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, August 10, 2022

Svalbard Global Seed Vault, Scandinavia
The Arctic’s Seed-Filled Doomsday Fortress
Our crop diversity is safe in Svalbard.
#WTFact / Science
Gray wolf. Grey wolf. Timber wolf. Canis lupus. Canidae. Wolves. Two gray wolves running in forest near Golden, British Columbia, Canada.
Why Do Scientific Names Have Two Parts?
The two parts of a scientific name are the genus and the species.
Companion / Science
July, 2006, Launch of Space Shuttle Discovery STS-121. See attached for full caption information.
Will Light-Speed Space Travel Ever Be Possible?
“Traveling through hyperspace ain't like dusting crops.”
Demystified / Science
Two dinosaur heads showing feeding habits: meat eater ceratosaurus, plant eater psittacosaurus, dinosaurs
5 Questions About Dinosaurs Answered
Important questions asked and answered, briefly.
List / Science
Aristotle
philosophy of science
philosophy of science, the study, from a philosophical perspective, of the elements of scientific inquiry. This article discusses...
Encyclopedia / Science
control group
control group, the standard to which comparisons are made in an experiment. Many experiments are designed to include a control...
Encyclopedia / Science
science
science, any system of knowledge that is concerned with the physical world and its phenomena and that entails unbiased observations...
Encyclopedia / Science
snake gourd flower
angiosperm
angiosperm, any of about 300,000 species of flowering plants, the largest and most diverse group within the kingdom Plantae....
Encyclopedia / Science

Science Quizzes

ant. The southern wood ant on grass. Also known as Formica rufa, red wood ant or horse ant. insect
Ants: Fact or Fiction?
Can ants be used to predict the weather? How did crazy ants get their name? Learn more about these industrious insects by...
Quiz / Science
snail and slug. snail. A gastropod, especially one having an enclosing shell, soft-bodied animals called mollusks
Mollusks: Fact or Fiction?
Are snails gastropods? Are clams bivalves? Learn the answers to these questions and more by taking this mollusk quiz.
Quiz / Science
butterfly. butterfly and moth. An irridescent male blue butterfly. An insect in the order Lepidoptera
Butterflies and Moths: Fact or Fiction
How many species of butterflies and moths exist? Are moths harmful to the global economy? Test your knowledge of these colorful...
Quiz / Science
Aedes aegypti mosquito, a carrier of yellow fever, dengue, and dengue hemorrhagic fever.
Mosquitoes: Fact or Fiction?
Small and persistent, these tiny creatures know just how to bug us. Learn more about the habits and features of mosquitoes...
Quiz / Science
wasp. A close-up of a Vespid Wasp (Vespidaea) with antenna and compound eye. Hornets largest eusocial wasps, stinging insect in the order Hymenoptera, related to bees.
Interesting Insects: Fact or Fiction?
How far must a hives of bees fly to produce a kilogram of honey? Do all fruit flies feed on fruit? Test your knowledge of...
Quiz / Science
Two dinosaur heads showing feeding habits: meat eater ceratosaurus, plant eater psittacosaurus, dinosaurs
Dinosaurs: Fact or Fiction?
Is it common to come across a complete dinosaur skeleton? Was the Tyrannosaurus rex a fast runner? Take this quiz...
Quiz / Science
pigeon. pigeon and dove. member of the order Columbiformes, family Columbidae
Pigeons: Fact or Fiction?
How long have pigeons been domesticated? Where are pigeons found in the world? Learn the answers to these questions and more...
Quiz / Science
lion. Young male lion in the Maasai Mara National Reserve Narok County, Kenya.
Lions: Fact or Fiction?
Where do lions live? What do they eat? Uncover the truths about these graceful felines by taking this quiz.
Quiz / Science
prairie dog. An alert Black Tailed Prairie Dog this rodent belongs to the squirrel family and creates underground burrows.
Prairie Dogs: Fact or Fiction?
How many species of prairie dogs are there? Are they actually dogs in the first place? Learn the answer to these questions...
Quiz / Science
Giraffe standing in grass, Kenya.
Giraffes: Fact or Fiction?
Do giraffes make any noises? Do they sleep standing up? Learn more about these fascinating animals by taking this quiz.
Quiz / Science
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Science
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Science Subcategories

Neil Armstrong Astronomy
Human beings have long been fascinated by the celestial sphere above, whose twinkling lights have inspired not only scientific theories but also many artistic endeavors. Humankind's fascination with the world beyond Earth has led to many landmark moments in history, as when space exploration took a giant step forward with the advent of technology that allowed humans to successfully travel to the Moon and to build spacecraft capable of exploring the rest of the solar system and beyond.
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subcategory placeholder Biology
How do plants feed themselves? How did dogs evolve from wolves? What good is the appendix in humans, anyway? Such questions fall within the domain of biology, which seeks to understand living organisms and their vital processes (although the jury’s still out on what our appendixes are for). Biology’s diverse fields include botany, ecology, evolution, genetics, medicine, physiology, and zoology.
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banded fire salamander (Salamandra terrestris) 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).
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microfauna 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 the 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
Crustal abundances of elements of atomic numbers 1 to 93. 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 the miniscule and unassuming atom.
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seed fern 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 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
terrestrial hot spots of biodiversity 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
platypus Mammals
Mammals are distinguished by their ability to produce milk. The class Mammalia boasts tremendous diversity in form and habit, and different types of mammals can be wildly different from one another in physical appearance. Living kinds of mammals range in size from a bat weighing less than a gram to the largest animal that has ever lived, the blue whale, which reaches a length or more than 30 metres (100 feet) and a weight of 180 metric tons (nearly 200 short [U.S.] tons).
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subcategory placeholder Mathematics
Mathematics is a science of structure, order, and relation that deals with logical reasoning and quantitative calculation. The history of mathematics can be traced back to ancient Mesopotamia; ancient clay tablets have proven 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
Rafflesia flower 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). 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.
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Schematic diagram of a flotation separation cell. Physics
What’s the matter? Matter is the material substance that constitutes our whole observable universe, and it is the subject of study of physics. Physics, the basic physical science, studies objects ranging from the very small (using quantum mechanics) to the entire universe (using general relativity). It deals with the structure of matter and how the fundamental constituents of the universe interact.
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