Right from time immemorial, man has always found out or discovered one thing or the other that was hidden from his knowledge within his environment. And the circle of the discovery will continue as far as the complete knowledge and understanding of his environment is eluding him. This makes him develop a high degree of inquisitiveness about his environment.
There are avalanche of discoveries man has made, however, not all have stood a test of time in terms of consistency. Many today are obsolete or perhaps, the knowledge of such discovery has been updated. This article is aimed at researching and updating you with discoveries that have stood a test of time and moreover are indispensable in our modern era. Below is the list of the discoveries in no chronological or particular order
Fire undoubtedly, is the most indispensable discovery of mankind. It has helped played fundamental role in human civilization from onset. During the Stone Age, it was an important requirement for survival on earth. This is because it allowed primitive man to warm himself, but shortly after he began to cook food which led to massive changes in lifestyle – with cooked food, less energy was required for digestion and more meat was consumed.
Fire also allowed for the development of metallurgy, first, with bronze and then iron. This means tools, which again improved the lives of these early people. The direct descendant of this is all manufactured goods of the modern era.
Some may wonder why electricity falls under this category. Electricity is a form of energy and it occurs in nature, so it was not invented as some people may believe. Since electricity is a natural force that exists in our world, it did not have to be invented. It did, however, have to be discovered and understood.
Most people give credit to Benjamin Franklin for discovering electricity. It was in 1752, when Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment. In order to show that lightning was electricity, he flew a kite during a thunderstorm. He tied a metal key to the kite string to conduct the electricity. Just as expected, electricity from the storm clouds transferred to the kite and electricity flowed down the string and gave him a shock. Though lucky from not getting hurt, he did not mind the shock since it proved his idea that lightning was form of electricity.
One of the major breakthroughs in the electricity occurred in 1831, when British scientist, Michael Faraday, discovered the basic principles of electricity generation. Building on the experiments of Franklin and others, he observed that he could create or “induce” electric current by moving magnets inside coils of copper wire. The discovery of electromagnetic induction revolutionized how we use energy. Without doubts, electricity is quite fundamental and indispensable in this modern era.
Penicillin (First Antibiotic)
Antibiotics are powerful drugs that kill dangerous bacteria in our bodies that make us sick. In 1928, Alexander Fleming discovered the first antibiotic, penicillin, which he grew in his lab using mould and fungi. Without antibiotics, infections like streps throat could be deadly.
Many soldiers, during World War 1 were dying due to bacteria in wounds and there was no good cure for it. Scientists all over the world kicked started the search for it cure, and then came Alexander Fleming who discovered penicillin from mould. It was accidentally discovered. He forgot to clean his lab one day, when he came back to lab next day he found that piece of organic specimen was not affected by bacteria. He found that mould had grown near it which prevented it from bacteria. He found that it was penicillin that stopped bacteria. He proposed that penicillin can be used to treat wounds but was not able to extract pure penicillin from mould. Later on, two scientists continued Fleming’s work and were successful in extracting penicillin and by 1942, the use of penicillin as antibiotic commenced. The discovery became a solid foundation which has evolved to what is currently being used today.
Theory of Relativity
This explains the relationships between speed, time and distance. Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity, which was published in 1905, states that the speed of light always remains the same – 186,000 miles/second (300,000 km/second) regardless of how fast someone or something is moving toward or away from it. This theory became the foundation for much of modern science.
General theory of relativity is the greatest discovery in modern era. It changed physics from top to bottom giving rise to seeds of quantum mechanics. The proposition by Einstein’s completely challenged Newtonian physics. Before this, time was considered fixed I.e., it moves constantly. But Einstein proposed that time is not constant – it may vary with matter’s interaction with space i.e., space and time are interconnected and giving rise to a new dimension, what we now call Space-Time.
The chemical DNA was first discovered in 1869, but its role in genetic inheritance was not demonstrated until 1943. The discovery in 1953 of the double helix, the twisted-ladder structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), by James Watson and Francis Crick marked a milestone in the history of science and gave rise to modern molecular biology, which is largely concerned with understanding how genes control the chemical processes within cells. This breakthrough led to significant advances in scientists’ understanding of DNA replication and hereditary control of cellular activities.