Retirement Activities with Physical Science
The physical sciences are a broad group that focus on the inorganic world. It consists of four sub areas: astronomy, physics, chemistry and the earth sciences (geology, geophysics, oceanography, and meteorology.)
The physical sciences allow the scientist to emerge as people study and engage in activities involving the inorganic world. Most occupations in the physical sciences require degrees, and often advanced degrees. The retirement years afford the opportunity for people to participate in these subjects as lifelong learners, volunteers or in leisure.
Physics is considered the ‘fundamental science’ since all other physical and natural sciences must obey the laws of physics. At its basic level, physics is the study and determination of the universal laws that define the behavior of the physical universe.
Astronomy is concerned with the study of space; stars, planets, galaxies, their interaction. Astronomy is also concerned with the origins of the universe, its structure, and time measurement.
Chemistry addresses the structure, composition and energetics of physical matter.
The earth sciences consist of the following:
Geology is the study of the solid earth, how it evolved and the rocks that form it.
Geophysics is the study of the physics of the earth, which include: gravity, heat flow, electricity, magnetism, radioactivity, and fluid dynamics.
Oceanography is the study of the oceans, which includes: currents, waves, geology of the sea floor, and ecosystems.
Meteorology is the study of weather, and climate.
Additional earth sciences are: freshwater, soil science, agrophysics, and speleology (study of caves).
Leisure activities dominate as people use their retirement time to pursue passions in the sciences. Amateur astronomers can gaze at the heavenly skies with their own telescope or join a local astronomy club.
One of the most popular retirement pastimes is looking for rocks, gems and minerals. This often combines a love of travel with an entrepreneurial spirit as people come together at gem and mineral shows around the country.
Retirement provides an opportunity to volunteer to assist in research as scientists learn about our planet and the world beyond. Volunteering opportunities exist in most local communities. For people who want to combine travel and doing good, there are research activities around the world that last from a few days to many months or more.
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Volunteering Abroad Researching Nicaragua Volcano
As the volunteers watched, a cloud of gas rose from the magma below – this was our introduction to the Earthwatch expedition Volcano. We were there to assist the scientists with research on the volcano’s activity and the environmental effect of the toxic gases on plants and people downwind of the plume.