There have been many famous scientific discoveries in human history. Science tries to make sense of the world around us. However, some are more important than others. In fact, some scientific discoveries literally slingshot humanity’s progress forward. Without some of them, humanity would not be the same today. Whether it be a scientific discovery with direct physical impact or one that had a more theoretical impact, they all are important. Check out below top 7 greatest scientific discoveries.
The scientific discovery of gravity
Any list of the greatest scientific discoveries must include the discovery of gravity. As the story goes, the famous physicist and mathematician, Isaac Newton started to develop his ideas for gravity when an apple hit his head. This started his scientific research on why things fall. What he came up with was the Law of Gravity. This law has fundamentally shaped physics and helps explain how many things work. For example, the law of gravity explains both why things fall as well as why planets revolve around the sun.
The Theory of Relativity
Albert Einstein mathematically proved the Theory of Relativity. His breakthrough was the greatest one in theoretical physics in 200 years. In fact, at the time, Einstein was so far ahead of the technology of the time, that there was no way to scientifically test his theories. Only recently, have new scientific methods been developed to test them.
His theory revolutionizes how humans look at the universe. The theory of relativity can be broken down into two main concepts. The first is theory of special relativity which deals with extremely small things and how they interact with each other. The second is the theory of general relativity which deals with extremely larger things and how they interact with each other.One of the most famous examples of these ideas is the famous mathematical equation E=MC2 which built upon the work of Newton.
The scientific discovery of electricity
In our modern society, electricity powers nearly everything. In fact, most people take it for granted. As such, it may be one of the most underappreciated scientific discoveries ever. However, if we did not have electricity, modern society would cease to exist. Michael Faraday was the first man to make the scientific discoveries of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and electrolysis. With these discoveries, we are able to make motors that produce electricity such as those found in electric windmills and hydroelectric generators such as in the Hoover Dam.
The theory of evolution by natural selection
One of the biggest goals of scientific discoveries is to understand where we came from. However, before Darwin, humanity understood very little about our origins. For many, we simply popped into existence. This was especially supported by many myths, legends, and religions. While circumnavigating the globe on the sailing vessel, the Beagle, Charles Darwin developed his theories on evolution by natural selection.
The scientific discovery of x-rays
Some of the greatest scientific discoveries came by accident. For example, the x-ray is a great example of this. In 1895, the German physicist Whilhelm Conrad Rontegen accidentally discovered x-rays while playing with a florescent light bulb. By passing electricity through a gas in a low pressure tube, Rontegen saw that the emitted light would pass through tissue but not through bones or other dense objects essentially giving a picture of the inside.
The scientific discovery of DNA
Today, even elementary school children know about DNA. Before, no one understood exactly how genetic traits were passed from generation to generation. However, James Watson and Francis Crick’s discovery the double helix structure of DNA founded the science of modern molecular biology. They helped modern day scientists better understand how the human body worked at the cellular level.
The Polio vaccine
Polio, also known as poliomyelitis or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. For many there are no symptoms. In the 1950s, there was a large worldwide outbreak of the polio virus. However, in 1953, the American medical researcher Jonas Salk discovered the vaccine against the polio. Salk effectively stopped polio overnight. Today, the risk of dying from polio is almost completely gone thanks to this great scientific discovery.