amount of voltage using a voltmeter (there are lots more)and clearly the results have to be accurate and precise to draw conclusions about the measurement.

Counter example (general idea): Foucault’s pendulum, the rotation of earth, accuracy and precision is not that much of a requirement when compared to other findings to ensure the validity of a knowledge assertion.

Please let me know if my question is clear?

If there are studies that show the comparison let me know?


All of the sciences that use math to make predictions about the outcomes of experiments require precise measurement and the use of statistics to distinguish between an outcome explicable by random chance and one which contains a signal (the prediction).

The case of Foucault's pendulum is a demonstration of a principle, in which the human eye is the judge, and which may lead to a different experiment in which actual measurements are made and then compared to predictions.

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    Measurements just have to be precise enough for the purpose of the experiment. The Foucault pendulum is an experiment, just as much as a precise measure like the time dilation for GPS satellites. It's just that a little wall of sand disturbed by the pendulum is more than enough to make the rotation of the earth around the pendulum obvious. More involved experimentators can also use a protractor to measure the variation of the pendulum and confirm it is correlated to the latitude of where the experiment takes place, which requires more precision.
    – armand
    Feb 7 at 23:21
  • Hello thanks a lot for your answer @armand. From what I can see, there is nothing that determines the a degree of importance in reliability of scientific instruments between, chemistry, physics and biology? Feb 8 at 11:09

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