Whenever there is a breakthrough in technology, many different fields of study are able to reap the benefits. Those that major in English literature can benefit from the various applications that can be downloaded onto and installed into a smart phone. Breakthroughs in technology can help athletes improve their performance. The field of forensic science is no exception. With regard to solving various crimes, forensic scientists play an important role.
Despite the skills possessed by forensic scientists, they are also limited by the technology that is available to them. One simply has to watch episodes of “CSI” (Crime Scene Investigation) or “NCIS” to show how modern day technology is used to solve various cases. If you have played Capcom's “Ace Attorney” games for the Nintendo DS, you should be familiar with the cases in which you are assisted by Ema Skye who specializes in forensic science. They should give you ideas on the different tools that forensic scientists use.
An eHow article on the issue lists the following tools used by those in the field of forensic science. The following tools listed are: dictaphone, camera, UV (ultraviolet) lighting, lifting tape, and gas chromagraph.
The dictaphone is basic as it records the speaking of the forensic scientist who is taking notes of the crime scene. This allows forensic scientists to retrace their steps whenever they are at a dead end or back to square one. The camera is important as it allows for investigators to take pictures of the crime scene. Like the dictaphone, the photos taken by the camera used at the crime scene allows investigators to backtrack to find missing pieces of the puzzle. UV lighting allows investigators to find things that are not seen under normal light. If you are looking for blood stains and other bodily fluids, the UV light is an important tool to have at your disposal. The gas chemograph is important as it allows you to identify substances found at the scene.
Comparison Microscopes has another list: tweezers, bags/envelopes, dusting powder, vacuum, measuring tools, and microscopes.
Tweezers allow you to pick up the smallest pieces of evidence, dusting powder allows you to find prints, vacuums allow you to collect tiny pieces of evidence, and measuring tools allow you to get evidential measurements. The bags and envelopes are to ensure that none of the evidence gets tampered with. There have been many cases overturned in court due to evidence being tampered with.
Popular Mechanics has a list of other tools for forensic scientists. Those tools allow forensic scientists to use microfluidics, microextraction, and serology.
The tools of the forensic scientist are many. Because of the diversity of circumstances in cases, a forensic scientist needs as many reliable tools at his/her disposal. The more arsenal you have, the better you can do your role at solving cases and finding the perpetrator. As technology progresses, forensic scientists will have access to newer and more reliable tools for the field.