The twentieth century has witnessed some of the most revolutionary discoveries in the history of mankind. They have given a new dimension to the scientific world. Here is an overview of the ten most famous inventions of the twentieth century.
It is a semiconductor device used to amplify or switch electronic signals. It is an important component of many electronic devices such as telephones and computers. In 1925, Julius Edgar Lilienfeld, an Austrian-Hungarian physicist filed a patent for the principle of field-effect transistor. Dr. Oskar Heil, a German physicist patented another field-effect transistor in 1947. William Shockley contributed to knowledge about a transistor's working.
Today, one will hardly find a home without a television set. Watching TV is a favorite leisure activity for most of us. But not many know about its discovery. During the early stages of its development, a television included the technologies used to capture, transmit, and display images. Leon Theremin, an inventor from Russia developed a drum-based television system. Later that year, moving images were transmitted for the first time ever from Washington DC to New York City.
World Wide Web
The World Wide Web, abbreviated as WWW is defined as a system of hypertext documents that are accessed over the Internet. Tim Berners-Lee, an English scientist is credited with the invention of the World Wide Web. Its development began in 1990 and it was made available to the public in April 1993. Thanks to the WWW, we can access the Internet through easy means.
It is a technique of photocopying documents and visual images. Charles Floyd Carlson, an American physicist and inventor developed this technique in 1938. The technique was patented in 1942. Today, it is used in laser and LED printers as well as in photocopying machines worldwide. It is interesting to know how the name 'xerography' came about. It is derived from the Greek words, xerox meaning 'dry' and graphos meaning 'writing'.
The technique that is used in the identification of individuals on the basis of their DNA profiles, is known as DNA profiling. Forensic scientists use this technique commonly. Sir Alec Jeffreys, a British geneticist working at the University of Leicester in England reported the DNA profiling technique for the first time in 1985.
A silicon chip that contains the central processing unit of a computer is referred to as a microprocessor. It is the central controlling unit of most of the digital devices as also computers and workstations. Microprocessors were introduced in the 1970s. Following their introduction, there has been a continuous growth in their capacities and speeds. Today, they are a part of a wide variety of electronic devices, ranging from embedded systems right up to supercomputers.
Everyone knows what a CD is. Yes, it refers to an optical disc format that is used to store digital data. It was originally developed to store digital audio, but came to be used as a standard data storage media. It is capable of storing about 700 MB data. CDs entered the market in October 1982. The CD-ROM was introduced in 1985 and the CD-Recordable format came in 1990.
The discovery of penicillin is attributed to Sir Alexander Fleming, a biologist and pharmacologist from Scotland. His research on antibacterial agents resulted in the discovery of an antibiotic substance called penicillin, which was derived from the fungus Penicillium notatum. The year 1928 witnessed the brilliant discovery of this antibiotic. This achievement of Alexander Fleming earned him the Noble Prize in Physiology and Medicine.
An electronic circuit that has two stable states is referred to as a flip-flop. British physicists, William Eccles and F.W. Jordan invented the flip-flop in 1918. Initially, it consisted of two radio tubes. Today's flip-flops consist of two control signals and a clock signal, and require power and ground connections. They are used to store data and can be used to build finite state machines.
It is a pointing device that detects two-dimensional motion in relation to a computer screen. It was invented in 1968 by Douglas Engelbart, an American inventor working at the Stanford Research Institute. This invention was taken as a very small discovery that was a part of a much larger project, and Engelbart received no royalties for it. He continued with research on pointing devices and conceptualized many more. He is surely to be thanked for his brilliant discovery of the computer mouse.
This was a list of the 10 greatest scientific achievements of the 20th century. These inventions have changed the face of the world and the way we live.