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Meissner effect p1390048.jpg

A magnet levitates above a superconductor

Science (from Latin scientia 'knowledge') is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the world.

The earliest roots of science can be traced to Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia in around 3000 to 1200 BCE. Their contributions to mathematics, astronomy, and medicine entered and shaped Greek natural philosophy of classical antiquity, whereby formal attempts were made to provide explanations of events in the physical world based on natural causes. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, knowledge of Greek conceptions of the world deteriorated in Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the Muslim world during the Islamic Golden Age. The recovery and assimilation of Greek works and Islamic inquiries into Western Europe from the 10th to 13th century revived "natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science."

Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which deal with symbols governed by rules. There is disagreement, however, on whether the formal sciences actually constitute a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences.

New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection. (Full article...)

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Gallium melts in your hand.
Credit: Foobar
Gallium (IPA: /ˈgaliəm/) is a chemical element that has the symbol Ga and atomic number 31. A rare, soft silvery metallic poor metal, gallium is a brittle solid at low temperatures but liquefies slightly above room temperature and will melt in the hand. It occurs in trace amounts in bauxite and zinc ores. An important application is in the compound gallium arsenide, used as a semiconductor, most notably in light-emitting diodes (LEDs).

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Portrait of Galilei Galileo by Giusto Sustermans.
Galileo Galilei (February 15, 1564 – January 8, 1642) was an Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope, a variety of astronomical observations, the first and second laws of motion, and effective support for Copernicanism. According to Stephen Hawking, Galileo has contributed more to the creation of the modern natural sciences than anybody else. He is the "father of modern astronomy," the "father of modern physics," and the "father of science." The work of Galilei is considered to be a significant break from that of Aristotle.

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Science News

12 October 2021 – Discoveries of exoplanets
NASA astronomers announce the discovery of TIC 257060897b, a Hot Jupiter exoplanet that is 50% larger and 30% less massive than Jupiter. The discovery was made using the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite. (Science Times)
9 October 2021 – COVID-19 pandemic
A study conducted by researchers from the University of Queensland concludes that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a significant increase in diagnoses of generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder worldwide in 2020. (The Guardian)
6 October 2021 –
Chemists Benjamin List of Germany and David MacMillan of the United States are awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on molecular engineering through organocatalysis. (AFP via Gulf News)
5 October 2021 –
Climatologists Syukuro Manabe and Klaus Hasselmann and theoretical physicist Giorgio Parisi are awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work towards the understanding of physical systems through climate models. (AFP via NDTV)
4 October 2021 –
Scientists David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian are awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine "for their discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch". (Reuters)
29 September 2021 – Holocene extinction
Eleven species of birds, two fish, one bat, eight mussels and one plant are declared extinct by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The ivory-billed woodpecker, the Guam flying fox and the Bachman's warbler are among those declared extinct. (BBC)

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