Scientific Method and Toolmark Lecture Notes

Scientific Problem Solving - The Scientific Method

· Identify the Problem
· Collect information - Research
· Form a hypothesis - Suggest a solution
· Test hypothesis - Experiment
· Accept or reject hypothesis
· Report results - Lab write-up

Why should we use the scientific method?

· So experiments can be repeated
· To decrease bias
· Systematic, consistent procedure


· Any impression, cut, gouge, etc. caused by a tool coming into contact with another object
· Initial visual examinations will usually result in the identification of the type of tool used only. It will NOT identify the specific tool
· The specific tool used can be determined due to wear, nicks, and breaks to a tool as the result of use
· Unique grooves are pre-etched into the metal portions of a tool during the manufacturing process. These grooves can help investigators identify the specific tool used to commit a crime.