Physics and Biology are two separate science areas. They share many concepts and many ideas, but there are fundamental differences. Both have great theories and amazing experiments that point towards mysteries of the universe. There has been much speculation about how life began in the Earth and on other planets and these theories have inspired countless movies, books, and plays.
Data science is a new field which attempts to apply scientific techniques to extract predictive predictions and insights from large amounts of unprocessed data. Here, the term data refers to any measurable thing, but may also refer to any abstract or synthetic information. Predictions or insights are made from the facts contained in the data. A good system will allow one to make educated guesses and then look for patterns and relationships to further investigate.
In contrast to biology and physics where the data is accumulated through observation and experiment, data science seeks to provide general laws and principles using the accumulated data to make predictions. While it is more of an empirical theory than a physical science, physics and biology are part of a unified field. Although they diverged with their foundations, they are now coming together in increasingly important ways thanks to the progress made in computing and information technology.
The two main areas of research in this field are experimentation and analysis. Experiment refers to conducting controlled tests to discover the nature and properties of various atomic, molecular, and biochemistry entities. Control carries the meaning of manipulating the system in order to alter its course and performance. Analysis deals with interpreting experiment results and making a detailed, quantitative evaluation of the entities being tested. award winning scientists and researchers in this field are often awarded prestigious prizes or research grants.
Another emerging area of focus is metadata management and data analysis. Metadata is the unique data that describes an entity like an image or document. It can include such things as the catalog number on a CD or the metadata that indicates the date and time the image was created. There is already some overlap between this area and data analysis since most modern scientific software provides the means for metadata management and data analysis.
Although there still exists some difference of opinion among philosophers of science, there is strong agreement that we will be able to define and measure all existing scientific theories within the next few years. Already many projects, like the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite mission to detect black holes and other very specific kinds of black holes, are being able to track very fine details. With the help of big data, we will soon be able to observe very minute sub-atomic particles and even gamma rays.
Luckily for our understanding of the natural world, there are a number of highly developed computer systems available today that are able to crunch through massive amounts of data and map the relationships between different entities. If you are interested in applying your physics skills to the big data set up by computers, you will likely find that it is not difficult at all. Many graduate students work in developing these programs and many of them are currently employed by computer science firms. The potential for career advancement is high for those who have a strong interest in physics and computer science.
The need for more precise measurements in various fields is further fueling interest in this area. One of the major areas of focus in recent times has been in the field of astronomy. The main tools used to study space are infrared telescopes that take detailed images of celestial objects. These images are then processed by sophisticated telescopes in order to provide astronomers with data that is more sensitive and less likely to miss. There are already a number of research groups dedicated to developing highly accurate infrared measurements known as icat metadata.