Section 1

Physical Science
Chp 1 Notes – Nature of Science
I. Science – In General
A. Goal of Science
1. The main goal of science is to understand the world around us and propose explanations for what
they observe
2. Nature follows “rules” – the natural laws – scientists want to understand how and why by asking
questions and making observations and testing their ideas
3. The word science is from the Latin word scire meaning ‘to know’
4. Scientists use special methods to determine facts (truths about nature)
5. Jules Henri Poincare, a 19th century French scientist ( who charted the motion of the planets) said:
“Science is built up with facts as a house is with stones, but a collection of facts is not science,
any more than a heap of stones is a house”
B. Types of Science
1. Pure Science
a. pure science – the gathering of new information or discovering new facts just to do it
b. adds to the general body of knowledge but has no practical everyday use
c. but they may lead to new fields of investigation
2. Technology ( applied science)
a. technology – the practical use of scientific information, or discovering new facts
b. pure science and technology rely on each other because new information may lead to new
inventions which then lead to new information
C. Branches of Natural Science (science of how the whole universe behaves)
1. Life Science
a. life science deals with living things, their parts and their actions
b. Examples:
1. zoology – study of animals
2. botany – study of plants
3. genetics – study of DNA of organisms
4. ecology – study of organisms, their environment, & the relationship with each
5. anatomy – study of the internal and external structure of plants & animals
6. microbiology – study of microscopic living things such as bacteria & viruses
2. Earth Sciences
a. earth science studies the earth’s rocks, oceans, volcanoes, & earthquakes, its atmosphere,
weather, and the solar system
b. Examples:
1. meteorology – study of the earth’s atmosphere
2. geology – study of the earth, its interior and its history
3. astronomy – study of the universe
4. hydrology - study of fresh water
5. seismology – study of earthquakes
6. paleontology – study of fossils
7. oceanography – study of the oceans
3. Physical Sciences
a. physical science studies matter & energy of non-living things and how they are related
b. everything is either matter or energy
c. Examples:
1. chemistry – study of matter and how it changes
a. matter: anything that has mass & volume
2. physics – study of the different forms of energy and forces and how they affects matter
Some blend: biochemistry : studies the chemical makeup of living things
geophysics: studies the forces that affect the Earth
To know:
What is the goal of science?
What is the difference between science and technology?
How are science and technology related?
What are the 3 branches of science?
What are examples of the 3 different branches?
What is the difference between physics and chemistry?
Life science
Applied science
Earth Science
Physical science
Pure science: