This is a history of technology, of the transformation of the discoveries and inventions of pure science into the useful applications that make everybody's lives easier. In this book, the author recreates the sheer ingenuity which conquered the obstacles that time, space and motion placed before man, harnessing powers latent in water, steam, gas, oil, light, charged electrons, chemicals and wind.
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As technology transforms our lives at an ever-quickening rate, it is important not just to recognize the enormous range of tools and machines developed by mankind since the dawn of civilization but to grasp the underlying trends.
In a lucid survey from Antiquity to Space Age that helpfully explains mechanical technicalities for the layperson, Professor Donald Cardwell lays particular stress upon the manner in which, from the eighteenth century, the mechanical arts were revolutionized by the impact of new developments in physics and chemistry. The fruitful interplay of craft skills with science led to technology and the dream of a science of invention – and perhaps the nightmare of the 'technological fix'. In demonstrating the radical change in the very nature of machines with the coming of thermodynamics (steam-)power and electrical science (telecommunications), Cardwell underlines the crucial roles of social change (industrialization) and governments in stimulating and, later, financing new technologies. Above all, the present century has seen the unholy alliance of government and experts, scientists and engineers, create the nuclear bomb and the threat of Star Wars. The special quality of Cardwell's interpretation lies in his interpretation of the rise of modern technology in its mutually fruitful relationship with science and its response to deep social needs.
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Book Description Fontana, 1994. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0006861768