Studying chemistry requires a lot of technical equipment that may not always be available to everyone. It is becoming increasingly difficult for people without the access or means to obtain this technology to keep up with the advanced study of chemistry.
Fortunately, science has made great strides in finding ways around this barrier; read more to understand better. One of the first things that come to mind when talking about technology and chemistry is precision scales. Chemistry requires precise measurements of chemicals, such as milligrams and milliliters. In the past, this meant spending a great deal on one’s scales or having to borrow them from school.
Nowadays, most universities have precise scales readily available, with some even having their precision scales. Almost anyone can find an accurate scale in most stores, which was not easy to do twenty years ago.
Here are some examples of how the field of chemistry has benefitted from the latest technological developments.
Chemistry and the World Wide Web
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One of the most significant breakthroughs in recent years in chemistry is how it has been affected by the internet and networking technology. The worldwide web is a powerful tool for scientists because it makes research much easier to conduct and share with fellow chemists who may be thousands of miles away. The Worldwide Web has also made it easier for people to share ideas and information about their current chemistry research.
One great example of how the internet is helpful in chemistry is when scientists perform virtual screening on chemical libraries. It lets them see which molecules are most likely to bind to a specific receptor or enzyme without leaving the laboratory, thus saving time and money.
Electronic Lab Notebooks
One specific area of chemistry that has significantly benefitted from the internet is electronic laboratory notebooks (ELN). It allows chemists to access their lab notes and data instantly instead of going back to the lab and entering them manually into a laptop or computer file. The ELN can be accessed from any location, so scientists no longer have to plan their schedules around being at the lab. Since the data is directly entered into a digital file, it can be easily shared and manipulated for statistical analysis.
Mass spectrometry has been used in chemistry research labs for many years now as a way to study molecular and atomic interactions. But newer developments in this area have made it possible to conduct extensive studies, even of complicated systems involving living organisms. The time and expense of setting up mass spectrometry equipment have been minimized thanks to the internet, allowing scientists to access equipment from other facilities worldwide.
Scientists have used the diffraction of x-rays to study crystals for many years, but there was a time when only the most extensive and most expensive crystalline samples could be analyzed using this method. Now, smaller crystals can be placed on top of an x-ray micro-focus beam and studied much lower cost. As with mass spectrometry, the internet has made it easier to access x-ray crystallography equipment by allowing scientists to use online wet lab exchanges.
Holographic Virtual Reality
This technology allows researchers to visualize complex three-dimensional molecular structures to study them more effectively. Until recently, this type of holographic viewing was only possible with the use of a supercomputer system. The internet has since made it possible to do this from any computer with an internet connection and browser plugin.
In conclusion, the internet has had a significant impact on chemistry research. It is hard to understand the way scientists made discoveries several decades ago without access to this technology. Thanks to networking technology, even small companies can conduct cutting-edge studies that would have required much bigger laboratories in the past. Advances in networking are shaping the future of chemistry research.