From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to technology:

Technology – collection of tools, including machinery, modifications, arrangements and procedures used by humans. Engineering is the discipline that seeks to study and design new technology. Technologies significantly affect human as well as other animal species' ability to control and adapt to their natural environments.

Components of technology

  • Knowledge – Awareness of facts or being competent
    • Engineering – Applied science and research
    • Process – Series of activities
    • Science – Systematic endeavor for gaining knowledge
    • Skill – Ability to carry out a task
  • Tool – Object can be used to achieve a goal
    • Weapon – Implement or device used to inflict damage, harm, or kill
    • Utensil – Tool used for food preparation
    • Equipment – Items required to exercise a certain activity
    • Invention – Novel device, material or technical process
    • Machinery – Powered mechanical device
  • Structure – Arrangement of interrelated elements in an object/system, or the object/system itself
    • Building – Structure, typically with a roof and walls, standing more or less permanently in one place
    • Road – Land route for travel by vehicles
    • Bridge – Structure built to span physical obstacles
    • Canal – Artificial channel for water
    • Dam – Barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface or underground streams
    • Man-made systems – Interrelated entities that form a whole
  • Infrastructure – Facilities and systems serving society
    • Public utility – Entity which operates public service infrastructure

Branches of technology

  • Aerospace – flight or transport above the surface of the Earth.
  • Applied physics – physics which is intended for a particular technological or practical use. It is usually considered as a bridge or a connection between "pure" physics and engineering.
  • Agriculture – cultivation of plants, animals, and other living organisms.
    • Fishing – activity of trying to catch fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping.
      • Fisheries – a fishery is an entity engaged in raising or harvesting fish which is determined by some authority to be a fishery. According to the FAO, a fishery is typically defined in terms of the "people involved, species or type of fish, area of water or seabed, method of fishing, class of boats, purpose of the activities or a combination of the foregoing features".
      • Fishing industry – industry or activity concerned with taking, culturing, processing, preserving, storing, transporting, marketing or selling fish or fish products. It is defined by the FAO as including recreational, subsistence and commercial fishing, and the harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors.
    • Forestry – art and science of tree resources, including plantations and natural stands. The main goal of forestry is to create and implement systems that allow forests to continue a sustainable provision of environmental supplies and services.
    • Organic gardening and farming
    • Sustainable agriculture
  • Communication
    • Books
    • Telecommunication – the transfer of information at a distance, including signaling, telegraphy, telephony, telemetry, radio, television, and data communications.
  • Computing – any goal-oriented activity requiring, benefiting from, or creating computers. Computing includes designing and building hardware and software systems; processing, structuring, and managing various kinds of information; doing scientific research on and with computers; making computer systems behave intelligently; creating and using communications and entertainment media; and more.
    • Computer engineering – discipline that integrates several fields of electrical engineering and computer science required to develop computer systems, from designing individual microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design.
      • Computers – general purpose devices that can be programmed to carry out a finite set of arithmetic or logical operations. Since a sequence of operations can be readily changed, computers can solve more than one kind of problem.
    • Computer science – the study of the theoretical foundations of information and computation and of practical techniques for their implementation and application in computer systems.
    • Information technology – the acquisition, processing, storage and dissemination of vocal, pictorial, textual and numerical information by a microelectronics-based combination of computing and telecommunications.
    • Software engineering – the systematic approach to the development, operation, maintenance, and retirement of computer software.
      • Programming – the process of designing, writing, testing, debugging, and maintaining the source code of computer programs.
      • Software development – development of a software product, which entails computer programming (process of writing and maintaining the source code), but also encompasses a planned and structured process from the conception of the desired software to its final manifestation.
      • Web design and web development
    • Software – one or more computer programs and data held in the storage of the computer for one or more purposes. In other words, software is a set of programs, procedures, algorithms and its documentation concerned with the operation of a data processing system.
      • Free software – software that can be used, studied, and modified without restriction.
      • Search engines – information retrieval systems designed to help find information stored on a computer system.
    • Internet – the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet Protocol Suite (TCP/IP).
    • Computer industry
      • Apple Inc. – manufacturer and retailer of computers, hand-held computing devices, and related products and services.
      • Google – Google Inc. and its Internet services including Google Search.
  • Construction – building or assembly of any physical structure.
  • Design – the art and science of creating the abstract form and function for an object or environment.
    • Architecture – the art and science of designing buildings.
  • Electronics – Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter.
  • Energy – In physics, energy is the quantitative property that must be transferred to an object in order to perform work on, or to heat, the object.
    • Energy development – ongoing effort to provide abundant, efficient, and accessible energy resources through knowledge, skills, and construction.
    • Energy storage – the storage of a form of energy that can then be used later.
    • Nuclear technology – the technology and application of the spontaneous and induced reactions of atomic nuclei.
    • Wind energy – wind energy is the use of wind to provide the mechanical power through wind turbines to turn electric generators and traditionally to do other work, like milling or pumping.
    • Solar energy – Solar energy is radiant light and heat from the Sun that is harnessed using a range of ever-evolving technologies such as solar heating, photovoltaics, solar thermal energy, solar architecture, molten salt power plants and artificial photosynthesis.
  • Engineering – the application of science, mathematics, and technology to produce useful goods and systems.
    • Chemical engineering – the technology and application of chemical processes to produce useful materials.
    • Computer engineering – Computer engineering (CE) is a branch of engineering that integrates several fields of computer science and electronic engineering required to develop computer hardware and software.
    • Control engineering – Control engineering or control systems engineering is an engineering discipline that applies automatic control theory to design systems with desired behaviors in control environments.
    • Electrical engineering – the technology and application of electromagnetism, including electricity, electronics, telecommunications, computers, electric power, magnetics, and optics.
    • Climate engineering – the large-scale manipulation of a specific process central to controlling Earth’s climate for the purpose of obtaining a specific benefit.
    • Software engineering – the technology and application of a systematic approach to the development, operation, maintenance, and retirement of computer software.
  • Firefighting – act of extinguishing fires. A firefighter fights fires to prevent destruction of life, property and the environment. Firefighting is a professional technical skill.
  • Forensic science – application of a broad spectrum of sciences to answer questions of interest to a legal system. This may be in relation to a crime or a civil action.
  • Health
    • Biotechnology – applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts.
    • Ergonomics – the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements, and its cognitive abilities.
  • Hydrology – The study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth and other planets, including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability.
  • Industry – production of an economic good or service.
    • Automation – use of machinery to replace human labor.
    • Industrial machinery
    • Machines – devices that perform or assist in performing useful work.
    • Manufacturing – use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale.
    • Robotics – deals with the design, construction, operation, structural disposition, manufacture and application of robots.
  • Information science
    • Cartography – the study and practice of making maps. Combining science, aesthetics, and technique, cartography builds on the premise that reality can be modeled in ways that communicate spatial information effectively.
    • Library science – technology related to libraries and the information fields.
  • Military science – the study of the technique, psychology, practice and other phenomena which constitute war and armed conflict.
  • Mining – extraction of mineral resources from the earth.
  • Nanotechnology – The study of manipulating matter on an atomic and molecular scale. Generally, nanotechnology deals with structures sized between 1 and 100 nanometre in at least one dimension, and involves developing materials or devices possessing at least one dimension within that size.
  • Prehistoric technology – technologies that emerged before recorded history (i.e., before the development of writing).
  • Quantum technology
  • Sustainability – capacity to endure. In ecology, the word describes how biological systems remain diverse and productive over time. Long-lived and healthy wetlands and forests are examples of sustainable biological systems. For humans, sustainability is the potential for long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions.
  • Transport – the transfer of people or things from one place to another.
    • Rail transport – means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks consisting of steel rails installed on sleepers/ties and ballast.
    • Vehicles – mechanical devices for transporting people or things.
      • Automobiles – human-guided powered land-vehicles.
      • Bicycles – human-powered land-vehicles with two or more wheels.
      • Motorcycles – single-track, engine-powered, motor vehicles. They are also called motorbikes, bikes, or cycles.
      • Vehicle components
        • Tires – ring-shaped coverings that fit around wheel rims

Technology by region

History of technology

History of technology

History of technology by period

Technological ages

  • Stone Age – Prehistoric period during which stone was widely used by humans to make tools and weapons
  • Bronze Age – Historical period (c. 3300–1200 BC)
  • Iron Age – Archaeological period
  • The Renaissance – European cultural period of the 14th to 17th centuries
  • Industrial Age – Period of human history from the mid 18th to late 20th centuries
  • Information Age – Industrial shift to information technology

Media about the history of technology

  • Connections – documentary television series and 1978 book ("Connections" based on the series) created, written and presented by science historian James Burke. It took an interdisciplinary approach to the history of science and invention and demonstrated how various discoveries, scientific achievements, and historical world events were built from one another successively in an interconnected way to bring about particular aspects of modern technology. There were 3 seasons produced, and they aired in 1978, 1994, and 1997.
  • The Day the Universe Changed – documentary television series written and presented by science historian James Burke, originally broadcast in 1985 by the BBC. The series' primary focus is on the effect of advances in science and technology on western society in its philosophical aspects. Ran for one season, in 1986.

History of technology by region

History of technology by field

Hypothetical technology

Potential technology of the future includes:

Hypothetical technology

  • Femtotechnology – hypothetical term used in reference to structuring of matter on the scale of a femtometer, which is 10−15 m. This is a smaller scale in comparison to nanotechnology and picotechnology which refer to 10−9 m and 10−12 m respectively. Work in the femtometer range involves manipulation of excited energy states within atomic nuclei (see nuclear isomer) to produce metastable (or otherwise stabilized) states with unusual properties.

Philosophy of technology

Philosophy of technology – Studies of the nature of technology

Strategy of technology

Advancement of technology

Politics of technology

Politics and technology

Economics of technology

Technology education

Technology museums

  • Technoseum – Technology museum in Mannheim, Germany

Technology organizations

Science and technology think tanks

Technology media

For historical treatments, see Media about the history of technology, above

Books on technology

Technology periodicals


Fictional technology

Fictional technology

Persons influential in technology

See also

Further reading

  • Ambrose, Stanley H. (2 March 2001). "Paleolithic Technology and Human Evolution" (PDF). Science. 291 (5509): 1748–53. Bibcode: 2001Sci...291.1748A. doi: 10.1126/science.1059487. PMID  11249821. S2CID  6170692. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 June 2007. Retrieved 10 March 2007.
  • Huesemann, M.H., and J.A. Huesemann (2011). Technofix: Why Technology Won’t Save Us or the Environment, New Society Publishers, ISBN  0865717044.
  • Kremer, Michael (1993). "Population Growth and Technological Change: One Million B.C. to 1990". Quarterly Journal of Economics. 108 (3): 681–716. doi: 10.2307/2118405. JSTOR  2118405..
  • Kevin Kelly. What Technology Wants. New York, Viking Press, 14 October 2010, hardcover, 416 pages. ISBN  978-0670022151
  • Mumford, Lewis. (2010). Technics and Civilization. University of Chicago Press, ISBN  0226550273.
  • Rhodes, Richard. (2000). Visions of Technology: A Century of Vital Debate about Machines, Systems, and the Human World. Simon & Schuster, ISBN  0684863111.
  • Teich, A.H. (2008). Technology and the Future. Wadsworth Publishing, 11th edition, ISBN  0495570524.
  • Wright, R.T. (2008). Technology. Goodheart-Wilcox Company, 5th edition, ISBN  1590707184.


External links

Technology news

Miscellaneous topics

Note: these topics need to be placed in the outline above. Some may be irrelevant and those should be removed. New sections may be needed in the outline to provide a suitable place for some of these items. Annotations by way of short descriptions may help decide where a link should go.