5 Valuable Tools For Scientific Research
While it’s true that scientists have made many discoveries and breakthroughs in the past – some of which are quite literally life-changing for humankind – it’s also true that they are now under a lot of pressure to discover a whole lot more. From discovering the cure to many diseases to ending problems such as global hunger, rampant pollution, and an impending water shortage, scientists from all over the world indeed have their work cut out for them.
Luckily for scientists, the same technological breakthroughs that they themselves have been bringing about have also given them some powerful tools to do their groundbreaking research. Here are some examples.
- The Microscope. Easily one of the first things that come to mind whenever we think of the occupation ‘scientist’, this particular tool allows people to observe and study microscopic specimens up close. Ever since its first iteration in the late 1500s, many improved versions of the microscope has come into existence, with some powerful enough that objects can be studied down to the molecular level. Some modern microscopes are also equipped with motorized microscope stages, wherein the microscope itself or the specimen tray is installed on a moving, motorized platform that would allow for finer and more automatic tuning/focusing of the microscope lens. This allows specimen examinations to become more efficient, especially when the researcher has to analyze multiple specimens en masse.
- The DNA Sequencer. While this particular tool sounds like something out of a science fiction novel or show, it is, in fact, already a fantastic reality. Without getting too technical, the DNA sequencer facilitates DNA sequencing, or the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. By deciphering this, scientists can discover many things about particular attributes of a biological specimen, from human beings to animals to even viruses and bacteria. Among its many applications include molecular biology and f
- The Spectrometer. A spectrometer is one of the lesser-known scientific research tools, though not necessarily less important. A spectrometer allows scientists to visually map out the spectrum of frequencies of sounds. The end result, called a spectrogram, will feature all the characteristics of that certain sound, mapping out each peak and dip in frequency for its entire duration. This particular technology contributes significantly in the study of signal creation, the detection of seismic activity, as well as helping the portion of the population with hearing issues/deafness, and more.
- The Thermometer. Another popular scientific research tool is the thermometer. It’s one of the few measuring tools that seems to have been perfected in its very first iteration – that being a simple bulb of glass filled with mercury that rises or falls with the ambient temperature. This not only allows us to see the temperature in real time but any object that the thermometer gets in contact with. Of course many advanced iterations have come out since then, with some sporting the ability to take temperatures from a distance as well as to display the range of temperatures over time.
- The Computer. No list of scientific tools can be complete without mentioning the computer. While a computer can be used in any other profession and industry, it has a unique role in science in how it assists not just in the electronic cataloging of data but also helping scientists compute and analyze their data. It can be made to run complicated simulations and programs that allow researchers to find links within their gathered data that they may have not seen before, or help them find the conclusion to experiments that they’ve been executing. Many computing devices are used off and on the field – from small, portable smartphones to huge room-filling supercomputers and databases.
Of course this is but a short list of all the tools, instruments, and gadgets that advance scientific research. However, common and rather simple these items may be, their value is undeniable in terms of the utility that they bring to the table.