What is Inventing: Definition and 13 Discussions

An invention is a unique or novel device, method, composition or process. The invention process is a process within an overall engineering and product development process. It may be an improvement upon a machine or product or a new process for creating an object or a result. An invention that achieves a completely unique function or result may be a radical breakthrough. Such works are novel and not obvious to others skilled in the same field. An inventor may be taking a big step toward success or failure.
An inventor is a person who creates or discovers an invention. The word inventor comes from the Latin verb invenire, invent-, to find. Although inventing is closely associated with science and engineering, inventors are not necessarily engineers nor scientists.Some inventions can be patented. The system of patents was established to encourage inventors by granting limited-term, limited monopoly on inventions determined to be sufficiently novel, non-obvious, and useful. A patent legally protects the intellectual property rights of the inventor and legally recognizes that a claimed invention is actually an invention. The rules and requirements for patenting an invention vary by country and the process of obtaining a patent is often expensive.
Another meaning of invention is cultural invention, which is an innovative set of useful social behaviours adopted by people and passed on to others. The Institute for Social Inventions collected many such ideas in magazines and books. Invention is also an important component of artistic and design creativity. Inventions often extend the boundaries of human knowledge, experience or capability.

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  1. Al-Layth

    How do Engineers Calculate the Dimensions of their Design Ideas?

    You have a design problem statement, which gives you numerical specifications for performance, spatial constraints etc, and you have finally come up with some mechanism ideas you synthesised into a machine concept. You’ve sketched your design’s parts and the final assembly. So: How do you now...
  2. jedishrfu

    A Cautionary Tale on Inventing from the BBC

    This is a cautionary tale on inventing and the desire for the inventor to control his invention to the point where investors wouldn't get on board because they didn't know how it worked. http://www.bbc.com/reel/playlist/searching-for-starlite?vpid=p06llq7w In this case, the invention is...
  3. P

    Programs Is Double Majoring Worth It for the Love of Learning and Personal Growth?

    For a long time I wanted to get degrees in both mechanical and electrical engineering and I recently heard about double majors. For me it's not as much about jobs I want in the future. I wanted to become an engineer because they are problem solvers. I wanted to invent things and or make them...
  4. Shadow-Shocker

    Electrical Build DIY Mini Water Pump: Solve Problems Now

    I am building a mini water pump out of a 3L plastic container, a 6V mini motor, 12 inch straws, a cut up CD for a cover (in the pic it is what is between the fan and straw), and bits of a soda can to make up a fan for the motor. Problem is when I tested the product, not enough water/air is...
  5. D

    Which major do you think would be the best for me?

    I've had this notebook of things I've wanted to create and sell since I was a really young girl, but I don't know how to make them. Therefore, I thought I could go into engineering, because a) I want to learn how to make them, and b) I'm really interested in the concept of engineering and seeing...
  6. T

    Inventing Lagrangians (D'Inverno)

    I am steadily working my way through D'Inverno and have reached Chapter 20. On page 272 there is a problem which goes along the lines of ... here is a Lagrangian ... show that the Einstein tensor can be derived from it. The Lagrangian in question is a 'quadratic' Lagrangian and has four terms...
  7. Math Is Hard

    Historians Admit To Inventing Ancient Greeks

    Aha! I knew it! http://www.theonion.com/articles/historians-admit-to-inventing-ancient-greeks,18209/
  8. S

    Inventing something with just a piece of paper?

    I've watched a documentary about jet engine. Is it really possible to just create something with just a piece of paper? Just using all the laws of physics then use it to construct something perfectly.
  9. fluidistic

    Question about inventing a language program

    I am wondering how the man that invented FORTRAN did so. More precisely : It is not really the language that he invented but more likely a compiler that would understand some syntax that we call "language". So how did he write its compiler? In order to make it work it necessitate a...
  10. S

    Inventing Moons and their Eclilpses-help

    Inventing Moons and their Eclilpses--help! I'm not mathmatically inclined, but I don't mind learning. I used the model of the typical eclipse seasons for Earth, and it works for Earth, but what about inventing a totally different planet with two moons? I hate guessing. I'm calculating an...
  11. G

    I'm inventing my own physics problem for extra credit thermodynamics and fluids

    1. A man falls into a tank at 40 degrees C. His body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. I want to ask if the man will freeze to death, but I don't know at what temperature that happens. Can I ask them to figure out what his final body temperature is, if say he doesn't get rescued in 10...
  12. wolram

    Inventing Process: Agony, Maths & Peanut Butter

    Those of you that have gone through this experience know the agony, the tunnel vission that sets in, only one thing matters, the thing you are inventing. having to take in the gammut of various aspects of the design, the maths, oh the maths, i have had to fill both sides of four pages of a4...
  13. R

    Which Degree is Best for Inventing Tech: Engineering or PhD?

    Which degree is more suitable for inventing technological stuffs, Degree of Engineering ( an additional year of study beyond Master Degree for professional engineering ) or Ph.D (research and teaching )?