What are the 10 branches of physical science?

In this brief guide we are going to answer the question ‘’What are the 10 branches of physical science?’’ We will highlight the main branches of physical science, what each one studies and we will explain the importance of the role of physical science in humanity.

What are the 10 branches of physical science?

The 10 branches of physical science are:

  • Astronomy
  • Astrophysics
  • Chemistry
  • Earth Science
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Meteorology
  • Oceanography
  • Physics
  • Planetary Science

The physical sciences are the branch of natural sciences that studies non-live systems, in contrast to the life sciences. In turn, it has many branches, each one referring to a specific science, such as physics, 1 chemistry, astronomy or geology.

The term “physical” creates an unnecessary distinction since many branches of physical science also study biological phenomena and branches of chemistry such as organic chemistry. Another definition of physical science is as follows: a systematic work that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of verifiable explanations and predictions on the universe.

Astronomy

Astronomy is a science that studies the universe and all of its components. It also studies the phenomena that affect celestial bodies, their movements and expected behaviors.

The object of study of astronomy are all celestial objects, that is, everything we see in the sky: planets, stars, asteroids, satellites, interstellar matter and dark matter.

In addition to studying the characteristics of each of these elements (their chemical components, distance from Earth, movement), astronomy studies the way they are related to each other and the structures in which they are organized: systems, nebulae and galaxies.

Astrophysics

It is a part of astronomy that studies the physical constitution, formation and evolution of celestial bodies: astrophysics seeks the explanation of the phenomena observed on a cosmic scale through the theories of physics.

The field of action of astrophysics is based on several concepts:

  • Solar system. They seek to understand everything related to the Sun and its magnetic systems.
  • Stars Determine the interior of these and the related phenomena.
  • Galaxy. Know the structure and evolution of our galaxy.

An important branch of astrophysics is nuclear astrophysics, being the basis of the formulation of the Big Bang theory. 

An astrophysicist works to seek understanding of the beginning and end of the lives of stars and all planets. This is how we can see that an expert in this field of work develops investigations, theories and experiments of all kinds to solve the doubts that continue to exist about the origin of the Universe and its changes.

Chemistry

Chemistry is the science that studies matter, how it is composed, its properties and how its structures are transformed after undergoing various processes or reactions that affect its molecules and atoms.

It is worth mentioning that matter is everything that surrounds us, made up of molecules and atoms that react to various chemical changes, and that it can be related to the release of energy in some cases.

Chemistry studies are conducted in laboratories and use the scientific method. This has allowed the discovery of various subjects, their compositions, how they are related or transformed. Hence, elements that are basic in other scientific studies have been discovered.

Earth Science

Earth science is the discipline of the natural sciences that study the structure, morphology, evolution and dynamics of planet Earth. They constitute a particular case of science.

The main characteristic of Earth science compared to other branches of science is that, when dealing with the past, present and future of an enormous object on the human scale, its study is limited to observations that we generally make on its surface (or close to it) and currently; that is, we are limited to studying a 4D object, the Earth, from only two of its dimensions.

Earth sciences are therefore traditionally limited by the difficulty of obtaining data, although it should be noted that, in recent years, technological development in the field of information sciences has made possible a spectacular advance in information science staggering possibilities for ever greater and more accurate scientific knowledge of our planet.

Geography

Geography is a science that studies the phenomena that occur on the earth’s surface, including geographical features, ethnic groups, economic activities associated with the land, and the distribution of living species.

Broadly speaking, geography studies planet Earth. This encompasses a huge set of processes, dynamics and elements both natural and human. It has a rich multiplicity of perspectives, depending on the particular focus of the study.

Geography is a dynamic discipline that draws on other social sciences in order to better understand the way in which the world today was built: both geologically and humanly. In that sense, geography tries to make the whole of our planet.

Geology

Geology is the science that studies the composition of the planet Earth, from a physical-chemical and also historical point of view. The latter allows you to dedicate yourself to understanding the various processes that make up geologic time.

Geology is also called geological sciences since various geosciences are taught within it, various aspects of the planet. For example, they can study its composition, or the processes that take place inside it, such as plate tectonics or the formation of relief.

It has asynchronous approach, that is, it takes into account the temporal moments in which the changes occur. That’s why it is considered part of the historical sciences. Those who are dedicated to this science are called geologists.

Meteorology

Meteorology is the branch of physics that deals with phenomena that occur in the atmosphere. These refer to a great variety of processes, including, among other aspects, the movement of the atmosphere (dynamic meteorology), its interaction with the flows of radiative energy (solar and infrared radiation), and the thermodynamic processes that lead to the formation of clouds and the generation of precipitation in any of its forms (rain, snow and hail), energy exchanges with the surface (transport of heat and water vapour), chemical reactions (formation of the ozone layer, generation of pollutants by photochemical reactions), electrical phenomena (rays) and optical effects (rainbows, mirages, halos in the Sun and Moon).

Physical phenomena in the atmosphere occur at all spatial and temporal scales and their impacts are relevant to many activities.

Oceanography

Oceanography focuses on explaining all the physical and biological chemical processes that occur in all parts of the Earth with water. This science has to be multidisciplinary since it has to have specialists in various fields. One of the main aspects to take into account is the dynamics in the study of the physical processes that occur.

In these physical processes, we include waves, ocean currents, wind action, pressure, irradiance, etc. All these variables and more alone try to explain the functioning of the oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, etc. For this reason, as not only physical processes are included, but also chemical and biological ones, specialists from many branches are needed.

In order to better understand oceanography, it is divided into several types. On the one hand, we have physical oceanography. On the other hand, we have chemical oceanography and, finally, biological oceanography. To these 3 subdivisions, a fourth type is also added: geological oceanography.

Physics

Physics is the science that studies the workings of the universe, from the movement of matter through space and time, to energy and force. The word ‘physics’ derives from the Greek physika, which means ‘natural things’.

Physics uses the scientific method to discover the basic principles that govern matter. Physics exists to help us make sense of what is around us.

The purpose of physics is to describe the workings of everything around us, from the motion of tiny particles to the motion of spaceships. Speed, motion, direction, and acceleration are common terms in physics.

Physics also explains light and sound phenomena. Light and sound are waves with particular characteristics. Concepts like heat, work, force and energy have been developed thanks to the work of important physicists.

Planetary Science

Planetary Sciences, also called Planetology or Planetary Astronomy, are the set of interdisciplinary subjects involved in the study of planets, or planetary systems, including the Solar System, of whose planets we have more data, so their models are more elaborate, but also to extrasolar planets. Planetary sciences study objects ranging from the size of a meteorite to gas giants the size of several times the planet Jupiter.

Planetary science studies the origin and evolution of planets, of the mechanisms that have shaped their surfaces over time. It is based on the sciences of the Earth, but conveniently generalized to include the different masses, atmospheres, temperatures, or energy received from the central star and that is the engine of the planetary machine.

Conclusion

In this brief guide we answered the question ‘’What are the 10 branches of physical science?’’ We highlighted the main branches of physical science, what each one studies and we will explain the importance of the role of physical science in humanity.

References

Barger, V. D. (2020). Physical science. AccessScience. Retrieved December 29, 2021, from https://doi.org/10.1036/1097-8542.514100

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