The study of nature

Humans employ nature for both leisure and economic activities. The acquisition of natural resources for industrial use remains a sizeable component of the world’s economic system. Some activities, such as hunting and fishing, are used for both sustenance and leisure.

Aerial photography
Coursing through parched, landlocked Mali in Western Africa, the Niger River flows north through an ancient sand sea before turning sharply east to skirt the edge of the dune-striped Sahara – photo: USGS

Nature influences economic wealth

Agriculture was first adopted around the 9th millennium BCE. Ranging from food production to energy, nature influences economic wealth. Although early humans gathered uncultivated plant materials for food and employed the medicinal properties of vegetation for healing.

Some fields of science see nature as matter in motion, obeying certain laws of nature which science seeks to understand. For this reason the most fundamental science is generally understood to be ‘physics’ — the name for which is still recognizable as meaning that it is the ‘study of nature’.

Components of the universe

Matter is commonly defined as the substance of which physical objects are composed. It constitutes the observable universe. The visible components of the universe are now believed to compose only 4.9% of the total mass. The remainder is believed to consist of 26.8% and 68.3% . The exact arrangement of these components is still unknown and is under intensive investigation by physicists.

Cosmological models

The behaviour of matter and energy throughout the observable universe appears to follow well-defined physical laws. These laws have been employed to produce cosmological models that successfully explain the structure and the evolution of the universe we can observe. The mathematical expressions of the laws of physics employ a set of twenty physical constants. The values of these constants have been carefully measured, but the reason for their specific values remains a mystery.

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John Roe

John Roe

John is a 26-year-old scientific researcher who enjoys drone photography, reading and waiting at bus stops. He is generous and loveable, but can also be very lazy. He has a degree in chemistry and is obsessed with bottled water.

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1) Cold dark matter

Cold dark matter is a hypothetical type of dark matter. Observations indicate that approximately 85% of the matter in the universe is dark matter, with only a small fraction being the ordinary baryonic matter that composes stars, planets, and living organisms.

2) Dark energy

Dark energy is an unknown form of energy that affects the universe on the largest scales. The first observational evidence for its existence came from measurements of supernovae, which showed that the universe does not expand at a constant rate; rather, the expansion of the universe is accelerating.