Monthly Archives: August 2014

Why Engineering Makes Scientific Breakthroughs Possible

engineering and science

Why Engineering Makes Scientific Breakthroughs Possible

Michael Faraday image

Michael Faraday

There was a time when science and engineering were almost inseparable from each other. Scientists generally created tools for the job themselves and often the experiment itself was centred on the testing of some new piece of home built equipment such as a battery or telescope. Even in those early days, engineering presented itself as an indispensable aid to scientific progress. Galileo might have ground his own lenses in order to better view the heavens, but it was spectacle maker Hans Lipperhey who gave him the know-how to do so.

However, the increasingly specialised world of science soon lead to a parting of the ways between experimentation, and the tools used to complete it; whilst Faraday conjectured on the possible uses of what was to become known as a Faraday cage, it was local metal workers that built it for him.

 

Engineering Expertise Aids Science

Since engineering is at its heart a different discipline to even the more closely related scientific fields such as Physics, such divergence was in hindsight inevitable. Design after all has to be something both tangible and rational. Engineering requires precision, where length, width, tensile strength and so on all need to be calibrated. Yet such rigidity does not lend itself well to more esoteric concepts such as dark matter or Quantum mechanics.

Engineering then, is the art of creating a device to test a theory where science is the art of creating a theory that then requires testing. As science progressed into the 20th century, the theories and the devices required to test them became ever more complex. The creator of a powerful microscope for example might be wholly ignorant of the inner workings of the very cells it is designed to observe. Yet ignorance of biology creates no more of a barrier to the creation of a precision instrument than ignorance of the art of lens making creates a barrier to the understanding of the cell.

Large Hadron Collider

The Large Hadron Collider

Since science too has become increasingly specialised, expertise in broad fields has narrowed. Whilst the notion of Polymaths such as Benjamin Franklin has not exactly died, it has become somewhat moribund. The technical expertise required to piece together the Large Hadron Collider prohibits training in other fields. Quantum physicists spend a life time developing theories and have little time left to devote to the inner workings of machines built to turn their ideas into hard reality.

This is a very good thing; recent strides in science and medicine would have been far more sluggish had they relied on the skills of scientists alone. Medical science in particular has made some impressive strides in recent years, but the thought of doctors spending more time building CAT scans than they do using them to heal their patients is somewhat chilling. It’s not just the large ‘big ticket’ items that scientists require to get things done. At Laboratory Precision we provide a quality range of equipment that allows scientists to do what they do best, science!

 

It’s Not Just Huge Scientific Experiments…

Glass Vials for laboratoriesThe humble glass vial might seem like the least of a scientist’s needs, but without them little could be done. We build them in many different styles from injection vials to specimen tubes, and even the word glass is misleading. Scientific vials need to be designed for various levels of robustness; ever wondered why acid doesn’t leak through the bottles it’s stored in? That’s because we can make products out of specialist materials like Boroscilicate or De-alkalised Soda-Lime glass; bespoke products that offer specific advantages and unique applications.

Lab scales

Adam Equipment Laboratory Balances

We stock perfume atomisers and crimp-less spray pumps, laboratory balances and mass measuring equipment that produce levels of accuracy that are absolutely essential to all manner of research projects. We’ve over 40 years experience in making them so you’ll be guaranteed that they will be durable, reliable and excellent value for money.

Durability is certainly important. Scientific experiments can sometimes go on for years, so scientists need to know that the equipment they are using is in top condition. We build all our equipment to survive in some of the most sterile conditions in the world and they see daily use in laboratories world wide. Since we get incredibly low fail rates we know that our equipment is performing to an extremely high standard. We only stock equipment from top manufacturers such as Adam Equipment, Jun-Air and Bambi.