Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.
From classical antiquity through the 19th century, science as a type of knowledge was more closely linked to philosophy. In the West, the term natural philosophy encompassed fields of study that are currently associated with disciplines such as classical physics, astronomy and medicine and was a precursor of modern natural sciences (life science and physical science). In the 17th and 18th centuries, scientists increasingly sought to formulate knowledge in terms of laws of nature. Over the centuries, the term science became associated with the scientific method, a systematic way of studying the natural world and particularly in the 19th century, multiple distinguishing characteristics of contemporary modern science began to take shape.
Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g. psychology, sociology, economics), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g. mathematics, logic, theoretical computer science), which study abstract concepts. There is disagreement, however, on the formal sciences being a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use science, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences.
Science is related to research and is commonly organized by academic and research institutions as well as government agencies and companies. The practical impact of scientific research has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, and environmental protection.
, also known as marine litter, is human-created waste
that has deliberately or accidentally become afloat in a lake
. A form of water pollution
, oceanic debris tends to accumulate at the centre of gyres
and on coastlines
. Some forms of marine debris, such as harmless driftwood
, occur naturally, and human activities have been adding similar material into the oceans for thousands of years. Only recently, however, with the advent of plastic
, has human influence become an issue as many types of plastics do not biodegrade
. Waterborne plastic is both unsightly and dangerous; posing a serious threat to fish
, marine reptiles
, and marine mammals
, as well as to boats and coastal habitations. Ocean dumping, accidental container spillages, and wind-blown landfill waste are all contributing to this growing problem.
Deep Impact is a NASA space probe designed to study the composition of the interior of the comet Tempel 1. At 5:52 UTC on July 4, 2005, one section of the Deep Impact probe successfully impacted the comet's nucleus, excavating debris from the interior of the nucleus. Photographs of the impact showed the comet to be more dusty and less icy than expected. The impact generated a large, bright dust cloud that obscured the hoped-for view of the impact crater.
Isaac Newton, English physicist
. A man of profound genius
, he is widely regarded as the most influential scientist in history. He is associated with the scientific revolution
and the advancement of heliocentrism
. Among his scientific accomplishments, Newton wrote the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica
, wherein he described universal gravitation
and, via his laws of motion
, laid the groundwork for classical mechanics
. With Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz
he is credited for the development of differential calculus
. Newton was the first to promulgate a set of natural laws that could govern both terrestrial
motion and celestial motion
, and is credited with providing mathematical substantiation for Kepler's laws of planetary motion
, which he expanded by arguing that orbits
(such as those of comets
) could include all conic sections (such as the ellipse
, and parabola
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