Jet engines are very precisely engineered .

Jet engines are very precisely engineered .

Think of the inventions that created the modern world: electric power, computers, the steam engine. These are all important, but there’s one thing they share: precision engineering.

We take precision for granted today, even though we need it for countless daily tasks. Our devices, our cars, airplanes, even electric toothbrushes are built with an exactitude that would’ve been unthinkable two centuries ago.

As precision takes over more and more of our lives, it’s also worth asking: At what cost? And now that we can measure things down to the atom, are we reaching the limits of precision?

Simon Winchester’s new book, “The Perfectionists,” tells the story of precision engineering, from the steam engine to quantum computing. But it’s less a history of inventions than the story of how a simple idea helped create modernity.

Guests

  • Simon Winchester Author, "The Perfectionists," "The Map That Changed The World,"and "The Professor and the Madman"; @simonwwriter

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