The Connection Between Science and Technology
Science and technology are two things that are completely interwoven. Technology wouldn’t exist without science, and science wouldn’t be as effective without technology. science is the pursuit of knowledge about how things work through a systematic process of observation and experimentation. The process is important because humans often aren’t very reliable on their own, so technology helps us make fewer mistakes. Technology is the application of our scientific knowledge to create things that accomplish particular tasks. This includes technology to detect radiation, the large hadron collider, X-ray diffraction, and the development of computerized simulations.
In numerous areas of science, simulations give the best depictions of a complicated phenomenon, yet they are hard to use with regard to data analysis. The systems they’ve created build a bridge enabling us to exploit these exact simulations with regard to data analysis.
The Large Hadron Collider is the world’s largest particle accelerator, found 100 meters under French and Swiss farmland with a 17-mile circumference. In 2012, information gathered by the LHC supported the existence of the Higgs boson, a sub-nuclear particle that plays a key role in our understanding of the universe. The next year, Peter Higgs and François Englert got the Nobel Prize in Physics in acknowledgment of their work in developing the theory of what is currently known as the Higgs field, which gives rudimentary particles mass.
Technology is also used after the experiment is over. Science isn’t just about collecting data; you also have to make sense of it. This might not be very hard if all you’re doing is something small but the Large Hadron Collider collects so much data that it takes years to analyze it. The same is true for most advanced research equipment, like satellites in orbit and rovers on Mars. Thankfully we have the technology to help us there, too.
Computers have completely changed the rate at which we can learn about the world. We can now take huge amounts of data and have a computer analyze it for us. We can run statistical analyses and see whether the things we’ve observed are statistically significant, or more likely to be nothing more than a coincidence. For example, the Human Genome Project was a scientific research project on an international scale that aimed to map the base pairs that make up human DNA, and it ran from 1990 to 2003. Since human DNA is so huge and complex, this entire project would have been impossible without computers to complete the work.
But that’s just one example of many. Computers are used by theoretical physicists to solve complex calculus equations, to analyze data collected while testing new vehicles and aircraft in wind tunnels, and to analyze weather data to make predictions. In numerous areas of science, simulations give the best depictions of a complicated phenomenon, yet they are hard to use with regard to data analysis. The systems they’ve created build a bridge enabling us to exploit these exact simulations with regards to data analysis.
The atomic theory that holds that matter consists of small, indivisible particles in constant motion, was proposed during the 5th century BC by the Greek philosophers Leucippus and Democritus and was adopted by the Roman Lucretius. However, Aristotle failed to settle for the speculation, and it was ignored for many centuries. Interest in the atomic theory was revived during the 18th century following work on the nature and behavior of gases. The modern atomic theory begins with the work of John Dalton, published in 1808. He held the theory that all atoms of precisely the same size and weight are in these two respects, in contrast to the atoms of the other element. He explicitly that atoms of the elements unite chemically in simple numerical ratios to create compounds.
The best proof for his theory was the experimentally verified law of simple multiple proportions, which gives a relation between the weights of two elements that combine to form different compounds. Evidence for Dalton’s theory additionally came from Michael Faraday’s law of electrolysis. A major development was the periodic table, devised simultaneously by Dmitri Mendeleev and J. L. Meyer, that arranged atoms of various parts so as of accelerating mass so parts with similar chemical properties fell into groups By the end of the 19th century it was typically accepted that matter consists of atoms that combine to create molecules.
In 1911, Ernest Rutherford developed the first coherent explanation of the structure of an atom. Using alpha particles emitted by hot atoms, he showed that the atom consists of a central, charged core, the nucleus, and negatively charged particles called electrons that orbit the nucleus. There was one serious obstacle to acceptance of the nuclear atom, however. According to classical theory, because the electrons orbit around the nucleus, they are continuously being accelerated and all accelerated charges radiate electromagnetic energy. Thus, they must lose their energy and spiral into the nucleus. This problem was solved by Niels Bohr, who applied quantum theory developed by Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck and Albert Einstein to the problem of the atomic structure. Bohr proposed that electrons may circle a nucleus without radiating energy solely in orbits that their orbital momentum was an integral multiple of Planck’s h divided by 2π. The separate spectral lines emitted by every element were created by electrons dropping from allowed orbits of upper energy to those of lower energy, the frequency of the photon of light emitted being proportional to the energy difference between the orbits.
Around the same time, experiments on x-ray spectra by H. G. J. Moseley showed that every nucleus was characterized by an atomic number, equal to the number of unit positive charges associated with it. By rearranging the table according to the number instead of the mass, a more systematic arrangement was obtained. The development of quantum mechanics throughout the 1920s resulted in a very satisfactory explanation for all phenomena associated with the role of electrons in atoms and every one aspect of their associated spectra. With the invention of the nucleon in 1932, the modern-day image of the atom was complete.
Science and technology feed each other. Technology is using our scientific knowledge to accomplish tasks, and one of those tasks can be gaining more scientific knowledge. For example, our scientific knowledge taught us how to build microscopes, and then those microscopes were used to do scientific experiments.
Examples of technology used in experiments include pendulums, microscopes, telescopes, particle accelerators, lenses, mirrors, and sensors. Technology is then used to analyze the data we collect in those experiments, usually with computers. Computers can take huge amounts of data and complete calculations, plot graphs, and perform statistical analyses. For example, the Human Genome Project analyzed all of human DNA using computers. Analyzing data using computers is pretty standard across all of science.
- The Large Hadron Collider. CERN. https://home.cern/science/accelerators/large-hadron-collider
- https://arpes.stanford.edu/research/tool-development/resonant-x-ray-scattering arpes.stanford.edu
- Santner, Thomas J; Williams, Brian J; Notz, William I (2003). The design and analysis of computer experiments. Springer Verlag.
- E. Rutherford and H. Geiger (1908) ‘An electrical method of counting the number of α particles from radioactive substances,’ Proceedings of the Royal Society (London)
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