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Applied science

Applied science

Science (from Latin 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 explain events of 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.

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 utilize 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.

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Teflon is polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), a polymer of fluorinated ethylene.
Teflon is the brand name of the polymer polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) discovered by Roy J. Plunkett (1910–1994) of DuPont in 1938 and introduced as a commercial product in 1946. It is a fluoropolymer but not a thermoplastic in the true sense.

PTFE has the lowest coefficient of friction of any known solid material. It is used as a non-stick coating for pans and other cookware. PTFE is very non-reactive and is often used in containers and pipework for reactive chemicals. Its melting point is 327°C, but its properties degrade above 260°C. At this point gaseous fluorine compounds are released that are dangerous to humans.

Other polymers with similar composition are known by the Teflon name: fluorinated ethylene-propylene (FEP) and perfluoroalkoxy polymer resin (PFA). They retain the useful properties of PTFE of low friction and non-reactivity, but are more easily formable. FEP is softer than PTFE and melts at 260°C; it is highly transparent and resistant to sunlight.

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Paramecium aurelia, the best known of all. The bubbles throughout the cell are vacuoles. The entire surface is covered in cilia, which are blurred by their rapid movement. Cilia are short, hair-like projections that help with locomotion.
Credit: Josh Grosse

Paramecium aurelia, the best known of all ciliates. The bubbles throughout the cell are vacuoles. The entire surface is covered in cilia, which are blurred by their rapid movement. Cilia are short, hair-like projections that help with locomotion.

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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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