Here are the stories of some of the greatest discoveries that changed the course of history and for mankind. Although chance had a major role to play in these momentous discoveries, these discoveries has proven to be invaluable in the field of health, to reduce mortality, to make life much simpler and add value to human life in unparalleled ways.
Top 7 discoveries that changed the World
Fire keeps us warm; fire helps us survive, fire helps us cook and renders us with some of the most pleasurable moments of life such as a warm campfire on a Wintry night! At times, fire can be scary and destructive too. In short, life cannot be imagined without the existence of fire. But who discovered fire? Well, there is no answer to that. Greek mythology dictates that the Titan of Greek mythology, Prometheus, stole fire from Zeus and the Gods and gifted it to mankind. Natives believe that Wolves have brought fire to people after stealing it from the Evil himself. Such stories are everywhere but the truth is, the question is not who discovered fire but who controlled fire! Because fire did not wait to be invented. When lighting stuck forests and set up wildfire, our ancestors already were profoundly aware of this magnanimous thing and the effects it can have on human. It is believed by scientists that in the early stone age Homo Erectus mastered the art of controlling fire and used it productively for cooking flesh and keeping themselves warm.
Oxygen was first found by Swedish drug specialist Carl Wilhelm Scheele. He had found it by around 1772. Scheele called the gas “fire air” since it was the main known supporter of ignition, and composed a record of this disclosure in an original copy he titled Treatise on Air and Fire, which he sent to his distributer in 1775. In any case, that record was not distributed until 1777. Meanwhile, oxygen was additionally recognized by Joseph Priestly in 1774. Clerical found a dry gas from warmed red mercuric oxide. He discovered this gas was exceptionally ignitable. He called it dephlogisticated air. Priestly imparted his discovery to the French researcher Antoine Lavoisier. Lavoisier was able to show oxygen supported animal life respiration.
The main name for penicillin was “mould juice.” Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming coincidentally found the anti-microbial in 1928, when he returned from an excursion and found that a green mass called Penicillium notatum had defiled Petri dishes in his lab and were killing a portion of the microscopic organisms he’d been developing. So, he separated the mass, developed a greater amount of it, and afterward tested to observe what number of other bacteria it could kill. Bunches of them, it turned out! We presently realize that penicillin works by keeping microscopic organisms from creating new cell wall. No new walls, no new cells, no new bacterial development.
At that time, people used to die haplessly because of very minor issues, such as a small scratch that got infected, or a tooth extraction process which refused to heal or a moderately deep cut. The reason of all those deaths were infection and the inability of medical science to control and cure it and which later on, was made possible by Fleming’s Penicillin.
How can we imagine modern life without electricity! And all thanks to Michael Faraday for discovering this powerful energy that has changed the history of human lives and civilization! He has 2 big discoveries to his credit. In 1821, he discovered that when a wire carrying an electric current is placed next to a single magnetic pole, the wire will rotate. This led to the development of the electric motor. After ten years, he turned into the main individual to deliver an electric flow by moving a wire through a magnetic field. Faraday’s trial made the main generator, the precursor of the immense generators that produce our power.
The Microwave was invented utterly by accident one fateful day 70 years ago by Raytheon engineer named Percy Spencer when he was testing a military-grade magnetron and suddenly realized his snack had melted. So, the magnetron was emitting some “mysterious unknown” waves that was cooking the candy bar! With a little experimentation, Spencer made sense of that the microwaves could be concentrated to heat food items. He made the first microwave oven, and the very first food he cooked in it was popcorn. From then on, this wonder machine has evolved over the decades and now has reached into the kitchens of millions of households and serving our cooking needs daily.
In 1879, researcher Constantine Fahlberg while working in John Hopkins University in the laboratory of professor Ira Remsen, accidentally discovered the oldest form of artificial sweetener which now is the saviour for millions of diabetic patients all across the globe and is widely used in various food items and beverages. Fahlberg’s revelation came after he neglected to wash his hands before lunch. He was working in his lab all the day and afterwards, when he started having his bread, it tasted unusually sweet! That’s because his hands got into contact with some unusual chemical which remained because he didn’t wash his hands. And thus was discovered Saccharin!
7. Light Bulb
Yes! That bright little thing above your head that has lit up the whole room, my next storytelling is on that fascinating piece of object and how a chain of events led to the invention of it! You heard it right! This one thing is an “invention” and not a “discovery” like the first 6. A discovery is recognizing something that already exists but for the first time and an invention is creating something totally new with one’s own ideas and development. Then why did the “light bulb” make it to the list? Because the story is fascinating and needs to be told.
The main electric light was made in 1800 by Humphry Davy, an English researcher. He tried different things with power and created an electric battery. When he connected wires to his battery and a piece of carbon, the carbon glowed, producing light. This is called an electric arc. Afterwards, in 1860, the English physicist Sir Joseph Wilson Swan (1828-1914) was resolved to devise a reasonable, enduring electric light. He found that a carbon paper fibre functioned admirably, however exhausted very rapidly.
In 1878, he demonstrated his new electric lights in Newcastle, England. In 1877, the American Charles Francis Brush produced some carbon arc segments to light an open square in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. These arcs were utilized on a couple of avenues, in a couple of huge places of business, and even a few stores. Electric lights were just utilized by a couple of individuals.
The inventor Thomas Alva Edison explored different avenues regarding a huge number of various filaments to discover the perfect material to glow in the right way and for a long time. In 1879, Edison discovered that a carbon filament in an oxygen-free bulb glowed but did not burn up for 40 hours. Edison eventually produced a bulb that could glow for over 1500 hours.
Lewis Howard Latimer improved the bulb by creating a carbon filament; Latimer was an individual from Edison’s examination group, which was classified “Edison’s Pioneers.” In 1882, Latimer created and licensed a strategy for assembling his carbon fibres.
In 1903, Willis R. Whitney created a treatment for the filament with the goal that it wouldn’t darken the inside walls of the bulb as it gleamed. In 1910, William David Coolidge (1873-1975) developed a tungsten filament which kept glowing for much longer duration than the more established filaments. The incandescent bulb revolutionized the world.