In this article, the important inventions of the 20th century in the field is science and technology are listed.
1. Nuclear Power
Nuclear power is the energy generated from nuclear reactions. Nuclear energy is generated in the form of heat energy which is then converted into electricity which light ups the city. It is more efficient compared to the energy generated from coal and natural gas and is pollution free at the time of operation of the power plant, but it’s waste product is fatal to the living organism as the radiation emitted from it triggers mutation (rapid change in the DNA structure) in the DNA which leads to the skin disorder. So, proper procedure is followed to dispose its waste product under the guidance of the nuclear experts. As the history itself is the proof that every inventionhas pros, cons and limitations. The great Physicist Enrico Fermi is considered a major role in the discovery of nuclear energy but at the time of invention he might have not imagined that nuclear energy will also take millions of lives within a fraction of seconds if it is misused.
Several nuclear disasters have been observed in the last 5-7 decades which may be due to some faults or using nuclear powered missiles to win the war. If someone has read the article/book or seen footages of World War II he/she might be in a shock at the climax of the war as two nuclear bombs dropped at Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki killed around 2,30,000 people. After the second world war leaders of the many major participants of the world war came forward and established an organisation named United Nations Organisation (UNO) which will govern and monitor the behaviour of the country associated with it in order to maintain peace in the world and together work for the development of the lives of the mankind. Right now more than 10+ countries possess nuclear weapons.
The first aeroplane was built and operated in 1903 by OrvilleWright and WilburWright popularly known as Wright brothers. Aeroplane is the fastest mode of public and commercial transport now a day. Many people in the 19th century and earlier might have inspired at looking bird flying in the sky and would have thought moving from one place to another by flying but this was just an imagination later Wright brothers made their imaginations into reality. After few decades, the manufacture of the aeroplane had a drastic change in its model and operation with the inventions of the newer technologies and it made the travelling life of the people better. It saved time while travelling, encouraged people to travel for longer distances, carried more number of people at a stretch as compared to other mode of transport, lifted and supplied more goods and stuffs on high demands. It is possible to reach another state/country within a few hours by looking into sky and the earth by an aeroplane. Thanks to Wright brothers for their great inventions.
3. Television and personal computers
Very few can be happy without an entertainment from television and the personal computer. No one wants to scratch their heads to solve a complex problem on a paper using formulas. No one wants to prepare a hundred-page report on the booklet. No one wants to design the structure on a lengthy cardboard sheet. No one wants to maintain database in a thick register and update as many times needed. All these above said statements are common problem we encounter as a working professional or as a student or as a researcher in a laboratory. The invention of the television was approached by many scientists from many parts of the world. Television was invented with the purpose to exchange information in the form of visuals/video. In the early stage it was only black and white visual but with the advancement of technology in the electronic field, colour visuals televisions also entered the world and started entertaining the world andeducated the people in the form of visuals may it be movie, news, sports, events etc.
Personal computer is a system (a set of things working together in the form of a network) that too displays information/give output as a visual on its screen called monitor depending on the input given by the user. It can also give output in the form of audio, print, mechanic etc. depending on the devices connected. Personal computer has solved every problem encountered in real time using the algorithm and has saved time and effort of people. Computer are used in every field that is industries, educational institutions, offices, space programmes, research centres, medical treatment, food processing, defence, climate analysis and prediction etc.
4. The internet
We all love burgers but sometimes eating burger without a cheese is boring, in the same way a computer without an internet is boring. Internet is a medium which connects all the computer across the world wirelessly. Any kind of information can be exchanged from one computer to another by means of the internet through a communication protocol and each devices/computers are assigned with a numerical label called IP address (internet protocol address). Without an internet computer will have limited data that is available on its storage space but with an internet computer will have all the data that can be fetched from the world wide web (it is an information system where all web resources are available). Connecting to the internet help computers to minimise their storage space. We all get news and update from another states and abroad within few minutes of the happenings and watch live telecast of the football, cricket matches, events, conference on our computers through the power of internet.The
Internet has also revolutionised the ease of doing business through the means of websites and applications. A customer in need can directly reach the merchant’s website and can order his product or services and merchants can also be benefitted by targeting their right audience through the concept of digital marketing making their business more visible on the internet minimising their time and cost in advertisements. Thus both the customer and merchant need not have to go on the streets much for their needs and business respectively. The technology in the field of internet is also advancing rapidly with more challenges.
A spacecraft is a manmade vehicle that is designed to operate in the outer space and are two types named crewed spacecraft and uncrewed spacecraft. Crewed spacecraft transports astronauts from the earth to the moon and back to the earth. Uncrewed spacecraft carries and inserts satellites into the orbits, transports stuffs and equipment from the earth and delivers to the astronauts to the space. It looks like an aeroplane but it is not, it is more powerful than the commercial aeroplane. Till date the fastest spacecraft has reached the speed of 2,66,000 km/h which was recorded in July 2016 after entering into the orbit of the Jupiter. The design of the spacecraft is complex and require high level of precision as the spacecraft bears various burdens like heat, pressure, friction etc. The lifting of the spacecraft from the earth to the space is achieved by integrating it with the rocket. The rocket produces the thrust that lifts off the vehicle. All the satellites revolving around the planets are inserted by the space crafts. Spacecraft help astronaut to accomplish their mission on the space. Space crafts are operated by many space agencies like NASA, Roscosmos, ISRO, CSA, etc.
6. Integrated chip
Integrated chip commonly known as an IC is the brain of all electronic system. A set of electronic circuit on a piece of material which is small and has a flat surface is an integrated chip. It was developed in the laboratories in the mid of the twentieth century. With the advancement in the semiconductor technology the size of the IC’s began to shrink which made it more compactible to use in the devices. The performance in terms of speed increased and the cost decreased. These modern IC’s consumed less power and were compactible to many devices. IC’s revolutionised the digital word. All the analog devices/mechanical devices were converted into digital by programming. Digital devices started dominating since their results were accurate and fast. The IC’s began to be used in computers, PLC’s, robots, vehicle, medical equipment, measuring devices etc.
Antibiotics is one of the greatest inventions in the medical science. It either completely destroy or slow down the growth of the bacteria and include range of high performance drugs and are used to treat diseases caused by bacteria. Bacteria is a kind of microbe that is responsible for fatal diseases like tuberculosis, typhoid fever, cholera, tetanus, plague, whooping cough etc. in human beings. The first antibiotic was discovered by microbiologist Alexander Fleming in 1928 while culturing bacteria in his laboratory and the discovery was accidental. He noticed that the growth of the bacteria was declined after few days when it had come in contact with the fungi, which is another kind of microbe and this triggered an idea of anti-bacterial which is commonly called antibiotics. Antibiotics are specific to only wide range of bacteria that is antibiotics cannot kill viruses and it cannot be used to treat viral diseases like cold, flu, cough etc. Our immune system has the ability to identify bacteria and kill them by White Blood Cells but when the concentration of the bacteria increases in the blood due to the rapid multiplication of the bacteria we fall sick and our immune system cannot defend the disease and thus we require antibiotics. We cannot imagine our healthy life without antibiotics and every now and then we require it for the treatment.
8. Industrial robots
Robot is programmed machine that is capable of doing complex tasks/actions automatically, the tasks may be repetitive. It was invented to replace human beings to carry out complex tasks that were dangerous to human lives such as in mines, tunnels, factories etc. Robots can do work faster than human beings with more precision and efficiency and they save time and energy and are usually deployed where the work has to be done with 100% precision like metal cutting, metal welding, painting, metal sketching, assembling parts in automobile industries etc. Almost every manufacturing industry have deployed robots in their factory sheds to get precise result. Most of the people believe that robots are creating unemployment but it cannot be accepted to some context as robots may be reason to produce more technicians for their repair and maintenance.
9. Automated Teller Machine(ATM)
Automated teller machine revolutionised the banking industry in the 1960’s by ease of making financial transactions simple. ATM allowed customers to withdraw/deposit limited amount within a minute, it saved time and reduced effort of standing in a queue to withdraw currency notes in a bank. ATM also helped people to travel with little cash instead of huge to overcome theft/losing and burden of carrying bundle of notes. The first ATM was modelled by John Shepherd-Barron and was installed in London in 1967. The ATM’s became more powerful with the advancement in computer technology. Now every bank installs their own ATM in and around the streets where people may require cash. Right now there are around 2.2 lakh ATM’s in India and the count is declining due to the increase in digital transaction done via Unified Payments Interface (UPI) which was introduced by The National Payments Corporation of India in 2016.