The scientific method is used in science as a means of gaining understanding about the physical universe. There are differences of opinion on exactly what the scientific method is, but basically it consists of the following main parts.
- Observation--a perception, viewing of a phenomena.
- Hypothesis--a proposed explanation is developed to account what has been observed.
- Experimentation--tests are developed to validate or invalidate the hypothesis.
- Prediction--after tests and validation of the hypothesis, predictions are made based upon the evidence gathered in experimentation.
- Theory--a theory is based upon a hypothesis, verified by testing, and is generally accepted as being an accurate explanation of phenomena.
So, with the scientific method, people attempt to understand something sufficiently to reproduce an event and/or accurately predict an event.
The exact order of the steps is fluid, but generally the scientific method is the process used to understand phenomena through developing a hypothesis, experimentation, and learning so that we are able to predict the phenomena again. This means the phenomena is understood.