Scientific Research and the Electrical Industry

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    WE learn from A.E.G. Progress for October that owing to the present trade depression, the German electrical industry is being compelled to exercise the most rigid economy. On the other hand, it is doing its utmost to explore the possibilities of new sources of revenue. To achieve this, it is relying on scientific research and on utilising the results obtained in industry and agriculture. It is recognised that many of the benefits conferred on the civilised world during the last two generations have been due to the close co-operation between the research worker and the engineer. The Research Institute of the A.E.G., which commenced work as a private institute several years ago, has now opened its doors to a wider public and to the Press. Prof. Ramsauer is the head of the Institute and has forty scientific workers under him, the problems investigated covering a wide field in physics, chemistry, and engineering. The field of purely scientific research is the field in which the Institute is least fettered, as the question of technical application is of secondary importance. In fact, technical considerations may be a drawback, as a predetermined purpose cramps scientific research and may even lead it astray. Only when the investigations have been carried to a conclusion, uninfluenced by preconceived ideas, is the possible use of the technical applications of the results considered. In this way the nature of the electron was investigated in the physical laboratory and the conclusion arrived at that its behaviour is similar to that of a wave. It is stated that the use of electron waves for surface structure analysis represents a valued and important application of the knowledge thus obtained.

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    Scientific Research and the Electrical Industry. Nature 129, 52 (1932) doi:10.1038/129052b0

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