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Research Areas

NSF supports science and engineering research and education projects in 12 areas.

  • Astronomy may well be the oldest science of all. Human beings have been studying the Sun, moon, planets and stars for at least 5000 years.

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  • Biologists are life's detectives, discovering what "alive" really means.

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  • Chemistry and materials research are the sciences of stuff--perhaps the only word that does justice to the myriad molecules and materials that we find in the world around us.

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  • The Internet, Google, and web browsers show how past progress in computing affects our daily lives. The cutting-edge systems under design now will have an enormous impact on society--and science.

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  • Earth's environments range from polar ice caps to hot, dry deserts, from dark ocean depths to high mountaintops.

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  • Since its establishment in 1950, NSF has supported student education -- from the early introduction to mathematics and science, through the college and postgraduate experiences.

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  • Engineers bridge the gap between what the mind can imagine and what the laws of nature allow.

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  • Mathematics is the natural language of science and engineering. It is about numbers, shapes, symmetry, chance, change and much more.

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  • Nanoscience is the ability to manipulate atoms and molecules.

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  • Out of fascination and need, people have always studied other people.

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  • Physics begins with the everyday physical world around us: the blue of the sky, the colors of the rainbow, the fall of an apple, the motion of the moon.

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  • Polar Research focuses on the unique natural laboratories in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.

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