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Science in the broadest sense refers to any system of objective knowledge. In a more restricted sense, science refers to a system of acquiring knowledge based on the scientific method, as well as to the organized body of knowledge humans have gained by such research. This article focuses on the latter sense of the word.Fields of science are commonly classified along two major lines: * Natural sciences, which study natural phenomena * Social sciences, which study human behavior and societiesWhether mathematics is a science is a matter of perspective. It is similar to other sciences in that it is a careful, systematic study of an area of knowledge — specifically, it focuses on a priori knowledge. Mathematics as a whole is vital to the sciences — indeed, major advances in mathematics have often led to major advances in other sciences. Certain aspects of mathematics are indispensable for the formation of hypotheses, theories, and laws, both in discovering and describing how things work (natural sciences) and how people think and act (social sciences).Science as defined above is sometimes termed pure science in order to differentiate it from applied science, the latter being the application of scientific research to human needs.