The Technology Portal

A steam turbine with the case opened. Such turbines produce most of the electricity used today. Electricity consumption and living standards are highly correlated. Electrification is believed to be the most important engineering achievement of the 20th century.

Technology ("science of craft", from Greek τέχνη, techne, "art, skill, cunning of hand"; and -λογία, -logia) is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without detailed knowledge of their workings.

The simplest form of technology is the development and use of basic tools. The prehistoric discovery of how to control fire and the later Neolithic Revolution increased the available sources of food, and the invention of the wheel helped humans to travel in and control their environment. Developments in historic times, 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.

Technology has many effects. It has helped develop more advanced economies (including today's global economy) and has allowed the rise of a leisure class. Many technological processes produce unwanted by-products known as pollution and deplete natural resources to the detriment of Earth's environment. Innovations have always influenced the values of a society and raised new questions of the ethics of technology. Examples include the rise of the notion of efficiency in terms of human productivity, and the challenges of bioethics.

Philosophical debates have arisen over the use of technology, with disagreements over whether technology improves the human condition or worsens it. Neo-Luddism, anarcho-primitivism, and similar reactionary movements criticize the pervasiveness of technology, arguing that it harms the environment and alienates people; proponents of ideologies such as transhumanism and techno-progressivism view continued technological progress as beneficial to society and the human condition.

Selected article

[email protected] is a distributed computing project for protein structure prediction on the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform, run by the Baker laboratory at the University of Washington. [email protected] also aims to predict protein-protein docking and design new proteins with the help of over 86,000 volunteered computers processing over 68 teraFLOPS on average. Though much of the project is oriented towards basic research on improving the accuracy and robustness of the proteomics methods, [email protected] also does applied research on malaria, Alzheimer's disease and other pathologies. Like all BOINC projects, [email protected] uses idle computer processing resources from volunteers' computers to perform calculations on individual workunits. Completed results are sent to a central project server where they are validated and assimilated into project databases. The project is cross-platform, and runs on a wide variety of hardware configurations. Users can view the progress of their individual protein structure prediction on the [email protected] screensaver. [email protected] consistently ranks among the foremost docking predictors, and is one of the best tertiary structure predictors available.

In this month

An Intel 4004 manufactured by National Semiconductor

Did you know...

Engraving of scythed chariots at the battle of Gaugamela

Selected biography

Zhang Heng
Zhang Heng was an astronomer, mathematician, inventor, geographer, cartographer, artist, poet, statesman, and literary scholar from Nanyang, Henan, and lived during the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD 25–220) of China. After beginning his career as a minor civil servant, he eventually became Chief Astronomer, Prefect of the Majors for Official Carriages, and then Palace Attendant at the imperial court. His uncompromising stances on certain historical and calendrical issues led to Zhang being considered a controversial figure, which prevented him from becoming an official court historian. Zhang applied his extensive knowledge of mechanics and gears in several of his inventions. He invented the world's first water-powered armillary sphere, to represent astronomical observation; improved the inflow water clock by adding another tank; and invented the world's first seismometer, which discerned the cardinal direction of an earthquake 500 km (310 mi) away. Furthermore, he improved previous Chinese calculations of the formula for pi. His fu (rhapsody) and shi poetry were renowned and commented on by later Chinese writers. Zhang received many posthumous honors for his scholarship and ingenuity, and is considered a polymath by some scholars.


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Arthur C. Clarke sitting at his desk
Arthur C. Clarke, Profiles of the Future (1962)

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Technology categories

Main topics


Technological aspect of idea concepts and issues – Appropriate technology •Clean technology •Diffusion of innovations in science •Doomsday device •Ecotechnology •Environmental technology •High technology •History of science and technology •History of technology •Industry • Innovation •Knowledge economy •Persuasion technology • Pollution •Posthumanism •Precautionary principle •Research and development •Science, technology, and society •Strategy of technology •Superpowers •Sustainable technology •Technocapitalism • Technocriticism •Techno-progressivism •Technological convergence • Technological evolution •Technological determinism •Technological diffusion • Technological singularity •Technology acceptance model • Technology assessment •Technology lifecycle • Technology transfer • Technology Tree •Technorealism •Timeline of invention •Transhumanism

Technologies and applied sciences –Aerospace • Agriculture, Agricultural science & Agronomy • Architecture • Artificial intelligence • Automation •Automobile • Big Science •Biotechnology • Cartography • Chemical engineering •Communication •Computing (Computer science, List of open problems in computer science, Programming, Software engineering, Information technology, Computer engineering) •Construction • Design • Electronics • Energy development • Energy storage • Engineering • Ergonomics • Firefighting •Forensics • Forestry • Free software •Health sciences • Health Informatics • Industry • Information science • Internet • Library and information science • Machines • Management •Manufacturing • Mass communication •Mass production •Medicine (Unsolved problems in neuroscience) • Military science • Military technology and equipment • Mining • Nanotechnology • Nuclear technology • Packaging and labeling •Processes •Robotics • Space exploration •Technology forecasting •Telecommunications • Tools • Transport •Vehicles • Weapons


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