Download The Triumph of Technology: The BBC Reith Lectures 2005 by Alec Broers PDF

By Alec Broers

The Triumph of expertise is taken from Lord Alec Broers 2005 BBC Reith Lectures at the function and value of know-how in our lives. The lectures speak about the best way know-how has formed lifestyles because the beginnings of civilization, explaining how we owe to technologists such a lot of what drives our global this day, how applied sciences improve, and the buzz of the trendy inventive approach. There are a few who think that technology's destiny improvement could be managed, and that it may possibly have already got long past too a ways, specially in components comparable to using power - anything which has the capability to completely damage our surroundings. Alec Broers argues that even if we have to comprehend such hazards, and use expertise correctly, it could actually increase our lives - that we needs to glance to know-how to resolve a number of the difficulties that threaten our planet. integrated listed here are the whole lectures plus a brand new advent and end.

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This primitive electron tube was adapted a few years later by John Fleming and used as a ‘detector’ for weak electromagnetic signals in the earliest experiments in long-range radio transmission, that had been pioneered by Marconi. Fleming’s diode was complemented by the triode of De Forest. The electron current in De Forest’s triode flowed through a third electrode, called the grid, and a small signal applied to the grid produced a large change in the current and therefore the signal at the anode.

No one could have foreseen that lasers would be used to transmit the majority of the world’s telephone and television signals, or to record and play back sound and vision using plastic disks, let alone the plethora of other applications that now benefit everyone. These were subsequent accomplishments of technologists. Telephone and television, and indeed all forms of electronic communications, are now carried around . 29 . t h e t r i u m ph o f t e c h n o l o g y the world by beams of light that are channelled down glass fibres.

Standard cars would carry GPS-based navigational systems and these would not only tell people where they were, but, just as importantly perhaps, the location of the nearest Indian restaurant. But stop to wonder a moment about this technology. A GPS receiver contains up to a dozen individual receivers, each of which automatically searches the frequency spectrum to find the tiny synchronised signals from the satellites. The receiver’s computer . 33 . t h e t r i u m ph o f t e c h n o l o g y knows the exact position of each satellite, and from the time delay between the signals it calculates its own position in three dimensions to an accuracy of a few metres.

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