What Are the Branches of Science and Their Meanings?


Science is a field that explores the way everything in life operates. From the depths of our planet's core to every form of life that has existed upon it and even to our mysterious solar system, science is a field of endless possibilities. There are currently three main branches of science and a fourth branch is emerging in modern computer technology.

Physical Science

  • Physical science is the study of energy and matter within the physical universe. Physical science encompasses reasoning and makes conclusions regarding things that are verified through observation. If you can hear, taste, see, feel or smell something, there is almost always physical science behind its existence. Light, heat, gravity, time, chemicals, universe and space are areas covered by physical science. The study of these physical matters have led to countless inventions, such as electricity, airplanes, television and radio.

Earth Science

  • Earth science studies the structure and elements of every aspect of our planet. Geology, paleontology, oceanography and meteorology are all examples of Earth science. Earth scientists are often called on to predict upcoming natural occurrences. An Earth scientist is likely to work with political officials and the media in order to warn people of hurricanes, volcanoes, tornadoes, earthquakes, tsunamis and other natural disasters. When you are studying Earth science, you will learn how the Earth evolved over time to contain the particular masses of land and water that exist today.

Life Science

  • The single largest occupational field that relies on life science is that of medicine. While genetics and medicine are the most well-known areas of life science from the human medical perspective, veterinarians, botanists (who study plants) and zoologists (who study animals) all owe their knowledge to this scientific branch. The sub-branch of biology crosses many of these boundaries, encompassing as it does the study of all living organisms. Forensics combines life science with chemical science to arrive at conclusions often sought by our legal system.

Computer Science

  • Although computer science is not yet widely recognized as a formal "branch" of science, technical advances in the field have grown so rapidly in recent years that it is rapidly attaining such a status. The development and research of computers pertains to so many aspects of modern life that younger generations take this area of science for granted. From the mechanics of how a digital microwave oven operates to the science behind ultrasound technology and even new models of cars, the vast majority of Earth operates with computer assistance at some level. Although older versions of school textbooks may not state it, most colleges now offer degrees in computer science, and researchers at the Mälardalen University in Sweden recognize computer science as its own branch.


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