Man's physical universe



The National Resources Committee in its report on Technology and

Planning states that "Education is an essential service of intelligence,

in which children and adults are informed of

the facts and taught to

think of the alternative courses open to them."

The time has arrived when every young person and every adult must

realize that education is a process that is never completed and that a

formal education is but the introduction and preparation for a lifelong

pursuit of knowledge and all-around development. Adult education

will, therefore, be emphasized more and more during the next few years.

One of the fundamental purposes of Mans Physical Universe is to

enable students to obtain a sufficient background in the field of the

physical sciences to enable them to keep up with the developments of

Science and technology by reading such weekly publications as

Science- News Letter or such monthly publications as the Scientific

American and the Science Digest.


Inventions Are Predictable.

In October, 1920, the Scientific American predicted a long list of

inventions that would occur during the next twenty years, on the basis

of scientific developments known in 1920. By 1940, 78 per cent of these

inventions had been made.

The reason why inventions can be predicted on the basis of present

scientific developments is that it takes time to apply knowledge. The

basic ideas of picture telegraphy were not commercially applied until

88 years after their discovery; it required 70 years for the airplane

development and 40 years for sound pictures to attain industrial significance.

The long time that television was "around the corner" is

typical of the lag between science and invention.

The fact that inventions can be predicted and that there is a definite

lag between an invention and its commercial application makes it

possible to anticipate the effects of technological advances on society

and to plan accordingly.


1. What simple machines are illustrated by the following: (a) bicycle, (fe) can

opener, (c) chisel, {d) playground slide, (e) automobile jack, (/) meat grinder,

(g) knife, {h) automobile clutch, {i) scissors, (j) saw, {k) lawn mower, (/) windmill?

2. Why is it necessary to push or screw the handle of a jack so many times when

jacking up a car to change a tire?

3. Why is it easier to kill a fly with a fly-swatter than with the hand?

4. Why does an axe split a log when driven into it?

More magazines by this user
Similar magazines