What is Scientific: Definition and 547 Discussions

Science (from the Latin word scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.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 Western Europe during the early centuries (400 to 1000 CE) of the Middle Ages, but was preserved in the 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 "natural philosophy", which was later transformed by the Scientific Revolution that began in the 16th century as new ideas and discoveries departed from previous Greek conceptions and traditions. The scientific method soon played a greater role in knowledge creation and it was not until the 19th century that many of the institutional and professional features of science began to take shape; along with the changing of "natural philosophy" to "natural science."Modern science is typically divided into three major branches that consist of the natural sciences (e.g., biology, chemistry, and physics), which study nature in the broadest sense; the social sciences (e.g., economics, psychology, and sociology), which study individuals and societies; and the formal sciences (e.g., logic, mathematics, and theoretical computer science), which deal with symbols governed by rules. There is disagreement, however, on whether the formal sciences actually constitute a science as they do not rely on empirical evidence. Disciplines that use existing scientific knowledge for practical purposes, such as engineering and medicine, are described as applied sciences.New knowledge in science is advanced by research from scientists who are motivated by curiosity about the world and a desire to solve problems. Contemporary scientific research is highly collaborative and is usually done by teams in academic and research institutions, government agencies, and companies. The practical impact of their work has led to the emergence of science policies that seek to influence the scientific enterprise by prioritizing the development of commercial products, armaments, health care, public infrastructure, and environmental protection.

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  1. Z

    I Looking for resources to learn bra-ket notation

    hello I own two books of quantum physics In the first part the authors emphasize the bra-ket notation, explaining how important and useful it is in the second part, they go to pratical examples no mention of brackets , they just use the Schrodinger's equation.... may you suggest a book or an...
  2. phinds

    There’s far more scientific fraud than anyone wants to admit

    Distressing news: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2023/aug/09/scientific-misconduct-retraction-watch
  3. jedishrfu

    B Time Travel: Is it Physicsly Possible? | Scientific American

  4. ohwilleke

    Physics Guidance For Writing Scientific Papers In A Second Language

    I feel compelled to note a valuable new article in the magazine Science about the task of writing scientific papers in English when your native language is not English. The article is written by a Chinese scientist who did his PhD in the U.K. The basic message is to keep it simple. Use short...
  5. BWV

    Declining scientific productivity

    This Nature paper that attempts to quantify diminishing returns from scientific research across a wide range of fields is getting a fair amount of press. My initial take was just a 'low hanging fruit' argument where all the 'easy' discoveries have been made. The authors argue against that...
  6. Delta2

    I Entanglement and FTL signaling in professional scientific literature

    According to professional scientific literature and to our best understanding, are there any suggestions that entanglement might imply some sort of faster than light signaling between the entangled particles? I know that according to relativity nothing can travel faster than light, but what...
  7. hagopbul

    Seeking Financial Benefit from Scientific Innovation: A Discussion

    Hello All : hope all are fine and well : during my scientific reading i may found a way to enhance the efficiency of some sort of simple engines , now i am working on a prototype which should be ready in few weeks for testing , the question is what next ? i am interested in solid state...
  8. W

    A Does superdeterminism undermine the scientific method?

    Anton Zeilinger, wrote, " "We always implicitly assume the freedom of the experimentalist... This fundamental assumption is essential to doing science. If this were not true, then, I suggest, it would make no sense at all to ask nature questions in an experiment, since then nature could...
  9. M

    Requesting suggestions for languages, libraries, and architectures for parallel (and sometimes non parallel) numerical and scientific computations

    A lot of the work I am interested to do will be mostly built from scratch by myself, provided there is fair support for numerical types (like complex numbers) and high precision numerical operations (if not, I'll be happy to write those routines as well). Many of my areas of interest are...
  10. PainterGuy

    Text alignment in Scientific Workplace

    Hi, I'm having two serious issues with writing a document in Scientific Workplace. In Microsoft Word one can choose a paper size such as 'Letter' and Word would restrict the written sentences within the defined margins. Is it possible to do in Scientific Workplace? Is it possible to use...
  11. onomatomanic

    [Philosophy of science] Bias inherent in the Scientific Method itself?

    A very "meta" idea crossed my mind today, and I'd like some feedback. Apologies in advance in case the half-formedness of said idea results in a meandering post. The specific connection I made was that the creation-versus-evolution "debate" could be characterized, at its most basic, as the...
  12. S

    A Is the self-consistency principle a scientific or philosophical idea?

    As I understand it, the Novikov's principle is either philosophical or scientific. I heard that it is a consequence of the stationary-action principle (principle of least action) in quantum mechanics. Does this mean that Novikov's principle is scientific? I also heard the following: in quantum...
  13. D

    I What is the true nature of reality according to quantum mechanics?

    I read in an article that "Quantum physics is a highly mathematical theory that describes the nature of reality at the atomic and subatomic level". I also read another article that says quantum physics does not tell anything about reality. Can you give me some context about it in a way that is...
  14. anorlunda

    Judge gets scientific method better than scientists

    https://reason.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/b49101a8-ad23-44dc-9500-ecec551c08b8.pdf This was unexpected. In a 55 page decision from the Superior Court of DC, the judge said the following. The scientist litigator, and his expert witnesses said: It seems to me that the judge gets it, and...
  15. Leo Liu

    I A scientific analysis of stopping the spin of Discovery One spaceship

    I have been reading 2010: The Year We Make Contact, a sci-fi book belonging to a classic series by Arthur Clarke. The book involves a myraid of scientific concepts so I think it is worth it to verify if the scenes would be feasible in the real word. In this thread I'd like to focus on the scene...
  16. R

    Working on my scientific script on quantum physics (sources for the Casmir effect)

    Summary:: Any good english or german sources for Casimir effect, quantum fluctuations or zero point energy Hello, fellow quantum physicists I am currently writing a detailed physics script for my quantum physics project and I wanted to ask if you know some good internet sources on the theme of...
  17. T

    Scientific Computing: Method of Undetermined Coefficients in Python

    In a self learning project I am fooling around book https://faculty.washington.edu/rjl/fdmbook/ I want to do some of the computation myself to better understand the concepts but the book is Matlab based and Matlab is too expensive. Does anyone by any chance have some of the codes provided by...
  18. Hacker Jack

    Has this ever been done before? (lone scientist making a scientific breakthrough)

    Has there ever been a lone scientist (maybe even self taught) who made a break through theory or scientific discovery? I am going to say something kind of weird but I have romantic thoughts in my head of teaching myself advanced physics through the internet and somehow doing something 'great' in...
  19. Carlos_Ishigami07

    Scientific analysis -- How many seconds does it take for the paper to burn?

    I have a problem: in the same anime I saw that Senku estimated the time to start burning the paper in sixty seconds, one minute and with a lens. The data is as follows: The lens he used has a diameter of 5 centimeters. The solar constant, assuming it is the same as 3700 years ago, is 1362 watts...
  20. W

    I Interesting Scientific American article (The end of QM?)

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-views-of-quantum-jumps-challenge-core-tenets-of-physics/?fbclid=IwAR0z2pTmGqTBkm2JzvSNe6piKPZCGbhdpyZWcHeLO_2B-w5fPxFRKgfrGvY I love quantum physics almost mystical and paradoxical nature. That seems to be ending. Especially with the advent of...
  21. DrClaude

    Scientific Magazines: Best Gift Ideas for Bright & Curious Teenagers

    Once upon a time, I was subscribed to Scientific American. Once upon another time, I use to regularly read the New Scientist at a library. Does any know the quality of these magazines these days? I am looking for gift ideas for a bright and curious teenager.
  22. BillTre

    Scientific Meanings of the Term "Agent"

    In considering possible scenarios invoked to explain the origin of life, I find myself searching for a general term which can be applied to the first units on the way to becoming living cells. Currently, I am using the term "entity", but am unsatisfied with it because I consider it about the...
  23. kyphysics

    What Scientific Concept Was the Hardest For You to Comprehend?

    Thought this might be an interesting question. Feel free to post why it was hard and/or what let you finally understand it.
  24. P

    I Tell me how scientific journals scrutinize statistical work

    I have been reading statistics for a while (I am a physics major but also a stat-enthusiast), and one of the topics that drew my attention was the misrepresentation, or to be precise, misinterpretation of the data. This came up while reading about Simpson's paradox and the likes. When I see...
  25. R

    Do we live in a simulation, Scientific American article posted today

    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-we-live-in-a-simulation-chances-are-about-50-50/ I mentioned this just last night and a great article in Sci American was posted this morning. So what do you think, are we living in the matrix? I say no, however I have no problem viewing DNA as a...
  26. BWV

    Testing Scientific Theories Against Data

    [Moderator's Note: Thread spun off from previous thread in General Discussion since it is more specifically about particular scientific theories and how to test them against data.] So in your opinion, everything in the list below is quantitative, not qualitative...
  27. sbrothy

    Subtle scientific insight in the field of economics. :)

    I didn't really want to create another thread just to make a (hopefully) humorous observation but on the other hand to link to this paper under a "cranky science" header hardly seems fair. Especially when I really haven't read the thing in it's entirety. One very scientific statement piqued my...
  28. L

    Is there Scientific Evidence of Biorhythms?

    Biorhythms have been "known" about for many decades There are 3 rhythms - 23, 28 and 33 day cycles - physical, emotional and mental respectively. biorhythms pic These must have been calculated using observation of human qualities and noting them down My question is - are there any external...
  29. Ackbach

    MHB Brokenness of Scientific Method: Up to Half of Papers May Be Wrong

    Excellent read on the brokenness of the scientific method: there are many, many issues, ranging from conflicts of interest, data falsification, lack of proper incentives, abysmal lack of statistical knowledge, etc. As many as HALF of scientific papers published today might simply be wrong! In...
  30. mktsgm

    What is the scientific explanation for herd immunity?

    We are hearing more of herd immunity particularly in the wake of the recent SARS-CoV2. What is herd immunity? Is it real? Or is it a mere statistical reality? How come somebody who is not vaccinated would be protected because more of somebody else is vaccinated? Logically I am unable to...
  31. manareus

    Can scientific papers be made at home and only by searching on the internet?

    Hello, I'm the head of youth scientific club at my High School. Because there's a pandemic going on, schools are closed and god knows when they reopen. Earlier before, I have a couple of programs that are being planned to produce scientific papers but they are all postponed. Now, all my...
  32. Luke Tan

    Mathematica Mathematica Graph Plotting for Scientific Papers

    Hey guys, so recently I've been trying to use mathematica to plot graphs for my scientific papers, and I've been starting to wonder - what plot options do you guys use? How do you plot your graphs in mathematica such that they look presentable in a scientific paper?
  33. sysprog

    Anecdotes about situations wherein a little scientific knowledge paid off

    I'm hoping to see accounts of situations wherein a little (or maybe a lot) of scientific knowledge paid off. I'll start with one that's really basic, but in my view rather amusing. In the winter of '87 I was returning to Chicago, from DC where I'd been working on a USG contract (IBM mainframe...
  34. K

    A mother carries her baby from room to room -- Is this scientific work?

    I am thinking no for the first question because the mother is not applying a horizontal force to cause the baby to move horizontally. Maybe yes for #2? Please help
  35. A

    I'm Confused about Buoyancy (Anime: A Certain Scientific Railgun)

    well I was watching the Third Season, and I was Confused, there's an esper her ability name is Float Dial it is an ability to control buoyancy. at first I understand, that it controls fluids thus able to slide on water walk on walker. but how the does she able to lift the heavy concrete and...
  36. T

    I What if a scientific theory is not testable?

    Supposed a future theory of Quantum Gravity reconciles Quantum Mechanics with the Theory of General Relativity, is mathematically self-consistent and makes falsifiable predictions which are not testable though. Can we ever trust a scientific theory which is self-consistent but not testable...
  37. Solitos

    Is a Biological Principle a Scientific Law?

    Hi. My understanding was that a scientific theory and law complement each other. There is a guy at work that insists that a theory with more evidence becomes a law. Recently he cited an article that said that a theory that has been repeatedly verified and appears to have a wide applicability in...
  38. anorlunda

    Innovative Scientific Uses of GPS

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/12/gps-is-going-places/ I really liked this article. It is not too long. Read it. The 5 ideas are: Feel an earthquake (@davenn will like this) Monitor a volcano Probe the snow Sense a sinking Analyze the atmosphere
  39. LittleRookie

    B How is a Scientific law/theory's accuracy tested?

    How is a Scientific law or theory's accuracy tested? I've searched online about verification of Newton's law but the materials are unhelpful. Many show an experiment that verifies a particular instance of the law and then concludes the law is verified. We all know that there are infinite...
  40. haushofer

    Learning how to formulate scientific reasoning in physics or "physics language"

    Dear all, to become a teacher I have to deduct a research to improve my teaching and/or to "solve" a didactical problem I encounter. This research, my proposal for a solution etc. has to be motivated by scientific literature. I observed that a lot of students have problems with formulating...
  41. H

    Adding drama and controversy to scientific articles for the public

    Adding drama and controversy to scientific reporting and written articles for the public is not new new to me. For over 20 years I've seen it in the global warming/climate change discussion. What is new to me is a high level of drama in controversy added to a couple of subjects that are normally...
  42. Graeme M

    Question about the Scientific Method

    I have posted this here because I am not sure it is relevant in any of the main boards. I have a question about what science can and cannot observe. Maybe this is too philosophical but I am more interested in a specific empirical matter. As biological creatures, our entire experience of the...
  43. M

    How to answer questions with assess in a scientific way?

    Assess the validity of this experiment and suggest ways in which it can be improved. The experiment was fairly valid as the experimental design tested the aim and all variables apart from those being investigated were kept constant. Now you would elaborate on this statement through evidence, etc
  44. JD_PM

    Other How to make a good-looking scientific review

    Hi PhysicsForums community! I am writing a short review on Optical Tweezers. I started with word but got tired of copy-pasting pics of equations using MathJax and ,besides, diagrams look pretty bad. What do you recommend for making up diagrams and writing equations? I have been thinking of...
  45. Z

    B Proving the effects of gravity by using the scientific method

    Its been awhile since I even thought about conducting a scientific experiment, and I do remember that you need a dependent variable.. the observation or effect such as the apple fell from the tree, and then the independent variable, such as gravity. But in order to test the hypothesis, you...
  46. J

    A Is "Equal a priori Probabilities" the correct scientific approach?

    Hello, My understanding of the scientific approach when faced with an unknown sequence: Hypothesis: There is an order/signal/bias/code = Goal to achieve Null hypothesis: Absence of bias/order/code = Equal Probability = Target to destroy. Science tries to break the code. In order to prove the...
  47. GoldenBear

    Suggestions for books about scientific computing using Python

    Looking for suggestions on books (or other learning material) that will help me improve my skills using Python for scientific computing. I am comfortable with Python programming (syntax, conditional statements, loops, etc.), and use it for data analysis in my undergraduate experimental physics...
  48. GhostLoveScore

    Can I do something scientific with daily temperature data?

    I've been logging daily temperature and humidity data for two years now. In the end of each year I will put a graph like this Those are daily minimum and maximum temperatures. But I was wondering, if all this has any scientific value at all. I've been using WS2300 weather station for these...
  49. R

    Other Locating an older scientific paper without the title?

    I've been up all night writing and I want to go to bed, but for the life of me I can't find the paper or even the title of the paper that has been referenced in another paper. All I have is... M.A. Margulis, A.N. Maltsev. Russ J Phys Chem, 42 (1968), p. 1412 Which should be enough to locate...
  50. ajohns2000

    Remote control of a Walker Scientific Magnet & Power Supply

    Hello and good day. I am currently involved in research that seeks to utilized a Walker Scientific power supply and magnetic. The system is old but functional. We seek to utilize the magnet in order to conduct some low temperature experiments. We need information on this power supply, of which...