ASPIRING TO PRECISION

The 19th century industrial revolution stimulated rapid developments in science and technology. Science’s symbiosis with advanced technology led to a revolution in measurement.
Instruments with ever greater precision were developed. The discovery of subtle differences, previously impossible to measure, led to scientific advances. Researchers could now review older theories and make predictions that could then be tested using new instruments. Scientific knowledge grew step by step, decimal by decimal.
Laboratories and observatories, which had previously been largely private, now became more advanced, specialised and expensive, and moved into the universities. Even though Sweden was remote from the scientific centres of Europe, researchers such as Berzelius and Ångström achieved international success.
As the pursuit of science reached out beyond national borders, the need for an international language for science increased. Through standardising measures and units it became possible to coordinate and compare measurements, further stimulating scientific progress.