IV. Science and Technology  

IV. Science and Technology

Science and Technology

In recent years, scientific and technological developments have drastically changed life on our planet as well as our views both of ourselves as individuals in society and of the Universe as a whole.

Today, science and technology are closely related. Many modern technologies such as nuclear power and space flights depend on science and the application of scientific knowledge and principles. Each advance in pure science creates new opportunities for the development of new ways of making things to be used in daily life. In turn, technology provides science with new and more accurate instruments for its investigation and research.

Technology refers to the ways in which people use discoveries to satisfy needs and desires, to alter the environment, to improve their lives. Throughout human history, men and women have invented tools, machines, materials and techniques to make their lives easier.

Of course, when we speak of technology today, we are looking at it in a much narrower sense. Generally, we mean industrial technology, or the technology that began about 200 years ago with the development of power-driven machines, growth of the factory system, and mass production of goods that has created the basis for our modern society. Today we often say that we live in an age of science and technology. According to one estimate, 90 % of all the scientists who ever lived, were alive and active in the 1970-s. This increased scientific activity has brought new ideas, processes, and inventions in ever-growing amount.

The scientific revolution that began in the 16th century was the first time that science and technology began to work together. Thus, Galileo, who made revolutionary discoveries in astronomy and physics, also built an improved telescope and patented a system of lifting water. However, it was not until the 19th century that technology truly was based on science and inventors began to build on the work of scientists. For example, Thomas Edison built on the early experiments of Faraday and Henry in his invention of the first practical system of electrical lighting. So too, Edison carried on his investigations until he found the carbon filament for the electric bulb in a research laboratory. This was the first true modern technological research.

In a sense, the history of science and technology is the history of all humankind.

Topical Vocabulary

science and technology - наука и техника

technology – техника, технология

scientific and technological developments - достижения науки и техники

to change life drastically - резко изменить жизнь

a view of smb., smth. – взгляд на кого-либо, что-либо

the Universe - Вселенная

to be closely related – быть тесно связанным

nuclear power – атомная энергия

a space flight – космический полет

application of scientific knowledge and principles - применение научных знаний и принципов

an advance in pure science - прогресс в чистой науке

to create new opportunities for smth. – создавать новые возможности для чего-либо

an instrument for investigation and research – инструмент исследований

to satisfy needs and desires – для удовлетворения нужд и потребностей

to alter the environment - изменить окружающую среду

to improve one's life - улучшить чью-либо жизнь

throughout human history – на всем протяжении истории человечества

to invent tools, machines, materials and techniques – изобретать инструменты, машины, материалы, технологии

to make one's life easier – облегчить чью-либо жизнь

to look at smth. in a much narrower sense - посмотреть на что-либо в значительно узком смысле

industrial technology - промышленная технология

development of power-driven machines - развитие паровых машин

growth of the factory system - рост фабричной системы

mass production of goods - массовое производство товаров

to create the basis for smth. – создать основу для чего-либо

an age of science and technology - век науки и техники

according to one estimate - по одной оценке

increased scientific activity – возросшая научная активность

an invention - изобретение

the scientific revolution – научная революция

to make a revolutionary discovery in smth. – сделать революционное открытие в какой-либо области

astronomy - астрономия

physics - физика

to patent smth. – запатентовать изобретение

to be based on science - основываться на науке

an inventor - изобретатель

to build on the work of scientists - основываться на научных работах

early experiments - более ранние эксперименты

electrical lighting - электрическое освещение

to carry on an investigation - проводить исследование

an electric bulb - электрическая лампочка

a research laboratory - исследовательская лаборатория

modern technological research – современное научно-техническое исследование

Answer the questions:

1. What role has scientific and technological development played in man's life?

2. What proves that science and technology are closely related today?

3. What does the term «technology» refer to?

4. What does the term «industrial technology» mean?

5. How is scientific activity in the 1970-ies estimated?

6. What facts prove that the scientific revolution of the 16th century was the first time that science and technology began to work together?

7.What was the first true modern technological research?

8. How can the history of humankind be described?

Space Exploration

Exploration of outer space in the 20th century has produced discoveries and inventions that will forever change the way people live, learn and interact.

The dream of space travel is as old as history but in the 20th century the dream became reality with astonishing swiftness. As you recall, the first airplane flight occurred in 1903 and in 1926 the first liquid-fuelled rocket was launched that traveled 200 feet.

After World War II, the superpower opposition between the USA and the Soviet Union stimulated rocket research and development. Both nations realized that large rockets can be used to attack an enemy from thousands of miles away and that satellites put into orbit around the Earth by rockets could transmit messages.

The Soviet launch of sputnik, the first man-made object to overcome gravity, began the space age. The Soviet Union soon achieved many other firsts. In 1961, the Soviet Union put the first man, Yuri Gagarin, into space. The first long space flights, a woman in space and space walk were all Soviet achievements. The Soviet Union still retains its leadership in the peaceful application of space exploration. In its Salyut 6, it investigated such vital matters as the causes of cancer, since cells are studied in gravity-free space. The construction of metals that can resist gravity has resulted in tools of incredible hardness; improved seeds have been developed in Salyut.

In the early 1960s the United States organized the Apollo space program. This research program concentrated on landing a man on the moon. Two Americans, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrim, walked on the lunar surface in July 1961.

Since the first moon landing, many nations have developed programs of space exploration. A network of communication satellites made world-wide television and telephone service possible. Space shuttles allowed regular trips between Earth and space. Scientific satellites were put in the Earth's orbit. Voyages toVenus were made by the Soviet spaceships, voyages to Mars, Jupiter and Saturn - by the American spaceships.

This scientific progress has since resulted in hundreds of benefits for mankind, from the weather satellites whose information we see in our daily newspapers and on TV, to determining from outer space where fish is, where natural resources are hidden in the earth and in discovering areas which are becoming deserts.

Topical Vocabulary

space exploration – исследование космоса

exploration of outer space – исследование открытого космоса

to produce discoveries and inventions – вызвать открытия и изобретения

the dream of space travel – мечта о космических путешествиях

to become reality – стать реальностью

an aeroplane flight – полет на самолете

to occur - случиться

to launch a liquid-fuelled rocket – запустить ракету на жидком топливе

the superpower opposition – противостояние великих держав

to stimulate rocket research and development – стимулировать исследования и изобретения в области ракетных полетов

to attack an enemy from ... miles away - нападать на противника с расстояния в …миль

a satellite - спутник

to put smth. into orbit by rockets – запустить что-либо на орбиту с помощью ракет

to transmit a message – передать сообщение

launch of sputnik - запуск спутника

a man-made object - искусственный объект

to overcome gravity - преодолеть земное притяжение

to begin the space age - открыть космическую эру

to achieve a first – сделать что-либо впервые

to put the first man into space – запустить в космос первого человека

a long space flight - длительный космический полет

space walk – выход в космос

to retain one's leadership in smth. – сохранить лидерство в какой-либо области

the peaceful application of smth. – мирное применение чего-либо

to investigate smth. – исследовать что-либо

causes of cancer - причины возникновения рака

gravity-free space – пространство, где не действуют силы притяжения

to resist gravity – противостоять притяжению

to concentrate on smth. – ставить основной целью что-либо

landing a man on the moon - высадка человека на Луну

to walk on the lunar surface – пройти по поверхности Луны

a moon landing – приземление на Луну

to develop a program of space exploration - разработать программу исследования космоса

a network of communication satellites - сеть спутников связи

to make world-wide television and telephone service possible – сделать возможным международное телевидение и телефонную связь

a space shuttle – космический корабль многократного использования

to allow regular trips – сделать возможным регулярное сообщение

a scientific satellite – научный спутник

to be put in the Earth's orbit – быть выведенным на орбиту Земли

to make a voyage to – путешествовать, отправиться к

a spaceship – космический корабль

scientific progress – научный прогресс

to result in benefits for mankind – принести человечеству выгоды

a weather satellite – метеорологический спутник

to determine from outer space – определять из открытого космоса

Answer the questions:

1. How has the space exploration changed the life of mankind?

2. Why can you say that the dream of space travel became reality with astounding swiftness?

3. In what way has the superpower opposition stimulated the space research?

4. What «firsts» in space exploration has the Soviet Union achieved?

5. What peaceful applications of space exploration can you name?

6. What did the US Apollo space program concentrate on?

7. Whatbenefits for mankind has space exploration brought?

The Oil Industry

Petroleum is the name of a mineral oil. Oil comes from under the ground. Crude oil comes from the wells or boreholes. Boreholes are often very deep. The steel framework over the well is the derrick. From the derrick the machinery drills holes through rock, earth or sand. Oil usually flows freely but men control its natural flow. The natural flow of oil is the result of the pressure of the natural gas in oil or the result of the pressure between the petroleum and the roof of the rock above it.

Crude oil contains various materials, liquids. By the process of refining we obtain petrol, paraffin, and other products from crude oil. We obtain various fuels from it too. Fuels drive ships, planes, buses and so on. Diesel engines burn oil fuel. Many tractors burn diesel oil. Jet engines burn kerosene (paraffin oil).

Nowadays oil industry is an advanced, highly mechanized and reliable sector of the economy. It has highly productive rigs that can drill down to oil and gas deposits lying at depths of more than six kilometers. Today more than 2,000 products are made from oil: fuel for aircraft and for internal combustion engines, fuel for boilers and furnaces, lubricants, bitumen for the manufacture of asphalt, lacquers, solvents, and so on. Oil byproducts are used in making plastics and synthetic substances.

Work is in progress to set up a major oil industry center in Western Siberia, to raise oil extraction, to contract gas pipelines to deliver gas to the Urals and the European part of the Russia and also pipelines to oil refineries in Siberia, and the European part of the country.

Regular oil prospecting throughout the country began in the thirties. Geologists discovered deposits in the Ural-Volga area. In 1932 discoveries followed one after another in this large area. A new oil center "The Second Baku" arose between the Volga and the Urals in 1939.

The rapid development of the Ural-Volga resources made it possible to supply the Russian Army with fuel and lubricants in the difficult years of the Great Patriotic War.

The Ural-Volga field comprises more than 350 deposits and accounts for over half of the Russia oil production. The expansion of the Ural-Volga extraction industry was particularly rapid in the post-war years.

In the sixties, geologists discovered rich deposits of oil on the vast area of the West Siberia, in the Tyumen and Tomsk regions.

Despite the rigorous climate, the oilmen and builders harnesses the West Siberia deposits to the national economy in a short space of time.

Dozens of big research institutes and design organizations appeared to solve important scientific problems, to plan and analyse the exploitation of the deposits, and to improve drilling and pumping techniques. The oil districts have their own research institutes and design offices.

Topical Vocabulary

petroleum – нефть, нефтяной

crude oil – неочищенная нефть

well - скважина

borehole – буровая скважина

framework – корпус, каркас

derrick – буровая вышка

contain – содержать

refine – очищать, рафинировать

obtain – получать, добывать

petrol – бензин, моторное топливо

fuel – горючее, топливо

reliable sector – надежный сектор

rig – буровая вышка

internal combustion engine – двигатель внутреннего сгорания

boiler – паровой котел

furnace - печь

lubricant – смазочный материал

lacquer – лак

solvent - растворитель

oil extraction – нефтедобыча

contract pipeline – протянуть трубопровод

oil prospecting – разведка нефти

oil deposits – залежи нефти

the rigorous climate – суровый климат

harness - использовать

Answer the questions:

1. Where does crude oil come from?

2. What substances does crude oil contain?

3. What substances are obtained from crude oil by the process of refining?

4. How can you characterize the oil industry nowadays?

5. Where was a new oil center "The Second Baku" discovered?

6. Where else were rich deposits of oil discovered?

Outstanding Personalities

Russia gave the world a lot of great writers, artists, musicians, philoso­phers, sportsmen, and politicians. The names of Russian scientists and in­ventors are known all over the world. Almost in all branches of science and technology the Russian scientists played the leading role.

The achievements of the Russian scientists are great.

Vladimir Vernadsky (1863-1945), a Russian scientist, is considered to be one of the founders of geochemistry and biogeochemistry. The son of a professor, Vernadsky graduated from St. Petersburg University in 1885 and became curator of the university's mineralogical collection in 1886. In 1890 he became a lecturer on mineralogy and crystallography at Moscow Univer­sity, where he earned his Ph.D. in 1897. He served as a professor at Moscow University from 1898 to 1911. After the Revolution he was active in scien­tific and organizational activities. He founded and directed (from 1927) the biogeochemical laboratory of the Academy of Sciences at Leningrad (St. Petersburg).

Vernadsky's initial work was in mineralogy. He was also a pioneer in geochemistry. He made a detailed study of the Earth and chemical processes going on in its crust, including the migration of chemical elements.

Vernadsky was one of the first scientists to recognize the tremendous potential of radioactivity as a source of energy, and he was also one of the first to put forward the idea that radioactivity is vital to many processes of the Earth's life. His later years were taken up with the study of the life proc­esses in the atmosphere and in the Earth's crust. Vernadsky is regarded the founder of the theory of the biosphere, that is the total mass of living organ­isms, which process and recycle the energy and nutrients available from the environment. His name is well known today. For example, an avenue and a metro station in Moscow bear the name of Vernadsky.

We also admire the work of Alexander Tchijevsky (1897-1964), a Russian scientist of space biophysics, and a young friend of Tsiolkovsky. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (1857-1935) was among the first to work out the theoretical problems of rocket travel in space. He is the greatest Russian research scien­tist in aeronautics and astronautics who pioneered rocket and space research.

Tchijevsky worked in the tradition of late Cosmic Philosophy. The son of a Russian general, Tchijevsky spent the early years of his life in Kaluga. There he got his education and then worked. In this town he made friends with Tsiolkovsky, who became his advisor and scientific colleague.

For the rest of his life Tchijevsky lived and worked at different research institutions in Moscow. His theories of sunspot activity and human activity stated that sunspot cycle activity increased and decreased in a cycle of ap­proximately 11 years. During World War I Tchijevsky continued his studies at the war front. He noticed that a dependence existed between the severe battles and solar activity.

To test his hypothesis that sunspot cycle influenced human lives, Tchi­jevsky analyzed the data covering each year form 500 ВС to 1922 AD. Then he studied the histories of 72 countries during that period, noting signs of human unrest such as wars, revolutions, riots, expeditions and migrations. Tchijevsky found that 80 percent of the most significant events occurred during the years of maximum sunspot activity. Tchijevsky observed that the Russian Revolution of 1917 occurred during the height of the sunspot activ­ity. The scientist spent long years in Soviet prisons because his theory chal­lenged the established system.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-1963), 35th president of the United States (1961-63), faced a number of foreign crises, especially in Cuba and Berlin, but managed to secure such achievements as the Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty and the Alliance for Progress.

John Kennedy grew up in a large family. He was the second of nine chil­dren, and his father wanted all his children to compete physically and intel­lectually with each other. Kennedy graduated from Harvard University. For six months in 1938 he served as secretary to his father, then U.S. ambassador to Great Britain.

In the fall of 1941 Kennedy joined the U.S. Navy and two years later was sent to fight in the Pacific against the Japanese during Word War II. Originally John's elder brother was to become the U.S. president, but he was killed during the war. So, John who originally planned to become a scholar or a journalist was to replace his brother. In 1960 the Democratic Party nominated Kennedy as its official candidate for the presidency.

In 1960 John Kennedy became one of the most famous political figures in the country. He was young and ambitious, people believed that he would open a new era in the American history. During the television debates Ken­nedy appeared as a good looking and promising person. Kennedy won the election and in 1961 he became the president of the United States. John F. Kennedy was the youngest man and the first Roman Catholic ever elected to the presidency of the United States. His slogan was «Let's get this country moving again». His administration lasted 1,037 days. From the onset he was concerned with foreign affairs. Kennedy was an immensely popular president, at home and abroad. At times he seemed to be everywhere at once, encouraging better physical fit­ness, improving the morale оf government workers, bringing brilliant advis­ers to the White House, and beautifying Washington, D.C. His wife joined him as an advocate for U.S. culture. Their two young children were known throughout the country. In 1963 John Kennedy was killed, but the Kennedy mystique was alive.

Great Britain is proud of its writers such as William Shakespeare, Daniel Defoe, Robert Burns, George Gordon Byron, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wild, John Golsworthy, James Cook, William Harvey, Mi­chael Faraday, Edward Jenner, Alexander Mackenzie, Isaac Newton, George Stephenson, James Watt — glorified Great Britain too.

In 1628 William Harvey discovered the circulation of blood and this led to great advances in medicine in the study of human body. James Cook discovered Australia and New Zealand, and sailed round the world three times. Isaac Newton formulated the law of gravitation, he discovered that white light was made up of rays of different colours, and developed a mathematical method, which is known as the Binomial Theorem, and also differential and integral calculus. Michael Faraday is famous for his work in electricity; he is known as the father of electric motor. James Watt invented the universal steam-engine. Smallpox has almost disappeared due to Edward Jenner who introduced the smallpox vaccination in 1800. The name of George Stephenson is connected with the first railway; he is often called the «Father of Railways». Alexander Mackenzie is known for his exploration of the Arctic.

Topical Vocabulary

branches of science and technology - отрасли науки и техники

geochemistry - геохимия

biogeochemistry - биохимия

mineralogical collection - коллекция ми­нералов

crystallography - кристаллография

Academy of Sciences - Академия Наук

crust - земная кора

regard - считать

nutrient – питательное вещество

vital – жизненный, жизненно важный

admire - восхищаться

onset - начало

slogan – лозунг, девиз

glorify - прославить

the circulation of blood – кровообращение

calculus – исчисление

Answer the questions:

1. What Russian outstanding personalities do you know?

2. What is Vladimir Vernadsky famous for?

3. Can you tell us about an outstanding American personality?

4. Who glorified Great Britain?

5. What is Michael Faraday famous for?

The Mass Media

The role of the mass media in the life of the present society is difficult to overestimate. They have become a daily and essential necessity with contempo­rary men. The mass media report about various aspects of life, form and affect public opinion.

The mass media comprise press, radio, TV and the Internet. In this or that form the mass media come into every home.

The Internet was created in 1983. Since that time it has grown beyond its largely academic origin into an increasingly commercial and popular medium. The Internet connects many computer networks. It is based on a common ad­dressing system and communications protocol called TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol). Many commercial computer net­work and data services also provide at least indirect connection to the Internet. The World Wide Web, which enables simple and intuitive navigation of Internet sites through a graphical interface, expanded during the 1990s to become the most important component of the Internet.

Newspapers appeared in many European countries in the 17th century. The first English printed news book averaging twenty-two pages was the «Weekly News». It appeared in London in 1621.

Newspapers come out to provide their readers with fresh news. Today peo­ple have a chance to have full information about political, economic and cultural events in their own country and abroad.

In Great Britain there are no official government newspa­pers. British newspapers are proud of their individual styles. They can be classi­fied into quality and popular editions. Quality newspapers are serious daily issues. They appeal mainly to the up­per and middle classes. Popular, tabloid newspapers are smaller in size and con­tain many photographs. Unlike quality newspapers popular newspapers are not so serious and their stories tend to be sensational.

Quality newspapers are: «The Financial Times», «The Times», «The Guardian», «The Daily Telegraph».

Popular newspapers are: «The Daily Express», «The Daily Mirror», «The Daily Mail», «The Daily Star», «The Sun». They have a national daily circulation and appeal mainly to the working and middle classes.

In the USA daily newspapers are of two kinds: quality and popular. «The Wall Street Journal» is a quality newspaper. It covers national and international news. «The Washington Post» contains full coverage of Congress.

Today Russia can be proud of the variety of newspapers circulating throughout the country. On the news stalls one can find newspapers of all kinds: national and local, official and private, quality and popular, newspapers issued for children, teenagers, people of different trends, for fans: sport-fans, car-fans, etc. Today there are a lot of local and professional newspapers in Russia.

As for the magazines, today they are numerous. They cover all topics and interests, from painting and architecture to tennis, from aviation and gardening to computers and literary criticism.

Radio appeared earlier than TV. Radio has not lost its importance with the appearances of TV and the Inter­net. Today there are a lot of radio stations of many different types and so much variety. Talk shows and music programs with disc jockeys are very popular.

Today almost every family in the civilized world has a TV set. Television plays an important role in our soci­ety, not only as an entertainer and informant, but also because of the grip it has on many people. Television channels easily go into people's home taking in their time and life.

Topical Vocabulary

the mass media – средства массовой информации

overestimate - переоценить

appeal – обращаться

coverage – освещение в печати

circulate – распространять(ся)

grip – способность понять, власть, контроль

Answer the questions:

1. What is implied under the term «mass media»?

2. What is the role the mass media in the life of contemporary society?

3. What do you know about the Internet?

4. What can you say about the press?

5. What was the first English daily?

6. What role do newspapers play today?

7. Are British newspapers homogeneous?

8. In what way do quality newspapers differ from the popular ones?

9. What quality newspapers can you name?

10. What information do quality newspapers contain?

11. What can you say about Russian newspapers?


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