Why Is Milk White?: & 200 Other Curious Chemistry Questions (2013)
How are technology and chemistry different and alike?
Technology is about making and using tools. Sometimes the tools are physical things, and sometimes they are processes or systems that allow us to do something in a better way.
Chemists use many tools, so they use technology all the time. They use tools such as scales, spectrographs, gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, computers, pH meters, and Bunsen burners. But they also use techniques such as titration, crystallization, chromatography, and flame tests, all of which are technologies, even if they don’t use a particular tool.
Chemists are also at the forefront of tool design, helping design new materials for things like jet engines, surgical devices, lights, lasers, computer chips, and automobile engines.
Chemists are helping to develop new technologies all the time. New high-temperature superconductors are being made by chemists working with physicists. New kinds of rubber for car tires, new kinds of plastics for lightweight aircraft, biodegradable plastics for disposable eating utensils, and nanomaterials for electronics and medicine are just a few examples.