Physical geography (also known as geosystems or physiography) is one of the two major subfields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.
Within the body of physical geography, the Earth is often split either into several spheres or environments, the main spheres being the atmosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and pedosphere. Research in physical geography is often interdisciplinary and uses the systems approach.
The Royal Medal, also known as The Queen's Medal, is a silver-gilt medal awarded each year by the Royal Society, two for "the most important contributions to the advancement of natural knowledge" and one for "distinguished contributions in the applied sciences" made within the Commonwealth of Nations. The award was created by George IV and first awarded in 1826. Initially there were two medals awarded, both for the most important discovery within the last year, a time period which was lengthened to five years and then shortened to three. The format was supported by William IV and Victoria, who had the conditions changed in 1837 so that mathematics was a subject for which a Royal Medal could be awarded, albeit only every third year. The conditions were changed again in 1850 so that:
... the Royal Medals in each year should be awarded for the two most important contributions to the advancement of Natural Knowledge, published originally in Her Majesty's dominions within a period of not more than ten years and not less than one year of the date of the award, subject, of course, to Her Majesty's approval. ... in the award of the Royal Medals, one should be given in each of the two great divisions of Natural Knowledge.
The following outline is provided as a topical overview of science:
Science – systematic effort of acquiring knowledge—through observation and experimentation coupled with logic and reasoning to find out what can be proved or not proved—and the knowledge thus acquired. The word "science" comes from the Latin word "scientia" meaning knowledge. A practitioner of science is called a "scientist". Modern science respects objective logical reasoning, and follows a set of core procedures or rules in order to determine the nature and underlying natural laws of the universe and everything in it. Some scientists do not know of the rules themselves, but follow them through research policies. These procedures are known as scientific method.