history of science Definition and Topics - 8 Discussions

The history of science covers the development of science from ancient times to the present. Science is an empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the universe, produced by scientists who formulate testable explanations and predictions based on their observations. There are three major branches of science: natural, social, and formal.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 Latin-speaking Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but continued to thrive in the Greek-speaking Eastern Roman (or Byzantine) Empire. Aided by translations of Greek texts, the Hellenistic worldview was preserved and absorbed into the Arabic-speaking 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 the learning of natural philosophy in the West.Natural philosophy was transformed during the Scientific Revolution in 16th- and 17th-century Europe, as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The New Science that emerged was more mechanistic in its worldview, more integrated with mathematics, and more reliable and open as its knowledge was based on a newly defined scientific method. More "revolutions" in subsequent centuries soon followed. The chemical revolution of the 18th century, for instance, introduced new quantitative methods and measurements for chemistry. In the 19th century, new perspectives regarding the conservation of energy, age of the Earth, and evolution came into focus. And in the 20th century, new discoveries in genetics and physics laid the foundations for new subdisciplines such as molecular biology and particle physics. Moreover, industrial and military concerns as well as the increasing complexity of new research endeavors soon ushered in the era of "big science," particularly after the Second World War.

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  1. C

    Is the Configuration of Magnetic Fields Only a Convention?

    If I understand correctly, the concept of electric and magnetic fields originated with Faraday and was developed by reconceptualizing forces acting at-a-distance. For example, the electric field concept was developed by looking at the force on a test charge in the presence of a source charge...
  2. Marco Masi

    I Example of a theory that was right after 20 years of failures?

    Is there a historical example of a theory that physicists all over the world pursued and developed in a concerted and organized research for more than 20 years without results, but then turned out to be correct? I get frequently as an answer the heliocentric vs. geocentric model, it took...
  3. Sophrosyne

    Scientific law vs. theory, Newton vs. Einstein

    My son is taking a chemistry class in high school, and he was telling me this morning that their teacher had taught them there was some kind of fundamental distinction between scientific laws and theories. He said the teacher had told them that laws are just fundamental regularities observed in...
  4. ORF

    Detailed history about the discovery of "isotopes"?

    Hello I would like to know more about the history of the discovery of the isotopes, what there was before, and the short term impact on the chemistry and nuclear physics. Is this topic discussed in any book/review? Thank you for your time. Regards, ORF
  5. victor94

    I Heisenberg equation of motion

    "historically the Heinsenberg equation of motion was first written by P. A. M Dirac, who - with his characteristic modesty- called it the Heinsenberg equation of motion." Modern quantum mechanics/ J.J. Sakurai, page 84 Why dirac did that?, I didn't find any source. Any information about this...
  6. E

    B History of Error Bars in Physics

    I was reading an 1803 paper by Thomas Young (of double slit fame), "Experiments and Calculations relative to physical Optics". In it, he lists various dimensions of fringes of light and things. All without any error bars. It got me thinking, what's the history of error bars in scientific...
  7. M

    Classical Physics Textbook structured by History?

    Once in the university library I came across an incredibly fascinating physics textbook different from pretty much every other I've encountered. It wasn't for general readers, but (in my opinion) tailored for undergraduate level students. The philosophy of the book was to develop not only an...
  8. RabbitWho

    How attention affects perception - Mach and Stumpf

    This is a bit of a logic problem that should be figure-outable from the information At the turn of the last century there was a debate about whether attention increased the perception of something by increasing the clarity of that one thing, or by decreasing the clarity of everything except...