Thursday, October 11, 2007

Physical sciences
Physical science is an encompassing term for the branches of natural science, and science, that study non-living systems, in contrast to the biological sciences. However, the term "physical" creates an unintended, somewhat arbitrary distinction, since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena. Basic physical science topics include:

Astronomy - the study of the universe beyond the atmosphere of the Earth
Chemistry - the science dealing with the composition of substances, their interactions with energy and each other
Many of the earth sciences, including:

  • Geology - the study of the planetary structure of Earth and the physical processes which shape it (the broader subject of planetary science studies the structure of planets other than Earth)
    Hydrology - the study of the movement and distribution of water across the Earth's surface
    Meteorology - the study of Earth's weather patterns and other atmospheric phenomena (the broader subject of atmospheric sciences studies the structure of atmospheres in general rather than specifically Earth's)
    Oceanography - the study of the ocean as a physical system
    Soil science - the study of the pedosphere
    Physics - the quantitative science dealing with matter and energy Basic principles of astronomy
    Chemistry is the science of matter mainly at the micro-level. Its studies include the following:

    Atomic theory

    • Principles of quantum mechanics
      The discovery and classification of pure elements
      Dmitri Mendeleev's creation of The Periodic Table of Chemical Elements showing the relationship of chemical elements
      Properties of groups, especially metals, and nonmetals
      Water and its properties

      • Structure of the water molecule
        Properties of water solutions, such as acids, bases, acid-base reaction theories, and salts
        Chemical elements, chemical reactions, and energy transformations

        • Chemical bonds
          Chemical formula based on chemical notation developed by Jöns Jakob Berzelius's
          Chemical compounds
          Chemical equations
          Chemical thermodynamics
          Nuclear chemistry

          • The nature of the atomic nucleus
            Characterization of radioactive decay, originally discovered by Henri Becquerel
            Organic chemistry, considered to have started in 1828 with the synthesis of urea by Friedrich Woehler

            • Hydrocarbons
              Hydrocarbon derivatives
              Organic chemistry functional groups Basic principles of earth science
              Physics is the "fundamental science" because the other natural sciences (biology, chemistry, geology, etc.) deal with systems that obey the laws of physics. The physical laws of matter, energy, and the forces of nature govern the interactions between particles (such as molecules, atoms, or subatomic particles). Some basic principles of physics are:

              Describing and measuring motion

              • Newton's laws of motion
                Forces, weight, and mass
                Momentum and conservation of momentum
                The theory of gravity
                Energy, work, and power

                • Motion, position, and energy
                  Energy forms

                  • Energy conservation, conversion, and transfer.
                    Energy sources
                    Kinetic Molecular Theory

                    • Phases of matter and phase changes
                      Temperature and thermometers
                      Energy and heat
                      Heat flow: conduction, convection, and radiation
                      The Three Laws of thermodynamics
                      The principles of waves and sound
                      The principles of electricity, magnetism, and electromagnetism
                      The principles, sources, and properties of light