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Science, in the broadest sense of the term, refers to any system of knowledge attained by verifiable means. In a more restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on empiricism, experimentation, and methodological naturalism, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such qualified research.

Scientists maintain that scientific investigation must adhere to the scientific method, a rigorous process for properly developing and evaluating natural explanations for observable phenomena based on reliable empirical evidence and neutral, unbiased independent verification, and not on arguments from authority or popular preferences. Science therefore bypasses supernatural explanations; it instead only considers natural explanations that may be falsifiable.

Fields of science are distinguished as pure science or applied science. Pure science is principally involved with the discovery of new truths with little or no regard to their practical applications. Applied science is principally involved with the application of existing knowledge in new ways, including advances in technology.

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This long range RADAR antenna, known as ALTAIR, is used to detect and track space objects in conjunction with ABM testing at the Ronald Reagan Test Site on the Kwajalein atoll.
RADAR is a system that uses radio waves to determine and map the location, direction, and/or speed of both moving and fixed objects such as aircraft, ships, motor vehicles, weather formations and terrain. A transmitter emits radio waves, which are reflected by the target and detected by a receiver, typically in the same location as the transmitter. Although the radio signal returned is usually very weak, radio signals can easily be amplified, so radar can detect objects at ranges where other emissions, such as sound or visible light, would be too weak to detect. Radar is used in many contexts, including meteorological detection of precipitation, air traffic control, police detection of speeding traffic, and by the military.

The term RADAR was coined in 1941 as an acronym for Radio Detection and Ranging. This acronym of American origin replaced the previously used British abbreviation RDF (Radio Direction Finding). The term has since entered the English language as a standard word, radar, losing the capitalization in the process.

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Lightning over Oradea, Romania
Credit: Mircea Madau

Lightning is a powerful natural electrostatic discharge produced during a thunderstorm. This abrupt electric discharge is accompanied by the emission of visible light and other forms of electromagnetic radiation. The electric current passing through the discharge channels heat rapidly and expands the air into plasma, producing acoustic shock waves (thunder) in the atmosphere.

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Barbara McClintock (June 16, 1902 – September 2, 1992) was a pioneering American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize cytogenetics. The field remained the focus of her research for the rest of her career. From the late 1920s, McClintock studied chromosomes and how they change during reproduction in maize. She developed the technique to visualize maize chromosomes and demonstrate genetic recombination by crossing-over during meiosis—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, and she demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere. She was awarded prestigious fellowships and elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1944.

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