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Life Science vs. Physical Science: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on November 12, 2023
Life Science studies living organisms and their life processes. Physical Science examines non-living systems and the fundamental laws of nature.

Key Differences

Life Science is a branch of science that delves into the study of living organisms, such as plants, animals, and humans. In contrast, Physical Science explores the non-living world and encompasses subjects like physics and chemistry.
While Life Science seeks to understand how life forms function, reproduce, and evolve, Physical Science aims to decode the basic principles and laws that govern the inanimate universe.
Topics under Life Science might include genetics, ecology, and physiology. Meanwhile, Physical Science covers areas like motion, energy, and matter.
The methodologies in Life Science often involve biological experiments, observational studies, and dissections. In Physical Science, experiments often revolve around testing hypotheses related to physical phenomena.
To summarize, Life Science is centered around understanding living beings and their interactions, while Physical Science is concerned with understanding the foundational concepts of the universe and the properties of non-living entities.

Comparison Chart


Living organisms.
Non-living systems.

Typical Subjects

Biology, Botany, Zoology.
Physics, Chemistry.

Research Methods

Observational studies, dissections.
Experiments on physical phenomena.

Key Concerns

Life processes, reproduction, evolution.
Motion, energy, matter.

Application Examples

Medicine, agriculture.
Engineering, technology.

Life Science and Physical Science Definitions

Life Science

The study of living organisms and their biological processes.
Through Life Science, we understand how plants convert sunlight into energy.

Physical Science

Research concerning the physical properties and behaviors of objects.
Innovations in Physical Science have paved the way for modern electronics.

Life Science

The exploration of life and its mechanisms.
Students in Life Science classes often dissect frogs to study anatomy.

Physical Science

A field exploring the fundamental principles of the universe.
Physical Science encompasses subjects like astronomy and geology.

Life Science

A field focused on the intricacies of life forms.
Life Science research led to the discovery of the DNA structure.

Physical Science

The examination of matter, energy, and their interactions.
In Physical Science classes, students often conduct experiments on chemical reactions.

Life Science

A science studying the complexities of living entities.
Life Science investigates the symbiotic relationship between certain plants and insects.

Physical Science

The study of non-living systems and natural phenomena.
Through Physical Science, we learn about the laws of motion.

Life Science

Research oriented around understanding life's phenomena.
A breakthrough in Life Science improved treatment methods for various diseases.

Physical Science

Science focused on inanimate entities and laws of nature.
Physical Science provides the foundation for technological advancements.


What subjects are typically covered under Physical Science?

Physical Science covers subjects like physics, chemistry, and astronomy.

What is the main focus of Life Science?

Life Science focuses on studying living organisms and their life processes.

Are environmental studies part of Life Science?

Yes, environmental biology and ecology are branches of Life Science.

How does Life Science benefit humanity?

Life Science advancements can lead to medical breakthroughs, improved agriculture, and more.

Can Physical Science explain the behavior of gases?

Yes, gas behavior is a topic in physical chemistry, a subset of Physical Science.

Can Life Science include the study of microorganisms?

Yes, microbiology is a crucial component of Life Science.

What fundamental concepts are explored in Physical Science?

Physical Science explores concepts like matter, energy, force, and motion.

Is technology a product of Physical Science?

Yes, many technological innovations have foundations in Physical Science principles.

Does Life Science solely study animals?

No, Life Science studies all living organisms, including plants, fungi, and microorganisms.

Do Life Science researchers work in labs?

Yes, many Life Science researchers work in labs conducting experiments and studies.

How do principles in Physical Science apply to daily life?

From electricity to mechanics, Physical Science principles underlie many everyday phenomena.

Can Physical Science explain phenomena like light and sound?

Absolutely, light and sound are topics within optics and acoustics, respectively, in Physical Science.

How has Life Science evolved over time?

Life Science has expanded with new disciplines like molecular biology and bioinformatics emerging.

Is genetics a part of Life Science?

Yes, genetics is a key discipline within Life Science.

What role do ecosystems play in Life Science?

Ecosystem studies in Life Science explore interactions between living organisms and their environment.

Can Life Science provide insights into human behavior?

While primarily biological, Life Science can intersect with behavioral studies in areas like neuroscience.

How does Physical Science differ from natural science?

Natural science is a broader category that includes both Physical Science and Life Science.

What tools are commonly used in Physical Science?

Instruments like microscopes, spectrometers, and particle accelerators are used in Physical Science.

Are chemical reactions a topic in Physical Science?

Yes, chemical reactions are studied extensively in chemistry, a branch of Physical Science.

How do physics and chemistry relate within Physical Science?

Both are foundational disciplines in Physical Science, with chemistry often building on principles of physics.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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