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Colbert Presenting the Members of the Royal Academy of Sciences to Louis XIV in 1667.PNG

Members of the Academy in 1667 with Louis XIV

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 3500 to 3000 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 study abstract concepts. 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.

Science is based on research, which is commonly conducted in academic and research institutions as well as in government agencies and companies. The practical impact of scientific research 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, and environmental protection. (Full article...)

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A Tesla coil lightning simulator
Credit: Fir0002

A Tesla coil is a category of disruptive discharge transformer coils, named after their inventor, Nikola Tesla. Tesla coils are composed of coupled resonant electric circuits. Nikola Tesla actually experimented with a large variety of coils and configurations, so it is difficult to describe a specific mode of construction that will meet the wants of those who ask about "Tesla" coils. "Early coils" and "later coils" vary in configuration and setup. Tesla coils in general are very popular devices among high-voltage enthusiasts.

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Newton at age 46 in Godfrey Kneller's 1689 portrait.
Isaac Newton, English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor, philosopher and alchemist. A man of profound genius, he is widely regarded as the most influential scientist in history. He is associated with the scientific revolution and the advancement of heliocentrism. Among his scientific accomplishments, Newton wrote the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, wherein he described universal gravitation and, via his laws of motion, laid the groundwork for classical mechanics. With Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz he is credited for the development of differential calculus. Newton was the first to promulgate a set of natural laws that could govern both terrestrial motion and celestial motion, and is credited with providing mathematical substantiation for Kepler's laws of planetary motion, which he expanded by arguing that orbits (such as those of comets) could include all conic sections (such as the ellipse, hyperbola, and parabola).

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Science News

28 November 2020 – Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists
Assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani vows to "respond" to Israel, whom the regime has accused of orchestrating the killing, "at the proper time." (CNBC)
The supercarrier USS Nimitz is deployed to the Persian Gulf from its station in Bahrain. The U.S. Navy maintains that the ship's deployment was not related to "any specific threat." (Reuters)
4 November 2020 – SGR 1935+2154
Astronomers announce the discovery of the first fast radio burst (FRB) signal detected in the Milky Way galaxy. The signal is believed to be coming from a magnetar. (The Independent)
28 October 2020 –
Scientists announce that last week they discovered a reef structure in the Great Barrier Reef that is 500 m (1,600 ft)-tall, surpassing the height of the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The discovery is the first of its type in the region since the 1800s. (BBC)
20 October 2020 – 2020 in spaceflight, New Frontiers program
NASA's OSIRIS-REx space probe successfully lands and collects samples from the asteroid Bennu. The samples will be returned to Earth in 2023. (CNN) (BBC)

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