Impact Of Technology On Society Essay

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Engineering and theProfession 06-85-118 September 25th 2015
Impact of Technology on Society
Often times, small innovations can have the largest impacts on the way in which people live their lives. This is famously shown by Thomas Edison who, upon thinking about the light bulb decided that it would one day be possible to illuminate an entire city. The technology of creating light with electricity had existed since 1800 when Humphry Davis managed to create the first electric arc lamp by feeding electricity through carbon electrodes. While this did produce light, the system was extremely large and it burnt out quickly, resulting in a need to replenish the carbon electrodes frequently. The first improvement that was made on Davis’ model was a
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When Edison’s system went into operation on September 4th 1882, it illuminated a set of 1000 light bulbs in front of The New York Times office, powered by the power station down the road. At this moment, Edison’s dream would quickly become a reality as large cities with power stations began adopting Edison’s DC electrical grid. However, it would take the work of Tesla and Westinghouse before the modern AC/DC current would be created. The alternating current could more easily be converted into high voltages, which are easily transported over large distances with fewer losses due to resistance that occurs naturally in any type of wire. This allowed a smaller number of power stations to provide electricity to a larger area than before, simply because the range the electricity could efficiently travel was increased …show more content…
While there are many alternatives to oil as a fuel source, all potential options face disadvantages that render them less common. In terms of transportation, electric cars require charging which takes longer than refueling and is unavailable in most convenient locations. Hydrogen cells are less efficient than gas-powered vehicles as they require either the electrolysis of water or the separation of hydrogen and carbon from hydrocarbons. Both these processes for the creation of hydrogen result in the use of energy that must be produced by other methods, resulting in an energy source less efficient than the source that created it. While the two exemplified methods are not as convenient, efficient or cheap as using oil by-products to power vehicles, a sudden change in our physical environment can cause these two less common technologies to become extremely prominent in society. For example, it is extremely unlikely that electric cars would have been created at all if pollution caused by various hydrocarbon emissions was not an issue. These engines were adapted to suit a growing need for more environmentally friendly engines. Electrical engines will also become more prominent as the cost of oil increases, as consumers are typically driven to purchase cheaper and more effective

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