npsm 새물리 New Physics : Sae Mulli

pISSN 0374-4914 eISSN 2289-0041


Research Paper

New Physics: Sae Mulli 2007; 54: 261-268

Published online April 30, 2007

Copyright © New Physics: Sae Mulli.

An Analysis of Abductive Reasoning Patterns of Creative Physicists

Youngmin KIM*

Department of Physics Education, Pusan National University, Busan 609-735



The aims of this study is to investigate and analyze how Kepler, Galilei, and Carnot, who were creative physicists, used abductive reasoning in formulating hypotheses for their theories0 establishment. Through review and analysis of related literature, the author found that Kepler had formulated his own hypothesis to build a new theory for eye vision by employing the optical phenomenon in a spherical lens, Galilei had formulated his hypothesis about free falling in a vacuum by employing a pendulum motion experiment and a thought experiment, and Carnot had formulated his hypothesis about the Carnot cycle and the efficiency of a heat engine by employing the principles at work in a hydraulic machine. All the results of their abductive reasoning, and their thinking process patterns can be used as effective models for teaching creativity to students and for learning science.

Keywords: Kepler, Galilei, Carnot, Abduction, Abductive reasoning, Hypothesis, Eye vision, Optics, Free falling, Heat engine, Analogy, Physics education, Creativity

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