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In the world, the key to wealth lies in science and technology. The postwar period has been a time of much technological advancement in various fields such as transport, weapons, medicine, space, communication, industrial and agriculture among others. These advances have changed the faces of lives in the world forever. This paper discusses some of the technological advancements that have been made since 1945/the end of the Second World War.
Technological advancements since WWII
Up to 1950s, the electronic devices that existed used the vacuum tubes in their functioning. For example, the early computers were fitted with many of these tubes. These electronic devices experienced a lot of failures due to the short lifetime of the heating filaments and they consumed a lot of power. In 1947, after the Second World War, John Barden, William Shockley and Walter Brattain invented the transistor which revolutionized the electronics. These transistors were used instead of the vacuum tubes for many purposes because they were more reliable, produced less heat and they consumed less power. Due to the invention of the transistors, all the electronic devices that used them were built into compact sizes with greater design complexity which enhanced miniaturization practical in the first time. Hearing aids was among the first civilian application of the transistor technology. The first computers that used the transistors were produced in 1950s and they were more reliable and much smaller. In 1960's, the transistors were used in radios, television sets, stereographic photographs and other scientific instruments. In this period, the transistors were improved so that they able to be used in high frequency applications such as in amplifiers and they were used in most of the printed circuits (Hellemans, A & Bunch, H. B. 2004).
In the field of health and medicine, many technological innovations and advancements were made. For example organ transplant; endoscopy techniques which involved the insertion of tubes into arteries; amniocentesis and other ways of treating the foetus; best ways of handling the fertilized eggs to enhance the production of viable children; artificial skin substation methods; kidney dialysis; ultra sound scanning and other vaccine advancements. For instance, the most spectacular advancement was made by Christian Bernard in 1967 which involved the transplant of the human heart. Other surgeons also started to perform other transplants such as of the liver and lungs. There were also electronic advancements that contributed a lot to the field of medicine. One of them is the pacemaker which was introduced in 1960. This device allowed the regulation of the heartbeat through synchronization with the electrical pulses. Another one was the combination of the x-ray diagnosis with the computer technology leading to the development of computerized scanner referred to as tomography scanner (Hellemans, A & Bunch, H. B. 2004).
After the Second World War, there were technological developments which enhanced the automation of the manufacturing processes and other machine tools. For example, the controls of milling machines and typesetting devices which were paper tapes were replaced by the electronic controls. The first robots were made in 1960s which gained popularity in 1973 in Japan. In the same period, the electronic counterpart of the machine tool referred to as the computer assisted design was invented. It allowed the tool designers to create images and make necessary adjustments which could save time that was being wasted before. Also, there was a laser which amplified light to produce radiations and high intensity light. Based on Einstein's concepts, there was a breakthrough with the microwaves. The maser which produced the microwaves was made and it was useful in detecting the faint microwaves. Soon, the lasers were used in cutting and welding at all levels ranging from eye surgery to machines. Also, the farmers used them to make sure that the fields were level. In 1970, there was a transition in the field of lasers as the ones based on carbon dioxide were introduced and there were tremendous developments in 1973.
There were also observation devices such as the Hale reflecting telescope on Mt. Palomar which made the observations of individual atoms easy. Many devices were then produced to improve the observation of cells which included the scanning electron microscope that is able to produce three dimensional surface appearances. After the war, there were various developments in the transport sector. In 1954, the first nuclear submarine was made and commissioned. It was equipped with the nuclear missiles and they were good launching places that are not easily recognized by the enemies. The ships that were powered by the nuclear reactors were also manufactured during this time period. The examples are united states' savannah, the Soviet Union's icebreaker Lenin, the Japanese' Mutsu and the Germany's Otto Hahn. In the post period, the United States and the Soviet Union continued to develop the rockets that were based on the design of the Germany's V-2 for military purposes. The development of the rockets enhanced the development of space technology which has many direct benefits to most people around the world (Hellemans, A & Bunch, H. B. 2004).
Between 1970 and 1978, Colin Austin developed the moldflow software that allowed the simulation of computers in the moulding process. This software allowed the designers of the moulds to eliminate the lengthy and costly mould designs that were made through trial and error. The moldflow software is more important nowadays as it is used in the manufacturing industries more especially the field of aircrafts and the manufacture of automobiles.
In conclusion, the technological advancements can lead to continuously increasing wealth as people are embodied with better material things such as transport and communication systems.