Laboratories used for scientific research take many forms because of the differing requirements of specialists in the building scientific apparatus pdf download fields of science and engineering. A physics laboratory might contain a particle accelerator or vacuum chamber, while a metallurgy laboratory could have apparatus for casting or refining metals or for testing their strength.
A chemist or biologist might use a wet laboratory, while a psychologist’s laboratory might be a room with one-way mirrors and hidden cameras in which to observe behavior. Scientists in other fields will use still other types of laboratories.
Engineers use laboratories as well to design, build, and test technological devices. Scientific laboratories can be found as research room and learning spaces in schools and universities, industry, government, or military facilities, and even aboard ships and spacecraft.
Despite the underlying notion of the lab as a confined space for experts, the term “laboratory” is also increasingly applied to workshop spaces such as Living Labs, Fab Labs, or Hackerspaces, in which people meet to work on societal problems or make prototypes, working collaboratively or sharing resources. This development is inspired by new, participatory approaches to science and innovation and relies on user-centred design methods and concepts like Open innovation or User innovation,. One distinctive feature of work in Open Labs is phenomena of translation, driven by the different backgrounds and levels of expertise of the people involved.
Early instances of “laboratories” recorded in English involved alchemy and the preparation of medicines. The emergence of Big Science during World War II increased the size of laboratories and scientific equipment, introducing particle accelerators and similar devices. The earliest laboratory according to the present evidence is a home laboratory of Pythagoras of Samos, the well-known Greek philosopher and scientist.