What are the greatest scientific discoveries that changed the world

greatest scientific discoveries that changed the world

What was the feeling of the first man/woman who invented the wheel? Along with fire, it is the most important invention of human endeavor. Was he the only one who thought that a circular log of wood can ease the movement? 

Was there no one far away in other civilization who could have thought of that? Did no one ever think why apple fall, before Newton? The same Apple which was forbidden for Adam and Eve, it fell upon Newton, and Newton gave the law of gravitation, not a theory, but a law, because according to him it was divine and it must be universal. 

Things happen, we all notice, but some rare people get to stick to one particular event and unfold completely new thought, philosophy, science, and technology which may have existed always but no one had to make sense of them till now. There are many such instances that revolutionized the world. We will discuss here 5 of those revolutionary discoveries in scientific history that changed the world. 

1. Discovery of Geometry 

Discovery of Geometry
pic credit: Wikipedia

Well, it was not a discovery in the usual sense. People started noticing the pattern in nature. Greeks thought the mathematical laws are the basis on which Gods had constructed the universe. They thought geometry was inherent in nature. Plato described that God as a geometer. 

The circle was the most perfect shape thus the sky was attributed circular shape as it was closer to god. So planets must be circular, they must be moving in a circular orbit. These were the first predictions of humans for the heavenly bodies and they were right. 

In India too, Vedic altars were built signifying various geometrical patterns such as circles for the sky, squares for earth denoting 4 directions. Since it is believed that God has made everything perfect, perfection was searched in every object and phenomenon, and thus the golden ratio was discovered that is found among the most beautifully structured face, buildings, petals of flowers, and even galaxies. 

Pythagoras theorem was the invention among these while searching the inherent geometry in the world. The same thing was postulated in India’s Shulba Sutra. Although the methods were different but this searching for absoluteness in everything led to the discovery of geometry. 

2. Discovery of Atomism 

Discovery of Atomism
pic credit: myindiamyglory

Dalton gave the atomic theory of elements in the 19th century but the foundation of atomism was laid long before around the 5th-6th centuries. Like almost everything, the source of knowledge trace back to Greece and India. 

Greeks were arguing on the two schools of thought for understanding the nature of reality. On one hand, we have a transcendent unified reality encompassing everything and on other hand, a singled out cosmic God creating the world in its essence. 

Between God in everything and God outside, a compromise was accepted that there is the essence of God in some particular fixed quantity. That fixed quantity accumulates to form the material world. This fixed smallest unit was named atomos by Democritus. This led to the foundation of the atomic principle. 

Around the same time, sage Kanad in India gave the Vaisheshika Theory of philosophy which states that everything is made of the smallest particular unit called “anu” or “parmanu” meaning particles and the entire world is the interplay of these smallest particles. 

Again there was a subtle difference between the approaches of two sages living thousands of kilometers away around the same time but this philosophy took us back to the quantum nature of reality. 

Also Read: 9 Weird Theories About the Universe Proposed by So-Called Experts

3. Discovery of  Gravity 

Discovery of  Gravity
pic credit: the Asian age

We talked earlier, the event of the apple falling on Newton’s head in the Garden of Trinity College. The black plague was then wreaking havoc in Europe just like the Covid times and Newton didn’t leave his home for a year. 

There are many versions of Newton’s seclusion but we must be focused on theoretical physics. The universal law of gravitation was based on Johannes Kepler’s previously given inverse square law, and based on Kepler’s 3 postulates about the planetary motion around the sun, he gave the theory of gravitation. 

Now his law was not only applied for planets and heavenly bodies, but for every single object in the universe. With this single discovery, the entire cosmos became one. The entire universe is governed by one single cosmic law. Newton formulated the gravitational formula and it is one of the simplest yet most revolutionary formulas of physics. It is the epitome of classical mechanics. 

4. Discovery of Unification (Electro-magnetic force)

Discovery of Unification (Electro-magnetic force)
pic credit: ffden-2.phys.uaf.edu

Humans in the past searching for the oneness among the different phenomenon of the world. The differences between certain objects were treated as different manifestations of one reality and this different aspect was named differently. 

But later during the dark ages and the rise of classical mechanics, things became discrete. The world was understood as an organic mega-machine and each part is different in contributing its function for the successful running of the machine. 

But it was JC Maxwell who turn the tables. The electric and magnetic field was studied vastly by Michael Faraday and the thousands of experiments revealed that both fields interact with each other and the production of one field is responsible for the production of the other. 

Maxwell combined the laws of Faraday, Ampere, and Gauss to give Maxwell equations. The electric and magnetic field was one but different aspects of the same unified force i.e. Electro-magnetic force. 

This simple unification laid the path for the unification later of three fundamental forces into one standard model of physics. 

Also Read: These 9 Industries Will Be Transformed by Quantum Computing until 2030

5. Discovery of Relativity

Discovery of Relativity
pic credit: space.com

Relativity is the feather in the cap of modern physics. Relativity not only destroyed the classical mechanics but combined the two entities, space and time, that were considered different until then. The reality was not something to be perceived similarly to everyone. 

Reality is indeed one but different observers according to their motion and position see the measurement of space and time completely different. This theory of Einstein brought back the history of the ancients that difference in the reality was different aspects of it as perceived by different observers. 

The relative nature of reality was further accepted and refined with the coming of quantum mechanics. And thus, the main aim of all the physics community became to combine these two pillars to define everything in the universe with a single theory, which would be called The Theory of Everything. 

What according to you is the most revolutionary discovery in scientific history. Let us know.

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