10 march, 2013
“To invent u need a good imagination and a pile of junk.” –Thomas Edison
Inventing solutions and inventions is familiar to us in science and engineering. We use the word ‘invention’ in creative endeavours such as mathematics, music, literature and sometimes in fine art too. In a broader context invention can be defined as the purposeful use of imagination, to satisfy a human need and making human life a lot easier. The timing and the underlying mental processes are the aspects of invention which specifically outline in relation to science and technology; these equally apply to wider sectors of problem solving and creativity. In this era even an eight year old kid could build all kind of things let it be ramps, toy cars and many mechanical gadgets. The most astonishing part is that all this can be done by using simple tools like scissors, duct tape, screwdriver etc.
A very important and vital requirement for an invention is a new ‘idea’ instead of reformulation of an existing idea. We often use the word ‘Innovation’ synonymously with invention yet there is whole lot of difference. An innovation only becomes an invention when it’s been put into practise. Many of the inventions do have the potential to solve practical problems or to satisfy human needs and make life easier, but they can only earn the title of innovation when they fulfil this potential of solving. This difference can only be elaborated by the distribution of electrical power according to alternating current. Nikola Tesla invented the poly-phase AC system in 1882 and sold his patent to Westinghouse electric and manufacturing company who further developed the concept into an innovative technology making Alternating Current power available for industrial use and street lighting.