Electrical engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the study and application of electricity and electromagnetism. This field first became an identifiable occupation in the half of the 19th century after commercialization of the electric telegraph, the telephone, electric power distribution and use. Subsequently and recording media made electronics part of daily life; the invention of the transistor, the integrated circuit, brought down the cost of electronics to the point they can be used in any household object. Electrical engineering has now divided into a wide range of fields including electronics, digital computers, computer engineering, power engineering, telecommunications, control systems, radio-frequency engineering, signal processing and microelectronics. Many of these disciplines overlap with other engineering branches, spanning a huge number of specializations such as hardware engineering, power electronics and waves, microwave engineering, electrochemistry, renewable energies, electrical materials science, much more.
See glossary of electrical and electronics engineering. Electrical engineers hold a degree in electrical engineering or electronic engineering. Practising engineers may be members of a professional body; such bodies include the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Institution of Engineering and Technology. Electrical engineers work in a wide range of industries and the skills required are variable; these range from basic circuit theory to the management skills required of a project manager. The tools and equipment that an individual engineer may need are variable, ranging from a simple voltmeter to a top end analyzer to sophisticated design and manufacturing software. Electricity has been a subject of scientific interest since at least the early 17th century. William Gilbert was a prominent early electrical scientist, was the first to draw a clear distinction between magnetism and static electricity, he is credited with establishing the term "electricity". He designed the versorium: a device that detects the presence of statically charged objects.
In 1762 Swedish professor Johan Carl Wilcke invented a device named electrophorus that produced a static electric charge. By 1800 Alessandro Volta had developed the voltaic pile, a forerunner of the electric battery In the 19th century, research into the subject started to intensify. Notable developments in this century include the work of Hans Christian Ørsted who discovered in 1820 that an electric current produces a magnetic field that will deflect a compass needle, of William Sturgeon who, in 1825 invented the electromagnet, of Joseph Henry and Edward Davy who invented the electrical relay in 1835, of Georg Ohm, who in 1827 quantified the relationship between the electric current and potential difference in a conductor, of Michael Faraday, of James Clerk Maxwell, who in 1873 published a unified theory of electricity and magnetism in his treatise Electricity and Magnetism. In 1782 Georges-Louis Le Sage developed and presented in Berlin the world's first form of electric telegraphy, using 24 different wires, one for each letter of the alphabet.
This telegraph connected two rooms. It was an electrostatic telegraph. In 1795, Francisco Salva Campillo proposed an electrostatic telegraph system. Between 1803-1804, he worked on electrical telegraphy and in 1804, he presented his report at the Royal Academy of Natural Sciences and Arts of Barcelona. Salva’s electrolyte telegraph system was innovative though it was influenced by and based upon two new discoveries made in Europe in 1800 – Alessandro Volta’s electric battery for generating an electric current and William Nicholson and Anthony Carlyle’s electrolysis of water. Electrical telegraphy may be considered the first example of electrical engineering. Electrical engineering became a profession in the 19th century. Practitioners had created a global electric telegraph network and the first professional electrical engineering institutions were founded in the UK and USA to support the new discipline. Francis Ronalds created an electric telegraph system in 1816 and documented his vision of how the world could be transformed by electricity.
Over 50 years he joined the new Society of Telegraph Engineers where he was regarded by other members as the first of their cohort. By the end of the 19th century, the world had been forever changed by the rapid communication made possible by the engineering development of land-lines, submarine cables, from about 1890, wireless telegraphy. Practical applications and advances in such fields created an increasing need for standardised units of measure, they led to the international standardization of the units volt, coulomb, ohm and henry. This was achieved at an international conference in Chicago in 1893; the publication of these standards formed the basis of future advances in standardisation in various industries, in many countries, the definitions were recognized in relevant legislation. During these years, the study of electricity was considered to be a subfield of physics since the early electrical technology was considered electromechanical in nature; the Technische Universität Darmstadt founded the world's first department of electrical engineering in 1882.
The first electrical engineering degree program was started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the physics department
Jack St. Clair Kilby was an American electrical engineer who took part in the realization of the first integrated circuit while working at Texas Instruments in 1958, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on December 10, 2000. To congratulate him, American President Bill Clinton wrote, "You can take pride in the knowledge that your work will help to improve lives for generations to come."Kilby is the co-inventor of the handheld calculator and the thermal printer, for which he has the patents. He has patents for seven other inventions. Kilby was born in 1923 in Missouri to Hubert and Vina Freitag Kilby. Both parents had Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Illinois, but it was his father's job as a manager of a local power company that brought the family from Jefferson City to Kansas, where he went from manager to president of the utility. Kilby grew up and attended school in Great Bend, graduating from the Great Bend High School. Kilby received his bachelor of science degreee from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign, where he was an honorary member of Acacia Fraternity.
In 1947, he received a degree in electrical engineering. He earned his master of science in electrical engineering from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 1950, while working at Centralab, a division of Globe-Union corporation in Milwaukee. In mid-1958, Kilby, a newly employed engineer at Texas Instruments, did not yet have the right to a summer vacation, he spent the summer working on the problem in circuit design, called the "tyranny of numbers", he came to the conclusion that the manufacturing of circuit components en masse in a single piece of semiconductor material could provide a solution. On September 12, he presented his findings to company's management, he showed them a piece of germanium with an oscilloscope attached, pressed a switch, the oscilloscope showed a continuous sine wave, proving that his integrated circuit worked, hence he had solved the problem. U. S. Patent 3,138,743 for "Miniaturized Electronic Circuits", the first integrated circuit, was filed on February 6, 1959.
Along with Robert Noyce, Kilby is credited as co-inventor of the integrated circuit. Jack Kilby went on to pioneer military and commercial applications of microchip technology, he headed teams that created the first military system and the first computer incorporating integrated circuits. He invented the handheld calculator, he was responsible for the thermal printer, used in early portable data terminals. In 1970, he took a leave of absence from TI to work as an independent inventor, he explored, among other subjects, the use of silicon technology for generating electrical power from sunlight. From 1978 to 1984 he held the position of Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University. In 1983, Kilby retired from Texas Instruments, he died of cancer June 2005 at the age of 81, in Dallas, Texas. On December 14, 2005, Texas Instruments created the Historic TI Archives; the Jack Kilby family donated his personal manuscripts and his personal photograph collection to Southern Methodist University.
The collection will be cataloged and stored at DeGolyer Library, SMU. In 2008, the SMU School of Engineering, with the DeGolyer Library and the Library of Congress, hosted a year-long celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of the digital age with Kilby's Nobel Prize-winning invention of the integrated circuit. Symposia and exhibits examined the many ways in which technology and engineers shaped the modern world. Kilby held an honorary doctorate of science from SMU and was a longtime associate of SMU through the Kilby Foundation. Recognition of Kilby's outstanding achievements have been made by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, including the election to IEEE Fellow in 1966, the IEEE David Sarnoff Award in 1966, co-recipient of the first IEEE Cledo Brunetti Award in 1978, the IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984 and the IEEE Medal of Honor in 1986, he was co-recipient of the Franklin Institute’s Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1966. In 1982 and 1989, he received the Holley Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
He was elected to member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1967, received the Academy's Vladimir K. Zworykin Award in 1975, was co-recipient of the first NAE's Charles Stark Draper Prize in 1989; the Kilby Award Foundation was founded in 1980 in his honor, the IEEE Jack S. Kilby Signal Processing Medal was created in 1995. Kilby is the recipient of the nation's most prestigious honors in science and engineering: the National Medal of Science in 1969, the National Medal of Technology in 1990. In 1982, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1993, he was awarded the Kyoto Prize by the Inamori Foundation, he was awarded both the Washington Award, administered by the Western Society of Engineers and the Eta Kappa Nu Vladimir Karapetoff Award in 1999. In 2000, Kilby was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for his breakthrough discovery, delivered his personal view of the industry and its history in his acceptance speech. Kilby was awarded nine honorary doctorate degrees from universities including Southern Methodist University, the University of Miami, University of Illinois, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Texas A&M University and Rochester Institute of Technology.
The National Chiao Tung University (
Silicon is a chemical element with symbol Si and atomic number 14. It is a brittle crystalline solid with a blue-grey metallic lustre, it is a member of group 14 in the periodic table: carbon is above it. It is unreactive; because of its high chemical affinity for oxygen, it was not until 1823 that Jöns Jakob Berzelius was first able to prepare it and characterize it in pure form. Its melting and boiling points of 1414 °C and 3265 °C are the second-highest among all the metalloids and nonmetals, being only surpassed by boron. Silicon is the eighth most common element in the universe by mass, but rarely occurs as the pure element in the Earth's crust, it is most distributed in dusts, sands and planets as various forms of silicon dioxide or silicates. More than 90% of the Earth's crust is composed of silicate minerals, making silicon the second most abundant element in the Earth's crust after oxygen. Most silicon is used commercially without being separated, with little processing of the natural minerals.
Such use includes industrial construction with clays, silica sand, stone. Silicates are used in Portland cement for mortar and stucco, mixed with silica sand and gravel to make concrete for walkways and roads, they are used in whiteware ceramics such as porcelain, in traditional quartz-based soda-lime glass and many other specialty glasses. Silicon compounds such as silicon carbide are used as abrasives and components of high-strength ceramics. Silicon is the basis of the used synthetic polymers called silicones. Elemental silicon has a large impact on the modern world economy. Most free silicon is used in the steel refining, aluminium-casting, fine chemical industries. More visibly, the small portion of highly purified elemental silicon used in semiconductor electronics is essential to integrated circuits – most computers, cell phones, modern technology depend on it. Silicon is an essential element in biology. However, various sea sponges and microorganisms, such as diatoms and radiolaria, secrete skeletal structures made of silica.
Silica is deposited in many plant tissues. In 1787 Antoine Lavoisier suspected that silica might be an oxide of a fundamental chemical element, but the chemical affinity of silicon for oxygen is high enough that he had no means to reduce the oxide and isolate the element. After an attempt to isolate silicon in 1808, Sir Humphry Davy proposed the name "silicium" for silicon, from the Latin silex, silicis for flint, adding the "-ium" ending because he believed it to be a metal. Most other languages use transliterated forms of Davy's name, sometimes adapted to local phonology. A few others use instead a calque of the Latin root. Gay-Lussac and Thénard are thought to have prepared impure amorphous silicon in 1811, through the heating of isolated potassium metal with silicon tetrafluoride, but they did not purify and characterize the product, nor identify it as a new element. Silicon was given its present name in 1817 by Scottish chemist Thomas Thomson, he retained part of Davy's name but added "-on" because he believed that silicon was a nonmetal similar to boron and carbon.
In 1823, Jöns Jacob Berzelius prepared amorphous silicon using the same method as Gay-Lussac, but purifying the product to a brown powder by washing it. As a result, he is given credit for the element's discovery; the same year, Berzelius became the first to prepare silicon tetrachloride. Silicon in its more common crystalline form was not prepared until 31 years by Deville. By electrolyzing a mixture of sodium chloride and aluminium chloride containing 10% silicon, he was able to obtain a impure allotrope of silicon in 1854. More cost-effective methods have been developed to isolate several allotrope forms, the most recent being silicene in 2010. Meanwhile, research on the chemistry of silicon continued; the first organosilicon compound, was synthesised by Charles Friedel and James Crafts in 1863, but detailed characterisation of organosilicon chemistry was only done in the early 20th century by Frederic Kipping. Starting in the 1920s, the work of William Lawrence Bragg on X-ray crystallography elucidated the compositions of the silicates, known from analytical chemistry but had not yet been understood, together with Linus Pauling's development of crystal chemistry and Victor Goldschmidt's development of geochemistry.
The middle of the 20th century saw the development of the chemistry and industrial use of siloxanes and the growing use of silicone polymers and resins. In the late 20th century, the complexity of the crystal chemistry of silicides was mapped, along with the solid-state chemistry of doped semiconductors; because silicon is an important element in high-technology semiconductor devi
Varian Associates was one of the first high-tech companies in Silicon Valley. It was founded in 1948 by Russell H. and Sigurd F. Varian, William Webster Hansen, Edward Ginzton to sell the klystron, the first vacuum tube which could amplify electromagnetic waves at microwave frequencies, other electromagnetic equipment. Varian Associates split into three companies in 1999: Varian Medical Systems, Inc. and Varian Semiconductor. On April 20, 1948, the Articles of Incorporation were filed, signed by nine directors: Edward Ginzton, who had worked with the Varian brothers since his days as a doctoral student. Schiff head of the physics department at Stanford University. Hunter; the company began with six full-time employees: the Varian brothers, Myrl Stearns, Fred Salisbury, Don Snow. Technical and business assistance came from several members of the faculty at Stanford University, including Edward Ginzton, Marvin Chodorow, William Hansen, Leonard Schiff; the company's legal counsel was Dick Leonard, a San Francisco attorney, Paul Hunter, a patent attorney, handled matters related to patents and intellectual property rights.
Francis Farquhar, an accountant and friend of Russell's from the Sierra Club became a director, as did Frederick Terman, Dean of Engineering at Stanford, David Packard, of Hewlett-Packard. Russell served as a board member until his death. Following the deaths of both Varian brothers, Ginzton became the CEO of the company. Under Thomas D. Sege, the company's chief executive officer from 1981 to 1990, sales grew to exceed $1 billion per annum. In 1990, J. Tracy O'Rourke replaced Sege as CEO and was made chairman of the board, they created the company to commercialize the klystron and develop other technologies, such as small linear accelerators to generate photons for external beam radiation therapy. They were interested in nuclear magnetic resonance technology. One of Varian Associates' major contracts in the 1950s was to create a fuse for the atomic bomb; the Varian brothers had been supportive of military applications for the klystron and other technologies, on the grounds that they were defensive weapons.
This contract was different. Although politically progressive to the point of having socialist leanings, the Varians were patriotic at heart and had no sympathy for the Marxist model of socialism practiced by the Soviet Union, they needed military contracts to survive and relished the technical challenges of this sort of work. As early as 1958 Russell and Sigurd expressed regret for their involvement in the development of weapons of mass destruction. Most of the founders of Varian Associates, had progressive political leanings, the company "pioneered profit-sharing, stock-ownership and retirement plans for employees long before these benefits became mandatory". Nearly 50 years in 1997 the company was recognized by Industry Week as one of the best-managed companies in America. Among their early employees was bookkeeper Clara Jobs, mother of Steve Jobs; the company was headquartered in San Carlos and started with only $22,000 in funding. It had problems raising additional capital due to Russell's insistence that the company be owned by its employees and his related refusal to accept outside investors.
Hansen mortgaged his home for $17,000 to raise additional cash, the group sought additional funds from friends. The company raised $120,000 of capital via an offer of stock to all employees, consultants, a few sympathetic local investors who shared the company's goals. Military contracts for technology deemed necessary during the Cold War, including some classified projects helped the firm succeed. In 1953, Varian Associates moved its headquarters to Palo Alto, California, at Stanford Industrial Park – noted as the "spawning ground of Silicon Valley" – and was the first firm to occupy a site there. On April 2, 1999, the company spun off its Gloucester, Massachusetts ion-implantation equipment business into Varian Semiconductor Equipment Associates and its Palo Alto-based scientific instrument business into Varian, Inc; the medical equipment business, which included manufacturing x-ray tubes in Salt Lake City, renamed itself Varian Medical Systems, Inc. and remained headquartered in Palo Alto.
After the breakup, O'Rourke served as Varian Semiconductor's chairman. Varian, Inc. was acquired by Agilent Technologies in May, 2010. On Jan 30th 2017, Varian Medical Systems, Inc. spun off its X-Ray & Imaging Components business located in Salt Lake City, Utah to form VAREX Imaging Corporation, a publicly listed company. The remaining part of medical equipment business, which consists of oncology radiation business and proton therapy business remain with Varian Medical Systems, Inc. Headquarters remains in the Stanford Research Palo Alto, California. In 1998, the Congressional Record noted the 50th anniversary of the founding of Varian Associates, which employed 7,000 people at 100 plants in nine countries, it had branched out into health care systems, analytical equipment and semiconductor manufacturing equipment. California Representative Anna Eshoo stated that the company had been awarded over 10,000 patents and was a "jewel in the crown of... Silicon Valley". Russell and Sigurd Varian Continental Electronics, a subsidiary from 1985 to 1990 Communications & Power Industries, a 1995 spin-o
National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences is a United States nonprofit, non-governmental organization. NAS is part of the National Academies of Sciences and Medicine, along with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine; as a national academy, new members of the organization are elected annually by current members, based on their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Election to the National Academy is one of the highest honors in the scientific field. Members serve pro bono as "advisers to the nation" on science and medicine; the group holds a congressional charter under Title 36 of the United States Code. Founded in 1863 as a result of an Act of Congress, approved by Abraham Lincoln, the NAS is charged with "providing independent, objective advice to the nation on matters related to science and technology. … to provide scientific advice to the government'whenever called upon' by any government department. The Academy receives no compensation from the government for its services."
As of 2016, the National Academy of Sciences includes about 2,350 members and 450 foreign associates. It employed about 1,100 staff in 2005; the current members annually elect new members for life. Up to 84 members who are US citizens are elected every year. 190 members have won a Nobel Prize. By its own admission in 1989, the addition of women to the Academy "continues at a dismal trickle", at which time there were 1,516 male members and 57 female members; the National Academy of Sciences is a member of the International Council for Science. The ICSU Advisory Committee, in the Research Council's Office of International Affairs, facilitates participation of members in international scientific unions and serves as a liaison for U. S. national committees for individual scientific unions. Although there is no formal relationship with state and local academies of science, there is informal dialogue; the National Academy is governed by a 17-member Council, made up of five officers and 12 Councilors, all of whom are elected from among the Academy membership.
About 85 percent of funding comes from the federal government through contracts and grants from agencies and 15 percent from state governments, private foundations, industrial organizations, funds provided by the Academies member organizations. The Council has the ability ad-hoc to delegate certain tasks to committees. For example, the Committee on Animal Nutrition has produced a series of Nutrient requirements of domestic animals reports since at least 1944, each one being initiated by a different sub-committee of experts in the field for example on dairy cattle; the National Academy of Sciences meets annually in Washington, D. C., documented in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, its scholarly journal. The National Academies Press is the publisher for the National Academies, makes more than 5,000 publications available on its website. From 2004 to 2017, the National Academy of Sciences administered the Marian Koshland Science Museum to provide public exhibits and programming related to its policy work.
The museum's exhibits focused on infectious disease. In 2017 the museum closed and made way for a new science outreach program called LabX; the National Academy of Sciences maintains multiple buildings around the United States. The National Academy of Sciences Building is located at 2101 Constitution Avenue, in northwest Washington, D. C.. S. State Department; the building has a neoclassical architectural style and was built by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Goodhue engaged a team of artists and architectural sculptors including Albert Herter, Lee Lawrie, Hildreth Meiere to design interior embellishments celebrating the history and significance of science; the building is used for lectures, symposia and concerts, in addition to annual meetings of the NAS, NAE, NAM. The 2012 Presidential Award for Math and Science Teaching ceremony was held here on March 5, 2014. 150 staff members work at the NAS Building. In June 2012, it reopened to visitors after a major two-year restoration project which restored and improved the building's historic spaces, increased accessibility, brought the building's aging infrastructure and facilities up to date.
More than 1,000 National Academies staff members work at The Keck Center of the National Academies at 500 Fifth Street in northwest Washington, D. C; the Keck Center houses the National Academies Press Bookstore. The Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences – located at 525 E St. N. W. – hosted visits from the public, school field trips, traveling exhibits, permanent science exhibits. The NAS maintains conference centers in California and Massachusetts; the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center is located on 100 Academy Drive in Irvine, near the campus of the University of California, Irvine. The J. Erik Jonsson Conference Center located at 314 Quissett Avenue in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, is another conference facility; the Act of Incorporation, signed by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1863, created the National Academy of Sciences and named 50 charter members. Many of the original NAS members came from the so-called "Scientific Lazzaroni," an informal network of phy
Marie Skłodowska Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences, she was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris, she was born in Warsaw, in what was the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw's clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work, she shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, the discovery of two elements and radium. Under her direction, the world's first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes, she founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals. While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska Curie, who used both surnames, never lost her sense of Polish identity, she took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element. Marie Curie died in 1934, aged 66, at a sanatorium in Sancellemoz, France, of aplastic anemia from exposure to radiation in the course of her scientific research and in the course of her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I. Maria Skłodowska was born in Warsaw, in Congress Poland in the Russian Empire, on 7 November 1867, the fifth and youngest child of well-known teachers Bronisława, née Boguska, Władysław Skłodowski.
The elder siblings of Maria were Józef, Bronisława and Helena. On both the paternal and maternal sides, the family had lost their property and fortunes through patriotic involvements in Polish national uprisings aimed at restoring Poland's independence; this condemned the subsequent generation, including Maria and her elder siblings, to a difficult struggle to get ahead in life. Maria's paternal grandfather, Józef Skłodowski, had been a respected teacher in Lublin, where he taught the young Bolesław Prus, who would become a leading figure in Polish literature. Władysław Skłodowski taught mathematics and physics, subjects that Maria was to pursue, was director of two Warsaw gymnasia for boys. After Russian authorities eliminated laboratory instruction from the Polish schools, he brought much of the laboratory equipment home, instructed his children in its use, he was fired by his Russian supervisors for pro-Polish sentiments, forced to take lower-paying posts. Maria's mother Bronisława operated a prestigious Warsaw boarding school for girls.
She died of tuberculosis in May 1878. Less than three years earlier, Maria's oldest sibling, had died of typhus contracted from a boarder. Maria's father was an atheist; the deaths of Maria's mother and sister caused her to become agnostic. When she was ten years old, Maria began attending the boarding school of J. Sikorska. After a collapse due to depression, she spent the following year in the countryside with relatives of her father, the next year with her father in Warsaw, where she did some tutoring. Unable to enroll in a regular institution of higher education because she was a woman and her sister Bronisława became involved with the clandestine Flying University, a Polish patriotic institution of higher learning that admitted women students. Maria made an agreement with her sister, Bronisława, that she would give her financial assistance during Bronisława's medical studies in Paris, in exchange for similar assistance two years later. In connection with this, Maria took a position as governess: first as a home tutor in Warsaw.
While working for the latter family, she fell in love with their son, Kazimierz Żorawski, a future eminent mathematician. His parents rejected the idea of his marrying the penniless relative, Kazimierz was unable to oppose them. Maria's loss of the relationship with Żorawski was tragic for both, he soon earned a doctorate and pursued an academic career as a mathematician, becoming a professor and rector of Kraków University. Still, as an old man and a mathematics professor at the Warsaw Polytechnic, he would sit contemplatively before the statue of Maria Skłodowska, erected in 1935 before the Radium Institute that she had founded in 1932. At the beginning of 1890, Bronisława—
Technology is the collection of techniques, skills and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings. Systems applying technology by taking an input, changing it according to the system's use, producing an outcome are referred to as technology systems or technological systems; the simplest form of technology is the use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, including the printing press, the telephone, the Internet, have lessened physical barriers to communication and allowed humans to interact on a global scale. Technology has many effects, it has allowed the rise of a leisure class.
Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions in the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, the challenges of bioethics. Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; the use of the term "technology" has changed over the last 200 years. Before the 20th century, the term was uncommon in English, it was used either to refer to the description or study of the useful arts or to allude to technical education, as in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the term "technology" rose to prominence in the 20th century in connection with the Second Industrial Revolution.
The term's meanings changed in the early 20th century when American social scientists, beginning with Thorstein Veblen, translated ideas from the German concept of Technik into "technology." In German and other European languages, a distinction exists between technik and technologie, absent in English, which translates both terms as "technology." By the 1930s, "technology" referred not only to the study of the industrial arts but to the industrial arts themselves. In 1937, the American sociologist Read Bain wrote that "technology includes all tools, utensils, instruments, clothing and transporting devices and the skills by which we produce and use them." Bain's definition remains common among scholars today social scientists. Scientists and engineers prefer to define technology as applied science, rather than as the things that people make and use. More scholars have borrowed from European philosophers of "technique" to extend the meaning of technology to various forms of instrumental reason, as in Foucault's work on technologies of the self.
Dictionaries and scholars have offered a variety of definitions. The Merriam-Webster Learner's Dictionary offers a definition of the term: "the use of science in industry, etc. to invent useful things or to solve problems" and "a machine, piece of equipment, etc., created by technology." Ursula Franklin, in her 1989 "Real World of Technology" lecture, gave another definition of the concept. The term is used to imply a specific field of technology, or to refer to high technology or just consumer electronics, rather than technology as a whole. Bernard Stiegler, in Technics and Time, 1, defines technology in two ways: as "the pursuit of life by means other than life," and as "organized inorganic matter."Technology can be most broadly defined as the entities, both material and immaterial, created by the application of mental and physical effort in order to achieve some value. In this usage, technology refers to tools and machines that may be used to solve real-world problems, it is a far-reaching term that may include simple tools, such as a crowbar or wooden spoon, or more complex machines, such as a space station or particle accelerator.
Tools and machines need not be material. W. Brian Arthur defines technology in a broad way as "a means to fulfill a human purpose."The word "technology" can be used to refer to a collection of techniques. In this context, it is the current state of humanity's knowledge of how to combine resources to produce desired products, to solve problems, fulfill needs, or satisfy wants; when combined with another term, such as "medical technology" or "space technology," it refers to the state of the respective field's knowledge and tools. "State-of-the-art technology" refers to the high technology available to humanity in any field. Technology can be viewed as an activity that changes culture. Additionally, technology is the application of math, science, an