Science

How can the sky be blue one day and stormy the next? Why do heavy objects tend to fall downwards when dropped? How are birds able to fly (and why can’t I do the same?)? Human beings have long been curious about the world in which we live, striving to identify connections among the phenomenons we witness and to understand how it all works. The field of science has developed over many centuries as a way of studying and understanding the world, beginning with the primitive stage of simply noting important regularities in nature and continuing through the rise of modern science. The modern-day sciences cover a vast range of fields, including biology, chemistry, meteorology, astronomy, physics, and much more.
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Featured content, June 01, 2020

A Dose of Dolphin-Induced Dopamine: 8 Species of Adorable Cetacean
Splish splash…give your brain a feel-good bath.
List / Science
Dolphin. Delphinidae. Bottlenose dolphin. Bottle-nosed dolphin. Atlantic bottlenose dolphin. Tursiops truncatus. Bottlenose dolphin swimming in a large tank at Marineland, Florida.
Why Do Plants Wilt?
Maybe your sad houseplant is trying to tell you something.
Demystified / Science
Dead and wilted flowers hang limply.
Vikings Helped Cats Conquer the World
A genetic study indicates that cats spread across the globe thanks to Vikings and farmers.
#WTFact / Science
Norwegian forest cat relaxing in a tree
Louis Pasteur’s Contributions to Science
Learn more about this influential scientist’s work.
Companion / Science
Louis Pasteur in his laboratory, painting by Albert Edelfelt.
What Happened to Acid Rain?
During the 1970s and ’80s, acid rain was one of the most well-known environmental problems in Europe and North America, but…
Spotlight / Science
Statue eroded by acid rain, pollution, weathering.
Astronomy
Astronomy, science that encompasses the study of all extraterrestrial objects and phenomena. Until the invention of the telescope…
Encyclopedia / Science
Hubble Space Telescope
Scientific method
Scientific method, mathematical and experimental technique employed in the sciences. More specifically, it is the technique…
Encyclopedia / Science
flow chart of scientific method
Big Science
Big Science, style of scientific research developed during and after World War II that defined the organization and character…
Encyclopedia / Science

Science Quizzes

Group of elephant in Africa. Elephants in Africa. Hompepage blog 2009, history and society, geography and travel, explore discovery
Animals: Fact or Fiction?
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but kinkajous, bluebacks, and mustelids are alive and well in these questions! They’re…
Model of a molecule. Atom, Biology, Molecular Structure, Science, Science and Technology. Homepage 2010  arts and entertainment, history and society
Science Quiz
Put your science smarts under the microscope and see how much you know about bloodstones, biomes, buoyancy, and more!
Magnified phytoplankton (pleurosigma angulatum) seen through a microscope, a favorite object for testing the high powers of microscopes. Photomicroscopy. Hompepage blog 2009, history and society, science and technology, explore discovery
Science: Fact or Fiction?
Do you get fired up about physics? Giddy about geology? Sort out science fact from fiction with these questions.
Solar eclipse, 2008.
Space: Fact or Fiction?
Mars and the Milky Way are more than just candy bars! See how much more you know about space with this quiz.
Michael Faraday (L) English physicist and chemist (electromagnetism) and John Frederic Daniell (R) British chemist and meteorologist who invented the Daniell cell.
Faces of Science
Galileo Galilei. Anders Celsius. You may recognize their names, but do you know who they really are? Gather your data and…
Cross section of Earth showing the core, mantle, and crust
Everything Earth
If earth is mankind’s first frontier, how will you score on this final exam? Dig into these questions and see what answers…
The orbits of the planets and other elements of the solar system, including asteroids, Kuiper belt, Oort cloud, comet
Space Odyssey
"Far out". "Spacely". "Out-of-this-world". You may have heard the slang, but how much do you really know about space...cadet?…
Spreading oak tree in summer. (green, leaves, deciduous, shade)
Trees: Giants Holding the Sky
Trees produce oxygen, provide habitats for insects, and one held the apple that met Sir Isaac Newton. Besides holding swings…
Ursa major constellation illustration art.  (Big Dipper) stars, space, night sky)
Stars: Explosions in Space
What’s your horoscope? Have you ever seen a shooting star? From Orion and The Big Dipper to Star Wars and the Hollywood Walk…
water glass on white background. (drink; clear; clean water; liquid)
Water and its Varying Forms
Even though water exists in three states, there is only one correct answer to the questions in this quiz. Dive in and test…
Image Gallery
Science
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Science Subcategories

subcategory placeholder Astronomy
Human beings have always been fascinated by the celestial sphere above, whose twinkling lights have inspired many theories and artistic endeavors. Study of the solar system has provoked more than just peaceful meditation, however; a major controversy among astronomers arose in the 16th century when Copernicus publicly championed heliocentrism, a Sun-centric model of the solar system that was in direct opposition to Ptolemy's Earth-centered model, which had been generally accepted from the 2nd century CE onward. But humankind's fascination with the world beyond Earth has also led to some landmark moments in history, as when space exploration took a giant step forward with the advent of technology that allowed humans to travel to the Moon and to build spacecraft capable of exploring the rest of the solar system and beyond.
Articles
  • Valery Vladimirovich Polyakov
    Soviet cosmonaut
  • Eclipse
    astronomy
  • Yuri Gagarin
    Soviet cosmonaut
  • Chordate Biology
    If it’s alive, biology will define it, study it, observe all its functions, follow its vital processes, and interact with it, all in order to understand the life that animates it. In one of biology's best-known examples of such studious investigation, Charles Darwin came up with his scientific theory of evolution by natural selection after systematically observing a variety of plants and animals; his work acted as the foundation upon which modern evolutionary theory is built. But biology’s principles also operate within a plethora of other related fields, including biochemistry, biomedicine, biophysics, and microbiology.
    Articles
    Black girdle-tailed lizard (Cordylus nigra). Birds, Reptiles & Other Vertebrates
    Although it can be hard to imagine that a peacock and a crocodile have much of anything in common, these animals are actually descendants of the same prehistoric vertebrates. Birds are thought to have descended from carnivorous dinosaurs that began growing feathers by the Late Jurassic Period; thus, birds are technically one lineage of reptiles. This evolutionary link highlights the way in which seemingly incongruous creatures can, in fact, share a common ancestor (though that doesn't mean that we should expect waterfowl and crocodiles to become friends anytime soon).
    Articles
  • Lizard
    reptile
  • Dinosaur
    fossil reptile
  • Chondrichthyan
    fish class
  • Mantid (Mantis religiosa). Bugs, Mollusks & Other Invertebrates
    Some insects are so displeasing to humans that the word "bug" has come to be used as a verb meaning "to bother or annoy." Yet, in addition to being critically important—because they naturally recycle decaying matter—in maintaining balance within the food chain, bugs can also be fascinating creatures, whether in regard to the water strider's ability to run across the surface of water or in regard to assassin bugs' varied and creative means of catching and killing their prey. Mollusks, another group of invertebrates, get less of a bad rap. Their ranks include nearly 100,000 described species of soft-bodied animals that are usually wholly or partly enclosed in a calcium carbonate shell; examples include snails, clams, oysters, squids, and octopuses.
    Articles
  • Butterfly
    insect
  • Giant squid
    mollusk
  • Octopus
    mollusk order
  • periodic table Chemistry
    How do you use raw plant materials to manufacture a best-selling perfume? How do you engineer household products that are compliant with environmentally-oriented guidelines? The answers to these questions require an understanding of the laws of chemistry, the science that deals with the properties, composition, and structure of elements and compounds, as well as the transformations that such substances undergo and the energy that is released or absorbed during those processes. Chemistry is also concerned with the utilization of natural substances and the creation of artificial ones. Over time, more than 8,000,000 different chemical substances, both natural and artificial, have been characterized and produced. Chemistry's vast scope comprises organic, inorganic, physical, analytical, and industrial chemistry, along with biochemistry, environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, and much more. Through the dedicated efforts of people such as Robert Boyle, Dmitri Mendeleev, John Dalton, Marie Curie, and Rosalind Franklin, the field of chemistry has led to exciting innovations as well as crucial advances in our understanding of how the world functions, starting with just the miniscule and unassuming atom.
    Articles
  • Periodic table
    chemistry
  • Biochemistry
    science
  • Neon
    chemical element
  • subcategory placeholder Earth Science, Geologic Time & Fossils
    Planet Earth has billions of years of history, from the time when it was an inhospitable ball of hot magma to when its surface stabilized into a variety of beautiful and diverse zones capable of supporting many life-forms. Many are the species that lived through the various geologic eras and left a trace of their existence in the fossils that we study today. But Earth is never done settling, as we can see from the earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other phenomena manifested in Earth’s crust, oceans, and atmosphere.
    Articles
  • Conrad Schlumberger and Marcel Schlumberger
    German geophysicists
  • Gomphothere
    fossil mammal
  • Cambrian Period
    geochronology
  • Grinnell Glacier shrinkage Environment
    Biological diversity is key to a healthy ecosystem, whether it’s a small biological community or the global biosphere. Ecology, which studies the relationships between organisms and their environment, is an invaluable science that helps us understand what allows an ecological community to thrive.
    Articles
    Meerkat, or suricate (Suricata suricatta). Mammals
    These are the animals to which humans tend to relate the most, perhaps because aspects of their behavior can sometimes resemble the way that we ourselves behave. The protective instinct of a mother bear, the gamboling way that kittens play, and the loyalty displayed by a dog are all traits that we can identify with in the course of our own lives. Mammals are well-equipped to handle different climates and biomes because of their ability to regulate their own body temperatures and internal environment, both in excessive heat and aridity and in severe cold.
    Articles
  • Armadillo
    mammal
  • Porcupine
    rodent
  • Squirrel monkey
    primate
  • An illustration of the difference between average and instantaneous rates of changeThe graph of f(t) shows the secant between (t, f(t)) and (t + h, f(t + h)) and the tangent to f(t) at t. As the time interval  h approaches zero, the secant (average speed) approaches the tangent (actual, or instantaneous, speed) at (t, f(t)). Mathematics
    Although stock portrayals of mathematicians often involve a studious person standing in front of a chalkboard that's covered with mind-bogglingly complex scrawled mathematical problems (call it the "Good Will Hunting" effect), the chaotic-looking equations may obscure the fact that mathematics is, at its heart, a science of structure, order, and relation that deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculation. There's a method to all that madness! The history of mathematics can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia, whose clay tablets revealed that the level of mathematical competence was already high as early as roughly the 18th century BCE. Over the centuries, mathematics has evolved from elemental practices of counting, measuring, and describing the shapes of objects into a crucial adjunct to the physical sciences and technology.
    Articles
  • Calculus
    mathematics
  • Geometry
    mathematics
  • Philosophy of mathematics
  • mandacaru cactus Plants
    Life on Earth owes much to plants. The vast majority of plants carry out photosynthesis to transform light energy into chemical energy, which is the way that virtually all energy in the biosphere becomes available to living things (including us humans). As photosynthetic organisms, plants occupy the base of Earth's food webs and are consumed directly or indirectly by all higher life-forms, thereby functioning as the major source of food for humans and other animals. Plants' photosynthetic activity also produces the air that we breathe: almost all the oxygen in the atmosphere is due to the process of photosynthesis. Still not convinced about the merits of plants? Consider the fact that many plants not only serve up crucial nutrients and breathable air but also look good doing it. Many plants are admired for their striking aesthetic qualities, and flowers such as tulips, lilies, sunflowers, and daisies beautify fields, gardens, windowsills, and bouquets the world over. Plants are also a primary source of consumer goods, such as building materials, textile fibers, and pharmaceuticals.
    Articles
  • Cereus
    cactus genus
  • Yucca
    plant, genus Yucca
  • Plant
    organism
  • Acoustics Physics
    What’s the matter? The matter is our whole observable universe—with that material substance that constitutes it—and it is the subject of study of physics. The laws that govern motion observed by Newton, the gravitational force that regulates the progress of all celestial bodies, the interaction between subatomic particles, and the nuclear engineering that created the atomic bomb are examples of what this important discipline is all about. Minkowski’s space-time concept, which reformulated Einstein’s special theory of relativity, has bridged physics with philosophy in a conversation that has fascinated the modern concept of physics.
    Articles
  • Celestial mechanics
    physics
  • Plasma
    state of matter
  • Gas
    state of matter
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