A scientific instrument is, broadly speaking, a device or tool used for scientific purposes, including the study of both natural phenomena and theoretical research.
Historically, the definition of a scientific instrument has varied, based on usage, laws, and historical time period. Before the mid-nineteenth century such tools were referred to as "natural philosophical" or "philosophical" apparatus and instruments, and older tools from antiquity to the Middle Ages (such as the astrolabe and pendulum clock) defy a more modern definition of "a tool developed to investigate nature qualitatively or quantitatively." Scientific instruments were made by instrument makers living near a center of learning or research, such as a university or research laboratory. Instrument makers designed, constructed, and refined instruments for specific purposes, but if demand was sufficient, an instrument would go into production as a commercial product. By World War II, the demand for improved analyses of wartime products such as medicines, fuels, and weaponized agents pushed instrumentation to new heights. Today, changes to instruments used in scientific endeavors — particularly analytical instruments — are occurring rapidly, with interconnections to computers and data management systems becoming increasingly necessary.
Scientific instruments vary greatly in size, shape, purpose, and complication. This includes relatively simple laboratory equipment like scales, rulers, chronometers, thermometers,etc.Other simple tools developed in late 20th century or early 21st century are Foldscope(an optical microscope),KAS Periodic Table(SCALE),MasSpecPen(Pen that detects cancer),Glucometer,etc. However, some scientific instruments can be quite large in size and significant in complexity, like particle colliders or radio-telescope antennas. Conversely microscale and nanoscale technologies are advancing to the point where instrument sizes are shifting towards the tiny, including nanoscale surgical instruments, biological nanobots, and bioelectronics.
The digital eraEdit
Instruments are increasingly based upon integration with computers to improve and simplify control; enhance and extend instrumental functions, conditions, and parameter adjustments; and streamline data sampling, collection, resolution, analysis (both during and post-process), and storage and retrieval. Advanced instruments can be connected as a local area network (LAN) directly of via middleware and can be further integrated as part of an information management application such as a laboratory information management system (LIMS). Instrument connectivity can be furthered even more using internet of things (IoT) technologies, allowing for example laboratories separated by great distances to connect their instruments to a network that can be monitored from a workstation or mobile device elsewhere.
Examples of scientific instrumentsEdit
- Accelerometer, physical, acceleration
- Ammeter, electrical, Amperage, current
- Anemometer, wind speed.
- Caliper, distance
- Calorimeter, heat
- DNA sequencer, molecular biology
- Dynamometer, torque
- Electrometer, electric charge, potential difference
- Electroscope, electric charge
- Electrostatic analyzer, Kinetic energy of charged particles
- Ellipsometer, optical refractive indices
- Eudiometer, gas volume
- Gravimeter, gravity
- Inclinometer, slope
- Interferometer, optics, infrared light spectra
- Magnetograph, magnetic field
- Magnetometer, magnetic flux
- Manometer, air pressure
- Mass spectrometer, compound identification/characterization
- Micrometer, distance
- Microscope, optical magnification
- NMR spectrometer, chemical compound identification, medical diagnostic imaging
- Ohmmeter, electrical resistance/impedance
- Oscilloscope, electric signal voltage, amplitude, wavelength, frequency, waveform shape/pattern
- Seismometer, acceleration
- Spectrogram, sound frequency, wavelength, amplitude
- Spectrometer, light frequency, wavelength, amplitude
- Telescope, light magnification (astronomy)
- Thermometer, temperature measurement
- Theodolite, angles, surveying
- Thermocouple, temperature
- Voltmeter, voltage
List of scientific instruments manufacturersEdit
- 454 Life Sciences, United States of America
- ADInstruments, New Zealand
- Agilent Technologies, United States of America
- Anton Paar, Austria
- A. Reyrolle & Company
- Beckman Coulter, United States of America
- Bruker, United States of America
- Cambridge Scientific Instrument Company, United Kingdom
- Horiba, Japan
- JEOL, Japan
- LECO Corporation, United States of America
- Markes International, United Kingdom
- Malvern Instruments, United Kingdom
- McPherson Inc, United States of America
- Mettler Toledo, Switzerland / United States of America
- MTS Systems Corporation, USA, mechanical
- Novacam Technologies, Canada
- Oxford Instruments, United Kingdom
- Pall Corp., United States of America
- PerkinElmer, United States of America
- Polymer Char, Spain
- Shimadzu Corp., Japan
- Techtron, Melbourne, Australia
- Thermo Fisher Scientific, United States of America
- Waters Corporation, United States of America
List of scientific instruments designersEdit
History of scientific instrumentsEdit
Types of scientific instrumentsEdit
- Hackmann, W. (2013). "Scientific instruments". In Hessenbruck, A. Reader's Guide to the History of Science. Routledge. pp. 675–77. ISBN 9781134263011. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- "United States v. Presbyterian Hospital". The Federal Reporter. 71: 866–868. 1896.
- Turner, A.J. (1987). Early Scientific Instruments: Europe, 1400-1800. Phillip Wilson Publishers.
- Bedini, S.A. (1964). Early American Scientific Instruments and Their Makers. Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
- Mukhopadhyay, R. (2008). "The Rise of Instruments during World War II". Analytical Chemistry. 80 (15): 5684–5691. doi:10.1021/ac801205u.
- McMahon, G. (2007). "Chapter 1: Introduction". Analytical Instrumentation: A Guide to Laboratory, Portable and Miniaturized Instruments. John Wiley & Sons. pp. 1–6. ISBN 9780470518557. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Khandpur, R.S. (2016). "Chapter 1: Fundamentals of Analytical Instruments". Handbook of Analytical Instruments. McGraw Hill Education. ISBN 9789339221362. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Shadab,K.A. (2017). "KAS PERIODIC TABLE". International Research Journal of Natural and Applied Sciences. 4 (7): 221-261.
- Osiander, R. (2016). "Chapter 6: Micro Electro Mechanical Systems: Systems Engineering's Transition into the Nanoworld". In Darrin, M.A.G.; Barth, J.L. Systems Engineering for Microscale and Nanoscale Technologies. CRC Press. pp. 137–172. ISBN 9781439837351. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- James, W.S.; Lemole Jr, G.M. (2015). "Chapter 21: Neuron Based Surgery: Are We There Yet? Technical Developments in the Surgical Treatment of Brain Injury and Disease". In Latifi, R.; Rhee, P.; Gruessner, R.W.G. Technological Advances in Surgery, Trauma and Critical Care. Springer. pp. 221–230. ISBN 9781493926718. Retrieved 18 January 2018.
- Wilkes, R.; Megargle, R. (1994). "Integration of instruments and a laboratory information management system at the information level: An inductively coupled plasma spectrometer". Chemometrics and Intelligent Laboratory Systems. 26 (1): 47–54. doi:10.1016/0169-7439(94)90018-3.
- Carvalho, M.C. (2013). "Integration of Analytical Instruments with Computer Scripting". Journal of Laboratory Automation. 18 (4): 328–33. doi:10.1177/2211068213476288.
- Perkel, J.M. (2017). "The Internet of Things comes to the lab". Nature. 542: 125–126. Bibcode:2017Natur.542..125P. doi:10.1038/542125a.