What is Science?
- is a systematic enterrise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable exlanations and redictions about the universe.
- Contemporary science is typically subdivided into the natural sciences, which study the material universe; the social sciences, which study people and societies; and the formal sciences, which study logic and mathematics. The formal sciences are often excluded as they do not depend on empirical observations.Disciplines which use science, like engineering and medicine, may also be considered to be applied sciences.
- Science in a broad sense existed before the modern era and in many historical civilizations. Modern science is distinct in its approach and successful in its results, so it now defines what science is in the strictest sense of the term
- Science in its original sense was a word for a type of knowledge rather than a specialized word for the pursuit of such knowledge. In particular, it was the type of knowledge which people can communicate to each other and share. For example, knowledge about the working of natural things was gathered long before recorded history and led to the development of complex abstract thought. This is shown by the construction of complex calendars, techniques for making poisonous plants edible, and buildings such as the Pyramids. However, no consistent conscientious distinction was made between knowledge of such things, which are true in every community, and other types of communal knowledge, such as mythologies and legal systems.
Mathematics and formal sciences
- Mathematics is essential to the sciences. One important function of mathematics in science is the role it plays in the expression of scientific models. Observing and collecting measurements, as well as hypothesizing and predicting, often require extensive use of mathematics. For example, arithmetic, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and calculus are all essential to physics. Virtually every branch of mathematics has applications in science, including "pure" areas such as number theory and topology.
- Statistical methods, which are mathematical techniques for summarizing and analyzing data, allow scientists to assess the level of reliability and the range of variation in experimental results. Statistical analysis plays a fundamental role in many areas of both the natural sciences and social sciences.
- Computational science applies computing power to simulate real-world situations, enabling a better understanding of scientific problems than formal mathematics alone can achieve. According to the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, computation is now as important as theory and experiment in advancing scientific knowledge.