Technology is the practical use of science, including the making, modification or improvement, applied activity or behavior, use and knowledge of
systems, methods of organization, or environmental modifications or arrangement in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal or perform a specific function. It can also refer to the collection of such tools, machinery, modifications, environmental arrangement and procedures. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments. The word
technology comes from
τεχνολογία (technología); from
τέχνη (téchnē), meaning 'art, skill, craft', and
-logía), meaning 'study of-'. The term can be applied either generally or to many specific areas, examples of which include construction technology, medical technology and information technology.
The human species' use of technology began with the conversion of natural resources into simple tools. The
prehistorical discovery of the ability to control
fire increased the available sources of food and the invention of the
wheel helped humans in travelling in and controlling their environment. Recent technological developments, including the
printing press, the
telephone, and the
Internet, have lessened physical barriers to
communication and allowed humans to interact freely on a global scale. However, not all technology has been used for peaceful purposes; the development of
weapons of ever-increasing destructive power has progressed throughout history, from
Technology has affected
society and its surroundings in a number of ways. In many societies, technology has helped develop more advanced
economies (including today's
global economy) and has allowed the rise of a
class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products, known as
pollution, and deplete natural resources, to the detriment of the
Earth and its
environment. Various implementations of technology influence the
values of a society and new technology often raises new ethical questions. Examples include the rise of the notion of
efficiency in terms of human productivity, a term originally applied only to machines, and the challenge of traditional norms.
Philosophical debates have arisen over the present and future use of technology in society, with disagreements over whether technology improves the
human condition or worsens it.
anarcho-primitivism, and similar movements criticise the pervasiveness of technology in the modern world, opining that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as
techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition. Indeed, until recently, it was believed that the development of technology was restricted only to human beings, but recent scientific studies indicate that other
primates and certain
dolphin communities have developed simple tools and learned to pass their knowledge to other generations.
signal processing filter
usually used in place of an
to allow a range of signal frequencies to pass, but to block others. The filter acts on mechanical vibrations.
at the input and output of the filter convert the electrical signal into, and then back from, these mechanical vibrations. The mechanical elements obey mathematical functions which are identical to their corresponding electrical elements. Electrical theory has developed a large library of mathematical forms that produce useful filter
for use in the design of mechanical filters.
alloys are common materials for mechanical filter components. Resonators in the filter made from these materials need to be machined to precisely adjust their
prior to final assembly. The high "quality factor",
, that mechanical resonators can attain, far higher than that of an all-electrical
, made possible the construction of mechanical filters with excellent
. Good selectivity, being important in
, made such filters highly attractive. Contemporary researchers are working on microelectromechanical filters, the mechanical devices corresponding to electronic integrated circuits.
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