Take a look around. No really…… I’ll wait while you do. What do you notice? Well, I notice technology that wasn’t invented yet when I was a child. In fact technology is everywhere and it is growing exponentially. Don’t believe me? Reach into your pocket and pull out your phone. Again I’ll wait….. Oh that’s right. You have more than just a phone in your pocket. You have a sophisticated, high-powered super computer in your pocket! Technology is benefiting everyone globally on a micro and macro scale respectively.
What is more important? Having a nice paint job on your car or detecting cancer? That seems like an easy answer, but you would be surprised how much people love their cars these days! Why am I comparing something so materialistic to something so dire? Well, like I mentioned earlier, because of current trends in the development of new technologies.
Recently a father-son team in Pennsylvania developed a sophisticated tool that can measure, “whether the layer of overcoat meant to protect the paint on a car was sprayed properly. (Joel, 2014)” When I first read that it did little to excite me, but according the father-son duo this same tool can also “analyze archaeological artifacts and perhaps detect skin cancer.” This tool is also useful for manufacturing defect-free microchips. (Joel, 2014)”
Anytime a cancer-fighting tool is introduced to the public with the prospect of saving potentially millions of lives everyone should take notice. While I won’t attempt to describe how this tool works with complicated jargon such as terahertz frequency radiation and reflectometers, I would like to focus on the importance of precision measurement and how it plays such a pivotal role in evolving technologies.
Manufacturing drives the development of new technologies. Ideas are great, however manufacturing them to exact and precise specifications make these products useful for real people like you and I.
Want to blow your mind? Do a little research on microchips. These things keep getting smaller and increasingly powerful. Hence the term “micro”. These powerful little microchips don’t manufacture themselves. A very precise measurement tool played a major role in their development. Have a smart phone you don’t use anymore? Open it up and look and the complicated splendor of microchips that allows us to check our email or share with the Facebook world what we ate for dinner. Yes indeed…the power of microchips!
So whether your car needs a nice even coat of paint or you need to manufacture microchips for the next exciting tech gadget, precise measurement plays a big role. More importantly, using technology for the most vital reasons, such as cancer detection will only help us all enjoy our own lives as well as the lives of the people we care about a little longer.
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