Physical Science Overview
by Ron Kurtus (revised 28 February 2016)
Physical Science is the study of non-living systems, as opposed to a study of biological sciences or living systems. It consists of physics, chemistry, astronomy and earth science. It also includes scientific method and experimentation.
Questions you may have include:
- What are non-living systems?
- What are the specific studies in physical science?
- What is scientific method?
This lesson will answer those questions. Useful tool: Units Conversion
Physical science concerns non-living systems
Physical science is concerned with the study of non-living objects and systems. This includes the study of matter and its interactions, from the very small atomic level to the massive interactions of galaxies in the universe. A system is considered a combination or set of interrelated objects.
Anything that is living—or once was living—is studied under the life sciences, although there are some overlapping studies.
Specific studies in physical science
Physical science is broken into several specific areas of study.
Physics is the fundamental science that states rules and laws of matter and energy. The other physical sciences, as well as biological sciences, apply these rules and laws on a larger scale. Physics also tries to explain the structure of matter—such as the atom and some atomic particles— as well and does the different forms of energy.
Chemistry is the study of how the various elements and molecules interact and combine, as well as ways to separate molecules into simpler forms. It also is concerned with special properties of the various molecules.
Organic chemistry overlaps into the life sciences, since it concerns the chemistry involved in living objects.
Astronomy looks at how the various planets, stars, galaxies and other large objects in space move and interact. It is also concerned with relationship of the Earth with respect the Moon, other planets in the solar system and the Sun.
One aspect of astronomy concerns whether there is life on other planets within the Universe.
Earth science is concerned with the formation of the Earth, its structure and changes through the years of its existence. It also looks into rock formations and weather patterns.
Environmental issues are sometimes included in earth science.
Scientific method used in physical science
Physical science uses techniques of experimentation and scientific method to study and measure various physical effects. It emphasizes the importance of learning scientific method to make studies and draw conclusions about matter, energy and their interactions.
It is important to study all factors that can vary and to keep most of them constant in an experiment. You should take data to observe trends before drawing conclusions about an experiment.
Physical Science is the study of non-living systems, and it consists of the studies of physics, chemistry, astronomy and earth science. It also includes scientific method. measurement and experimentation.
Be methodical in your approach
Resources and references
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Physical Science Overview