The top discoveries of all time
Focus collected the top 12 life-changing top discoveries of all time, after which our present and future changed forever.
In the history of mankind there have been many great discoveries that have changed the world, which have contributed to the development of civilization for thousands of years. From the discovery of fire, wheel and penicillin to more advanced developments in the field of artificial intelligence, drones and solar panels. Focus has collected the most significant discoveries in human history, which still continue to change our world for the better.
The top discoveries of all time: fire
Homo Sapience is believed to have started lighting fires on its own about 1.42 million years ago. Scientists drew these conclusions based on findings discovered at the archaeological site of an ancient man in East Africa, known as Chesovanya.
The fact that humans learned to make fires on their own was a fundamental turning point in the history of Homo Sapience that forever separated humans from animals.
The top discoveries of all time: the wheel
Before in 3500 BC. People invented the wheel, our species was very limited in moving ashore. David Anthony, an anthropology professor at Hartwick College, claims that creating the wheel itself was not the most difficult aspect of the task.
When it was time to join the stationary platform to the rotating cylinder, the true challenge started.
“The concept of wheel and axle was a really brilliant idea,” says Professor Anthony.
The hard work paid off, and the advent of wheeled wagons facilitated agriculture and trade. Wheeled trolleys made it easier to transport goods and travel long distances.
Wheels remain vital in today’s world and can be found in everything from watches and cars to giant turbines.
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The top discoveries of all time: nails
This key (or “nail”?) invention became possible thanks to the 2000-year history of Ancient Rome, where people learned to fuse metal and give it the desired shape. But before the advent of nails, wooden structures had to be erected by geometrically connected plates, which required a lot of time and effort.
By the end of the 18th century, nails were a purely handmade product, where a blacksmith softened a square iron bar and then hammered it on all four sides to create a sharp tip.
Nail-making machines invented between the 1790s and the early 1800s. After The English inventor Henry Bessemer developed the mass steel manufacturing process, the iron nails of the past gradually disappeared.
But the invention of the screw is usually attributed to the Greek scientist Archimedes – who lived in the 3rd century BC.
The top discoveries of all time: the compass
The old navigators knew how to use the stars to navigate, but this method had a significant disadvantage: it did not work during the day or with cloudy weather at night.
The first compass was created in China during the Han Dynasty between the 2th and 1st centuries BC. This compass was created from magnetite, a naturally magnetized iron ore. Its amazing properties have been studied by ancient scientists for centuries. But for the first time, the compass was used directly for navigation during the Song Dynasty, between the 11th and 12th centuries.
A little later, the technology arrived in the West, where it allowed sailors to move freely away from the land, opening new shores and opening up new routes for trade.
The top discoveries of all time: Gravity
It is known that Isaac Newton’s most important discovery was gravity. Legend has it that an English physicist discovered the attraction of the Earth (gravity) after an apple fell on his head. Unfortunately, this story is only partially true. The sight of an apple falling from a tree led Newton to ask what force attracts objects to the ground in a straight line, and not on a curved trajectory, such as a falling cannonball.
The answer to that question was gravity, the force that pulls objects at each other. And the farther away these objects are, the weaker that force will be.
Later, Newton’s work and his definition of gravity helped explain and study a variety of physical phenomena: from the flight path of a baseball to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.
In 1687 Newton published his famous book “Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy”. In it, the physicist formed the law of universal gravitation and the three laws of movement. This task became the basis of modern physics.
The top discoveries of all time: the Earth revolves around the sun
Galileo’s most important discovery was that the Earth revolves around the Sun, not vice versa, as previously believed.
The Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei made the most important discovery of his life shortly after the invention of the first telescope in the Netherlands.
The astronomer learned how to make his own powerful telescopes and began to observe the phases of the planet Venus. At that moment, Galileo noticed that the planet goes through the same phases as the moon. Based on this observation, Galileo came to the conclusion that the central point of the solar system should be the Sun, not the Earth.
Galileo also made other important astronomical discoveries. For example, it was he who discovered that the surface of the moon is not smooth, as commonly believed. In 1610, an astronomer discovered that Jupiter has four moons. Galileo was also the first to claim that there were far more stars in the universe than man could see, that was a shock to the scientific community of Galileo’s time.
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The top discoveries of all time: the press
Johannes Gutenberg invented the manual press and made a major breakthrough in the free flow of information
Between 1440 and 1450, the German engineer Johannes Gutenberg invented the manual press. He was not a pioneer in this area – before Gutenberg, printers (though not so perfect) already existed in China and Korea. Gutenberg’s machine was more convenient to use and allowed the use of a large number of metal plates and moving characters.
Thanks to this simplified process, printing presses have often increased the speed of making copies of books, which has led to a rapid and wide dissemination of knowledge.
Typography has become a real revolution in the dissemination of knowledge: in just 50 years, around 1500, about 40,000 publications with a total circulation of 20 million volumes were printed in Western Europe.
In addition, printing presses provided greater access to the Bible, which led to several alternative interpretations of Scripture. As an example, an interpretation by Martin Luther and his “95 Theses” . It was printed in hundreds of thousands of copies and was the beginning of the Protestant Reformation.
The top discoveries of all time: the internal combustion engine
As you know, during fuel combustion, a high temperature gas is released that, when expanded, acts on the piston by moving it. And that is how internal combustion engines transform chemical energy into mechanical work.
In the latter half of the 19th century, the internal combustion engine—the product of decades of engineering work—took on its present shape.
The creation of the engine marked the beginning of the industrial era and also gave rise to a huge variety of machines, including modern cars and airplanes.
It is known that in 1791 John Barber invented the gas turbine and in 1794 Robert Street patented the internal combustion engine of liquid fuel and built a functional prototype.
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The top discoveries of all time: the telephone
Several inventors at once did pioneering work in the field of telephony, but the first to receive a patent for an electric phone was an American-Canadian scientist of Scottish origin, Alexander Graham Bell. He filed his patent on March 7, 1876.Three days later, Bell made his first phone call. He called his assistant and said, “Mr. Watson, come to me, I want to see you.
“According to Bell himself, his own family inspired him to invent the phone. The inventor’s father taught oratory and helped teach speech to the deaf. Bell’s mother was a musician and lost her hearing in her old age. The inventor’s wife has been deaf since she was five years old.
Bell’s invention gained deserved fame and popularity, and also revolutionized business and communication.
On the day of Bell’s death on August 2, 1922, all telephone communications in the United States and Canada were interrupted for a minute to honor the inventor’s memory.
The top discoveries of all time: the bulb
With the invention of the lamp, humanity has forever conquered its dependence on natural light, allowing people to work productively at any time of the day.
Several inventors worked on the lamp throughout the 19th century, but American inventor Thomas Edison did it first. In 1879, he created a fully functional lighting system, including a generator and wiring, and with them the carbon filament lamp itself.
Edison’s invention not only brought electricity to homes around the world, but also changed the way people sleep. Instead of going to bed at dusk and waking up early, people started sleeping later and sleeping without waking up until morning.
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The top discoveries of all time: penicillin
In 1928, Scottish scientist Alexander Fleming discovered a mess in his laboratory: someone forgot to close a Petri dish full of bacteria. As the lid was left ajar, the entire sample was infected with mold – and where it appeared, all the bacteria died. Thus, from the negligence of a laboratory assistant, a great discovery was born.
The antibiotic mold found turned out to be the fungus Penicillium. Over the next two decades, chemists were able to clean the mold, study its properties, and develop the drug penicillin. Penicillin can deal with a large number of bacterial infections in humans without harming the human body.
In 1944, penicillin was being produced and marketed in bulk. For example, one of the advertising posters advised World War II soldiers to take the medicine to get rid of venereal diseases.
The top discoveries of all time: The Internet
In 1960s, a bunch of scientists working for the U.S. Department of Defense’s Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) created a communications network to connect all of the agency’s computers. It was called ARPANET and is considered the forerunner of the Internet.
This network used a data transfer method called “packet switching” developed by arpa scientist and team member Lawrence Roberts.
In the 1970s, the technology was enhanced by scientists Robert Kahn and Vinton Cerf. Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) and Internet Protocol (IP) were invented by them as the two most crucial Internet communication protocols (IP). Many people refer to Kahn and Cerf as the “inventors of the Internet” as a result of their developments.
The Internet received a new round of development in 1989 thanks to CERN scientist Tim Berners-Lee, who invented the World Wide Web (WWW). The goal of the World Wide Web, according to CERN, “was to aggregate all new developments into an accessible worldwide information system.”
The creation of WWW brought unprecedented levels of global connectivity and opened up the Internet to all users.
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