Outline of physical science

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Physical science is the study of physics and chemistry of nature.[citation needed] From the materialist and functionalist viewpoints it overlaps the life sciences where ecology studies the evidences of historical facts or evolution. Natural sciences bridge the phenomena in the physical sciences to the noumenon in the life sciences. The following is presented as an overview and topical guide of these physical sciences.

General principles of the physical sciences[edit]

The foundations of the physical sciences rest upon key concepts and theories, each of which explains and/or models a particular aspect of the behavior of nature.

Basic principles of physics[edit]

Physics, along with mathematics and chemistry,[citation needed] classes as one of the "fundamental sciences" because the other natural sciences (like biology, geology etc.) deal with systems that seem to obey the laws of physics. According to physics, the physical laws of matter, energy and the fundamental forces of nature govern the interactions between particles and physical entities (such as planets, molecules, atoms or the subatomic particles). Some of the basic pursuits of physics, which include some of the most prominent developments in modern science in the last millennium, include:

Basic principles of astronomy[edit]

Astronomy is the science of celestial bodies and their interactions in space. Its studies includes the following:

  • The life and characteristics of stars and galaxies
  • Origins of the universe. Physical science uses the Big Bang theory as the commonly accepted scientific theory of the origin of the universe.
  • A heliocentric Solar System. Ancient cultures saw the Earth as the centre of the Solar System or universe (geocentrism). In the 16th century, Nicolaus Copernicus advanced the ideas of heliocentrism, recognizing the Sun as the centre of the Solar System.
  • The structure of solar systems, planets, comets, asteroids, and meteors
  • The shape and structure of Earth (roughly spherical, see also Spherical Earth)
  • Earth in the Solar System
  • Time measurement
  • The composition and features of the Moon
  • Interactions of the Earth and Moon

(Note: Astronomy should not be confused with astrology, which assumes[citation needed] that people's destiny and human affairs in general correlate to the apparent positions of astronomical objects in the sky - although the two fields share a common origin, they are quite different; astronomers embrace the scientific method, while astrologers do not.)

Basic principles of chemistry[edit]

Chemistry, built upon concepts from physics, addresses phenomena associated with the structure, composition and energetics of matter as well as the changes it undergoes. Often known as the central science, chemistry connects the fundamental laws of physics to engineering and other natural sciences such as biology, earth science, astronomy and material science

Chemistry, the central science, partial ordering of the sciences proposed by Balaban and Klein.

Basic principles of earth science[edit]

Earth science is the science of the planet Earth, as of 2014 the only identified life-bearing planet. Its studies include the following:

Basic principles of atmospheric science[edit]

See Atmospheric sciences

Notable physical scientists[edit]

External links[edit]