Do wars drive technological advancement?

According to the late Edwin Starr, war is sweet for absolutely nothing. But what proportion of the technology we rely upon today began as a sort of military technology? Wars put an infinite demand upon a nation’s resources. It’s expensive to wage war. As soldiers march off to battle, the people left behind must work even harder to stay the nation’s infrastructure from collapsing.

But wars may have beneficial effects on economic and technological development. A comparatively recent example of this is often radar. While scientists around the world engaged in using radio antennae to detect distant objects during the first part of the 20th century, we credit Sir Robert Watson-Watt with building the primary practical radar set in 1935. British Air Ministry adopted his design and used it to detect aggressors during the first days of war II. Radar became a vital tool in militaries around the world. It also prompted us to take a position in research and development for brand spanking new ways to confound radar. The result was aircraft technology.

On the civilian front, radar played a distinct role. A scientist by the name of Percy L. Spencer made a remarkable discovery while standing near a magnetron — a tool that powers radar sets. Spencer had a chocolate candy in his pocket. This piqued Spencer’s curiosity and he began to look at what was occurring. This led to the invention of the kitchen appliance. In a way, the net itself began as a military project. Beginning within the 1960s, the U.S. Department of Defense funded a project called ARPANET. the aim of the project was to develop the technologies and protocols necessary to permit multiple computers to attach to each other. this could allow people to share information with one another at unprecedented speeds. A network could even have another benefit: national security. By creating a strong and versatile network, the U.S. could make sure that within the event of a catastrophe, access to the nation’s supercomputers could remain intact. If something happened to a computer node along one route, the data could take another path to induce to the proper destination. the muse for the web is within the protocols and styles built by the ARPANET team.

Another example of how the chance of war-affected technological development is the space race between the U.S. and what was then called Russia. On Oct. 4, 1957, the state succeeded in launching the primary manmade satellite into the Earth’s orbit. A part of that research went into projects like ARPANET. Much of it focused on getting the United States’ space technology prior to the Soviets’. Several factors fueled this race. One was fear — if the Soviets could launch a rocket with a payload of the dimensions of Sputnik into orbit, it absolutely was feasible the country could launch a missile attack on the U.S. from across the world. while there have been many scientific reasons to pursue the space race, on one level it boiled right down to saber-rattling between the 2 nations. While the motives behind the space race might not be purely founded upon a desire to increase our knowledge domain, that in no way diminishes the accomplishments made by both countries. The space race was a symbolic conflict between both countries and put pressure on the scientists and engineers developing the systems and vehicles necessary to place men and ladies into space. a number of this technology later evolved into other forms and was eventually adapted to serve civilian purposes.

It might take a cynic to suggest that we owe all our inspiration to conflicts with others. many innovations come to us independent of war, though they will be employed in warfare later. Our world would look very different if we never waged war, but the dearth of conflict wouldn’t necessarily lead to an absence of inspiration.