Science is the study of the physical and natural world through observations and experiments. Science is all around us. Right now, the fact that you exist and are in the process of reading this lesson is science. The process of creating the air we breathe – also science. The food we enjoy, water we drink, and clothes we wear are all based in science. Looking up into the atmosphere gives us a glimpse into astronomy, another branch of science. You can’t get around it. Science is everywhere and is one of the most important topics of study in our world.
Branches of Science
Science is organized from the most basic forces in nature to some of the largest, like the study of the earth and space. The study of physics focuses on laws and properties that govern behavior of all matter. Physics often involves things we can’t see or touch, but can prove, like gravity. We can’t see or touch gravity, but because of years of experiments, we know it’s there.
Physicists also study energy, mechanics, motion, waves, electricity, nuclear reactions, and forces. People interested in physics use scientific laws and theories to build some of the things we see everyday, like bridges, cars, buildings, and power plants. If it’s a structure or involves a motor, physics was surely considered when creating it.
Albert Einstein was one of the most famous physicists to date. He developed the theory of relativity, which is the basis for black holes and the potential for time travel, as well as how matter is converted to energy, which is used in nuclear power plants.
Chemistry is the study of chemical reactions and properties of matter. All the principles in chemistry are based on what we know about physics. As you can see, science topics build on each other, like a pyramid. Chemistry involves how atoms, the smallest particles of the world, bind together to create compounds. Although this might seem minor, chemistry is responsible for nearly any household product you use. Hair care products, cleaning products, even the packaged foods you eat, are all based in chemistry. For example, in the lab, scientists use chemical reactions to make compounds that smell like certain natural foods. One of the earliest discoveries was methyl anthranilate, a compound that smells like grapes and was one of the original ingredients in grape Kool-Aid.
Other chemists had a more significant impact on the world. Marie Curie was the first to discover two new radioactive elements and to use radiation to treat cancerous tumors. Her work revolutionized medicine. Unfortunately, she eventually died of radiation exposure. Before her death, she received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry, one of the most esteemed awards for scientists.