Physics, Technology and Society
Table of Content
- Introduction to Physics, Technology and Society
- How Physics, Technology, and Society are related?
- Physics and Energy Resources
- Scientists and Contributions
Technology has been reshaping itself from time and time. The functioning of the world is entirely different from the way it used to be. Advancements in science have played a great role in inventions of new technologies. For Example: Mobiles; they revolutionized from the keypad to touch screens with the help of new chipsets and networking technologies. Developers and scientists are now looking forward to turn smartphones into flexible and foldable. This is how technologies grow from one form to another to make human life more comfortable and economical.
To improve technology we understand the needs of society and figure out how principles of physics can help us in achieving our objectives.
Example: Earlier people thought that energy can’t be obtained by atoms. But ironically we do produce nuclear energy from atoms to meet the energy-related needs of the society.
All inventions from the iron pin to gigantic space ships, everything is the product of physics concept and critical thinking. This makes understanding of physics more compulsory for the development of the society.
- Thermodynamics- branch of science which deals with energy and matter, came into existence when people felt the need to understand and improve the efficiency of engines. Study of thermodynamics helped in inventions like vehicles, new engines, refrigerators, blowers etc.
- The invention of steam engine is responsible for the Industrial Revolution in England and had affected human civilizations
- Existing physics help in framing new technology and sometimes discover new physics concepts. For example, the wireless technology is framed through concepts of current, electricity and magnetism given in the 18th century
- The silicon chip is credit worthy for computer revolution for the last three decades. This was possible with the advancement of semiconductors and basic electronics, which are sub-branches of Physics
The applications of physics in real life become tough when certain experimental conditions are not maintained during the experiment. Earlier great physicist Ernest Rutherford failed to extract energy from atoms, but later on, in the year 1938, two physicists Hahn and Meitner attained a process through which neutron of Uranium atom can be induced with its fission. This induced-neutron phenomenon is used in nuclear plants to produce nuclear energy and supply nuclear weapons.
Alternate energy resource saving is the area where physics contributes the most. Alternate energy resource saving involves proper utilization of resources. Proper utilization of resources is done through several agendas and programs like Sustainable Development, Recycling etc.
Example: Fossil fuels are tapering off and there is an urgent need to find efficient and affordable sources of energy. Much of the problem is solved with energy conversion forms devised from physics laws, as now we know how to convert geothermal or solar energy to electricity.
Many scientists have been working hard to unlock secrets of nature and use them in favor of human beings. The world we see today is entirely different from what it was decades and centuries ago. This change has come through inventions, ideas, and discoveries. Below is a table remarking the scientists and their contributions in the field of physics.
Victor Francis Hess
Exclusion principle of electrons
Quantum model and Bohr Theory
Louis Victor de Broglie
Wave nature of matter
Quantum Mechanics and Uncertainty Principle
Generation of Electromagnetic waves
Photoelectric effect and theory of relativity
Concept of buoyancy and lever
Explained light in form of wave
Short Radio waves
Inelastic scattering of light by molecules
Homi Jahangir Bhabha
Cascade process of cosmic radiation
Evolution and structure of stars, Chandrasekhar limit
Law of inertia
Controlled nuclear fission
Theory of nuclear forces
Nuclear model of atom
Unification of weak and electromagnetic interactions
Radioactivity and discovered new elements like radium and polonium
Law of gravitation, Laws of Motion, Telescope
Laws of electromagnetic induction
James Clark Maxwell
Electromagnetism and explanation of light being an electromagnetic wave
Quantum Statistic, Relativistic theory of electron
Measurement of electronic discharge
Ernest Orlando Lawrence
Physics help in better understanding of the world. The contributions of scientists have been remarkable in Physics and it is because of their principles and concepts, we are living a comfortable lifestyle with sufficient utilization of resources. Scientists not only frame existing natural laws but also propose a change to the existing ones to ensure sustainable use of every resource and benefit of mankind.
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