By John Jeffrey Hester; et al

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Spring turns into summer, summer turns into autumn, autumn turns into winter, and winter turns into spring. The rhythms of nature produce patterns in our lives, and we count on these patterns for our very survival. If nature did not behave according to regular patterns, then our lives—indeed, life itself—would not be possible. The patterns that make our lives possible also make science possible. The goal of science is to identify and characterize these patterns and to use them to understand the world around us.

Here, the At-a-Glance view shows student progress through an assignment. SmartWork online homework allows instructors to assign algorithmically generated homework that offers students feedback at just the right teachable moment. Developed by university educators, SmartWork is the most intuitive tutorial and online homework system available. SmartWork combines the flexibility of traditional paper homework with the administrative ease of computerized grading and the effectiveness of student-focused feedback.

Some theories become so well tested and are of such fundamental importance that we come to refer to them as physical laws. A scientific principle is a general idea or sense about how the universe is that guides our construction of new theories. Occam’s razor, for example, is a guiding principle in science stating that when we are faced with two hypotheses that explain a particular phenomenon equally well, 10 Chapter 1 Why Learn Astronomy? we should adopt the simpler of the two. At the heart of modern astronomy is another principle: the cosmological principle.

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