From a scientist’s standpoint, enlightenment isn’t a disassociation from your world but rather a full understanding of it. This includes both knowing the physical sciences in our universe and how we apply them for our benefit, even if it is only temporary.
For example, everyone knows that the “internet” is what accelerated worldwide communication speeds at an exponential rate. When asked what physically makes up the internet connections between computers and servers, many will throw out the term Ethernet cables and others will talk briefly about 3G wireless. What many don’t see (or even know) is that the majority of internet communication is transmitted using highly-controlled laser pulses over fiber optic cables.
Furthermore, many are bewildered when they are told of the existence of submarine communication lines, a half-dozen of optical fibers (size comparable to hair thickness) coated in protective layers the diameter of your fist (or larger) to ensure that your data is safe from salt water corrosion, ocean floor earthquakes, and sharks.
Yes, sharks. If their teeth don’t fracture the thin glass-based optical fibers, the gouges can significantly decrease the cable’s durability and lifetime. [Did you Google it by now? Good. I know I did when I first heard about it!]
So how does one fabricate kilometers of pure optical fiber? How much precision is necessary? How are they coated for protection and in what order? What additional devices are embedded? How does it cope with its environment? What do the laser sources look like and how are they controlled? And since “money makes the world go round,” how is all of this made into an economically feasible technology?
When a scientist-at-heart ponders about his high-tech environment, she brings up and pursues to answer such questions similar to those listed above. And as a result, these habits assist in her though processes to make well-educated decisions in both her professional and personal life.
Pursuing science in my education wasn’t about “getting a job,” but a part of my journey in becoming closer to scientific enlightenment. I enjoyed my engineering courses and still pursue non-fiction literature as a hobby. But it’s another thing to spread this knowledge and even build a similar urge to understand in those around me. This blog will be another step in that direction.
Many of my future blogs will be about various technological advances in the world and why they are important. While historical facts (who and when) are important, major emphasis will be placed on the description (what), manufacturing (how), purpose (why), and applicability (where) of blogged scientific achievements.
Other topics of interest will also include:
- Underlying engineering processes and understanding
- Extrapolating current technological trends
- Brainstorming possible technologies
- Discussing public trends in science education
- Opinions on current tech events
- Demonstrate political and commercial struggles
- Scientific illustrations and comics