How many questions can you ask about the sun? Why does the sun shine? How does it move across the sky? How does it help plants grow? What would happen to life on Earth if the sun failed to rise tomorrow? You could ask all of these questions, and probably many more. When scientists observe the physical world, they ask questions like these and then try to answer them.
Before science, these types of questions were answered by beliefs and myths. For example, ancient Aztec societies believed the sun would not rise unless they performed human sacrifices. Science teaches us that we need evidence that can explain our observations. In this chapter, we will explore how science can help us ask and answer the questions we have about our physical world.
Xia Aike. www.flickr.com/photos/around_the_corner/11775793873/. CC BY 2.0.