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For a topic outline of science, see Outline of science.
Applied science

Applied science

Science is formed from methodical study of nature stemming from testable explanations and predictions. An older and closely related current meaning emerged from Aristotle, whereby "science" referred to the body of reliable knowledge that is logically and rationally explained (see "History and etymology" section below).

Since classical antiquity, science as knowledge was closely linked to philosophy. In the early modern era the two words, "science" and "philosophy", were sometimes used interchangeably in the English language. By the 17th century, "natural philosophy" emerged as "natural science", separate from "philosophy", in general. "Science" continued to denote reliable knowledge about a topic; it remains in use in modern terms such as library science or political science.

Ever-evolving, "science" is, more modernly, a term referring to the pursuit of knowledge, and not the knowledge itself. It is often synonymous with ‘natural and physical science’, and often restricted to those branches of study relating to the phenomena of the material universe and their law(s). Sometimes the term implies exclusion of pure mathematics although many university faculties include Mathematics Departments within their Faculty of Science. The dominant sense in ordinary use has a narrower use for the term "science". It developed as a part of science becoming a distinct enterprise of defining "laws of nature"; early examples include Kepler's laws, Galileo's laws, and Newton's laws of motion. In this period it became more common to refer to natural philosophy as "natural science". Over the course of the 19th century, the word "science" became increasingly associated with the disciplined study of the natural world, including physics, chemistry, geology and biology. This sometimes left the study of human thought and society in a linguistic limbo, which was resolved by classifying these areas of academic study as social science. For example, Psychology evolved from Philosophy, and has grown as an area of study.

Currently, there are both hard (e.g, biological psychology) and soft science (e.g., social psychology) fields within the discipline. As a result, and as is consistent with the unfolding of the study of knowledge and development of methods to establish facts, each area of psychology employs a scientific method. Reflecting the evolution of the development of knowledge and established facts, and use of the scientific method, Psychology Departments in universities are found in all of: Faculty of Arts and Science, Faculty of Arts, and within a Faculty of Science. Similarly, several other major areas of disciplined study and knowledge exist today under the general rubric of "science", such as formal science and applied science.

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A mirror neuron
A mirror neuron is a neuron that fires both when an animal performs an action and when the animal observes the same action performed by another (especially conspecific) animal. Thus, the neuron "mirrors" the behavior of another animal, as though the observer were himself performing the action. These neurons have been observed in primates and in some birds. In humans, they have been found in Broca's area and the inferior parietal cortex of the brain. Some scientists consider mirror neurons one of the most important findings of neuroscience in the last decade. See for example, an essay by Ramachandran on their potential importance in imitation and language.

In humans, mirror neurons are found in the inferior frontal cortex, close to Broca's area, a language region. This has led to suggestions that human language evolved from a gesture performance/understanding system implemented in mirror neurons. However, like many theories of language evolution, there is little direct evidence either way.

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View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon.
Credit: Earth Sciences and Image Analysis Laboratory, NASA

View of the Earth as seen by the Apollo 17 crew traveling toward the moon. This translunar coast photograph extends from the Mediterranean Sea area to the Antarctica south polar ice cap. This is toward the northeast. Earth, also known as Terra, and (mostly in the 19th century) Tellus, is the third-closest planet to the Sun. It is the largest of the solar system's terrestrial planets, and the only planetary body that modern science confirms as harboring life. Scientific evidence indicates that the planet formed around 4.57 billion years ago, and shortly thereafter (4.533 billion years ago) acquired its single natural satellite, the Moon

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Michio Kaku (Kanji: 加来 道雄) (born January 24, 1947 in the United States) is a Japanese American theoretical physicist, tenured professor, and co-creator of string field theory, a branch of string theory.

Dr. Kaku is the author of several scholarly, Ph.D.-level textbooks and has had more than 70 articles published in physics journals covering topics such as superstring theory, supergravity, supersymmetry, and hadronic physics. He is also known as an author of popular science books, including the best-sellers Beyond Einstein, Visions, Hyperspace, and Parallel Worlds, and the host of several radio shows, as well as being a popular figure in science television shows due to his accessible approach to the layman on explaining complex physics.

Did you know...


  • ...that coloration is a property of loudspeakers that causes the speaker to continue to emit sound when an electrical signal stops?
  • ...that the two human atria do not have valves at their inlets?

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