Basic science is either fundamental physics or basic science. To the phenomena or explanations of certain sciences, the term fundamental science attributes a causal or conceptual priority according to either of two, differing distinctions. More commonly, fundamental science is fundamental physics, held to underlie special sciences. Less commonly, fundamental science is basic science, distinguished from applied science.
Viewed as the fundamental science, fundamental physics underlies all other sciences—the special sciences—that rest upon, and in principle are derivable from, or conversely are reducible to, the objects and laws of fundamental physics. Less commonly, fundamental science is synonym to basic science, also termed pure science—principally physics, chemistry, and biology—held apart from applied sciences like engineering and biomedicine, which develop technology or techniques through translating portions of basic science.