DEVELOPMENT OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
It’s hard to figure out exactly what makes something a science but we can define it both as a process of gaining knowledge, and as the organized body of knowledge gained by this process. Science has distinctive aspects that make it unique. First aspect can be that science tries to ask questions that can be tested. So you can’t ask the question ‘‘Why does the universe exist?‘‘. The right question can be ‘‘When did the universe come into existence?‘‘ because you could design experiments to test the answers. This reveals another characteristic of science – it usually involves doing an experiment. In science your experiment has to be repeatable. One of the most popular conceptions of what makes science different is that it follows the sciencitific method. This method involves asking a question, performing an experiment, gathering observastions and coming to conclusions.
BEGINNINGS OF SCIENCE
Science and technology is as old as the mankind. Science has started to develop as people have sought to somehow improve their lives. The first inventions and discoveries were very simple. As the first important discovery in the development of the mankind we consider the discovery of fire. On the other hand the first important invention was the invention of wheel (about 4,000 B.C.). About the year 3,000 BC people started to live in towns, where science began to grow. Many important inventions like writing, reading, counting, astronomy, medicine and chemistry began to develop. Man’s effort to survive and to improve his way of life made him invent new and better tools, get deeper knowledge and control of the forces of nature. As man’s knowledge grew people found it useful to classify it. It was separated into various branches, such as physics – the study of natural forces, biology – the study of living beings, chemistry – the study of materials.
THE MOST SIGNIFICIANT INVENTIONS
PAPER – before it was invented people wrote on e.g. clay, tablets, silk, palm leaves, later papyrus. Paper was invented in China in 105 AD. The first Chinese paper was made of silk, then hemp and the bark of mulberry trees. Today most paper is produced by the chemical treatment of wood pulp.
ELECTRICITY – we can not imagine our life without electricity; we use it for lighting, heating, radio, TV, etc. It all started in about 600 BC when the Greek philosopher Thales noticed that amber rubbed with wool attracts light objects (as feather, straw). It was started to use in 17th century. Electricity which is used as a form of energy is in fact electric current. It is produced in power stations by generators and comes into our houses via cables.
THE TELEPHONE – it enables us to communicate with others both in everyday life and in business. It dates back to 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell, physicist and inventor, developed his “speaking box “. Another important name in the field of communication is Gugliemo Marconi, an Italian electric engineer, who began radio experiments in 1894, and 4 years later he carried out the first international (England – France) wireless transmission.
CAR - this invention made transport faster and more comfortable and significantly shortened travel time. It was invented by two Germans, Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz (1885).
TELEVISION – is a relatively recent achievement, at least for the public, because it did not appear in people’s houses until the 1950s. But for experts television as a means of transmitting pictures has existed longer. The first television transmissions were made in England in 1926 by the Scotsman John Logie Baird.
LASER – it was discovered in 1961. It‘s a beam of light at the same frequency but with far great power. When the materials used are glass or crystal, this light is known as laser light. Laser is used in industry for cutting, drilling or welding very hard materials, in space navigation it is used for maintaining communication and measuring distances and it is also used in medicine in many kinds of operations – the most common medical use is in eye surgery.
COMPARISION BETWEEN LIFE IN THE PAST AND IN THE PRESENT
Science has been very fast growing and our understanding has much grown in comparison with the world hundred years ago.
In that time patients battle illness, while doctors can’t do more than counsel and comfort them and keep them clean. Now doctors treat and often cure patients with variety of medicines and medical technologies. Public sanitation has eliminated many of the lethal-diseases such as plague, dysentery, tuberculosis. Many cures have been found for infectious diseases, flu, diabetes, etc. Penicillin (an antibiotic that kills bacteria) was discovered by Alexander Fleming in 1928, insulin by F.Sanger in 1958. Quite a few people live longer owing to transplanted organs, such as heart, kidneys, lungs or liver.
The only way to view some significant event was only to be there. Today we have television, where the program can be instantaneously transmitted by satellites. The news will spread as well by radio, newspaper, and the World Wide Web.
At the beginning of the 20th century most people travelled on foot or by horse-drawn vehicles. Nowadays there is public transport in most towns, high-speed trains and supersonic planes to travel long distances and cars to get to work, to shops or to go for a weekend break.
Equipment of houses has changed completely. In the kitchen you can find microwave which is completely electronic or a washing machine which perfectly wash and dry used dishes for you. To other useful appliances in house belongs vacuum cleaner, fridge, razor, flat-iron…
These all science results led to make our life easier and safer. The evidence of this fact can be the rise of the life-expectancy. For example the life-expectancy in the USA in 1901 was 49 years, at the end of century it was 77 years. In India and China it was around 63 years.
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