Originally posted by twhitehead
I think that is the key to the issue. It is likely that a lot of studies actually seek to prove that their hypothesis, that they strongly suspect to be correct, is, in fact, correct. As a result, most of these studies will find the answer they were looking for - and correctly so.
My own criticism of scientific studies is that the researchers frequently ...[text shortened]... phones, it seems to me has as much to do with engineering as science (not quite the same thing).
I agree about the results and media, but about the steam ships and such, many fundamental discoveries had to be made first like the concept of the semiconductor Vs the electron tube, these things had to be worked out before ANY of the advanced technologies enabled by engineers could work.
Just think how far computers could have come if we hadn't worked out the fundamental issues of semiconductors, doping, for instance. When semi's were new, doping was done by sticking the silicon wafers in an oven and feeding it the dopant gas, usually either phosphorous, arsenic, or boron, to allow electron flow because pure silicon is a very good insulator.
Later it was theorized you could use an accelerator, which previously had been used in particle physics but it was realized a beam of ionized arsenic, for instance, could make a very uniform dopant on the silicon wafer, which had to be achieved in order to make billions of parts that had the same characteristics. The old way of using an oven left many different conduction characteristics across the wafer, thus making it impossible to make identical chips.
But someone had to make the fundamental connection to a much more powerful technique, and that someone was not an engineer. I may sound like I know what I am talking about in this instance because I do. I was for 20 years an ion implant field service engineer, in just about every cleanroom in the US and in Israel. In this particular technology, pure science had to come up with the solution to the non-uniform doping of the silicon wafer.
That one discovery enabled all the goodies we have today, GPS small as a watch, cell phones, computers, etc., none of that would have happened without the fundamental sea change of the ion implanter. After the discovery of using ion beams was made, THEN it was engineering that took over and refined and re-refined the techniques and all the subsequent developments of the semiconductor world.
The funny part is, now that individual transistors are down to 25 or less nanometers and you are now starting to count the individual atoms that make up the device, a few thousand only now, and maybe only a few hundred in the near future, that size regime has pretty much eliminated the need for much ion implantation.
Because the depth of implant has now gotten so low other dopant techniques have been worked out that does not require much in the way of ion acceleration, the old implanters being way too powerful for todays incredibly small features.
We are talking now of implants needing only 200 volts of acceleration where before, 20 or so years ago, we talked about 200,000 volts of accel or even more, 500KEV or even 1 or 2 MEG EV. All that is pretty much out the window with the latest generation of parts.
Which is not to say ion implantation is not used any more, far from it. Older chips are still made by the millions and they still rely on hundreds of KEV to bury the ions deep under the surface of the silicon wafer and high voltage transistors and silicon control rectifiers cannot EVER be made as small as todays computer chips and thus there is still a niche area for those multi KEV implants and even megavolt implants. But not for the latest transistors making up our newest generation of computer chips and such.
The higher the KEV of implant, the deeper the ions are buried underneath and there are still processes that require that deep level of implant but not for the very smallest parts which are also the very shallowest depth, when they shrink in one dimension they shrink pretty much in all dimensions including depth which by definition requires smaller and smaller voltages to get an ion to a specific depth. Anyway, all that engineering had to be preceded by a lot of fundamental research to get as far as we have.