Branches of Science
The main branches of science (also referred to as "sciences", "scientific fields", or "scientific disciplines") are commonly divided into two major groups: social sciences, which study human behavior and societies, and natural sciences, which study natural phenomena (including fundamental forces and biological life). These groupings are empirical sciences, which means the knowledge must be based on observable phenomena and be capable of being tested for its validity by other researchers working under the same conditions.
In addition to empirical sciences, there are the formal sciences, such as mathematics and logic, which use an a priori, as opposed to factual methodology to study formal systems. These three categories make up the fundamental sciences, on top of which are interdisciplinary and applied science, such as engineering and medicine. Specialized scientific fields that exist in all categories can include parts of other scientific disciplines but often possess their own terminology and expertise.
Science describes an area of knowledge, typically about something in the physical world, that can be explained in terms of scientific observation or the scientific method. The scientific method is a discovery process that has evolved over several hundred years and can be summarized as follows:
- a phenomenon in the physical world is observed
- an explanation, or hypothesis, for the phenomenon is formed
- the hypothesis is tested by means of objective, reproducible experiments
If the results of the experiments support the hypothesis, it becomes accepted as scientific theory. Later, if new information is found to contradict the hypothesis, it may be revised or abandoned in favor of a new hypothesis, which is then subjected to additional experiments.
The sciences that describe the physical universe are categorized in different ways. The largest distinction in science is whether a science is pure, or theoretical, or whether it is applied, or practical. Pure science explains a phenomenon, while applied science determines how a particular phenomenon may be put to use. In general, pure science is divided into the following categories:
- Physical sciences, which deal with matter and energy and allow us to describe the material universe in terms of weight, mass, volume, and other standard, objective measures.
- Earth sciences, which explain the phenomena of Earth, its atmosphere, and the solar system to which it belongs.
- Life sciences, which describe living organisms, their internal processes, and their relationship to each other and the environment.
However, these three categories of pure science have areas of overlap, where one type of phenomenon may be associated with another. For example, light (studied in physics) is the energy source behind the (chemical) process of photosynthesis, or food production, in plants (studied in biology). For this reason, distinctions between pure sciences, and even between pure and applied sciences, can blur, and a new compound science can develop. An example of this is biochemistry, in which the chemical processes of living things (such as photosynthesis) are observed and explained.
Examples of Overlapping Sciences
Physics + Chemistry =
Biology + Chemistry =
Geology + Chemistry =
Astronomy + Physics =
Biology + Geology =
Geology + Astronomy =
Biology + Astronomy + Physics =
The Branches of Science
The Physical Sciences
- Physics: The study of matter and energy and the interactions between them. Physicists study such subjects as gravity, light, and time. Albert Einstein, a famous physicist, developed the Theory of Relativity.
- Chemistry: The science that deals with the composition, properties, reactions, and the structure of matter. The chemist Louis Pasteur, for example, discovered pasteurization, which is the process of heating liquids such as milk and orange juice to kill harmful germs.
- Astronomy: The study of the universe beyond the Earth's atmosphere.
The Earth Sciences
- Geology: The science of the origin, history, and structure of the Earth, and the physical, chemical, and biological changes that it has experienced or is experiencing.
- Oceanography: The exploration and study of the ocean.
- Paleontology: The science of the forms of life that existed in prehistoric or geologic periods.
- Meteorology: The science that deals with the atmosphere and its phenomena, such as weather and climate.
The Life Sciences (Biology)
- Botany: The study of plants.
- Zoology: The science that covers animals and animal life.
- Genetics: The study of heredity.
- Medicine: The science of diagnosing, treating, and preventing illness, disease, and injury.
Different Branches of Science
Many of us are science lovers, although we hate to learn science as a subject. As said earlier, science is an ocean, while a few are revealed through experiment and research; there are many undiscovered elements in the world. We are not digging for any mysteries of undiscovered science, but to learn about various branches of science.
Broad classification of science:
- Physical Science
- Life Science
- Earth Science
Classified into three:
- Physics - A natural science that involves the study of matter, motion, energy, force, objects, etc. related to universe and its function
- Chemistry – The study and analysis of various elements, composition, structure, chemical process, etc.
- Astronomy – The study of objects in and beyond the atmosphere of the earth
Biology – Natural science and in-depth study of living organisms, from evolution to destruction.
- Botany – A known branch of science, studying about plant kingdom
- Zoology – The twin branch of botany, study of animal kingdom
- Human Biology– The study about human beings, nutrition, diseases, medicine, etc.
- Genetic Science – The study about genes, genetic facts, diseases of genes, etc.
- Medicine – The study, diagnosis, research, etc. of various diseases and treatments
Classified into five:
- Ecology - The study of environment, relation of living organisms in the environment and ecosystem
- Oceanology – Called Marine Science, it broadly covers all topics related to the Ocean
- Meteorology – The study about climate, rainfall, wind, speed, density, etc. related to the Atmosphere
- Geology – The study about various aspects of earth, an interesting branch that deals with digging the past
- Palaeontology – Similar to Geology, which deals with studying various objects that existed in the prehistoric period
Sub branches, a blend of physics, chemistry, and biology.
- Bio-Chemistry – Organic Chemistry, study about various processes happening in living organisms
- Bio-Physics – A pure blend of Physics and Biology, where the concepts and theories of Physics are applied in biological elements
- Biotechnology – A new branch of science emerged as a baby of Biology and Technology, which deals with exploring microorganisms for production of drugs, artificial hormones, etc.