Chemistry can be classified as a
physical science. Which of the following is not
physical science? (A) Physics, (B) astronomy, (C)
Earth science, (D) material science, or (E) biology.
The sciences in general can be
grouped into mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, and human behavior. This pyramid is a simple way to
show how mathematics could be argued to be the foundation for all science, how
physics is dependent on mathematics, how chemistry is based on physics, biology on
chemistry, and human behavior or human sciences in part on biology. Mathematics and its related
disciplines are called the formal sciences. Biology, chemistry, and physics are
called the natural or pure sciences and human behavior, social sciences. Natural sciences can be further
split into the life sciences and physical sciences.
The question tells us that
chemistry is a physical science. The physical science studies the
nonliving systems of the natural world and universe and the rules which govern them,
while the life sciences studies living systems and the rules which govern these. The two main disciplines in the
physical sciences are physics and chemistry. The simple pyramid is a useful way
to show the first level grouping of the sciences. However, it does not show how the
different layers of the pyramid interrelate and connect to each other.
There are many subcategories
linking the different layers. For example, although astronomy is
not shown on this pyramid, it has to do with chemistry and physics and even some
mathematics. We could say that astronomy is a
physical science. The question asks, “Which of the
answers is not physical science?” Astronomy is not an answer because
it is a physical science. And so it’s physics. Material science is a physical
science. Its study has largely to do with
chemistry and physics. We can also rule out Earth
science. Earth science also encompasses
large areas of chemistry and physics study. We can see that biology is a life
science, so this is the correct answer. So which of the following is not
physical science? The answer is biology.