Landmarks of Science … in the 20th Century Albert Einstein His mould-breaking equation showed how a small piece of mass could produce an unbelievable amount of energy. Einstein then demonstrated in his “theory of relativity” that not even time, mass or length are constant – they vary according to our perspective of them. Edwin Hubble He began a painstakingly slow observation of nebulae, small patches of light that appeared outside our galaxy.
Edwin Hubble discovered that these nebulae were in fact galaxies like our own, millions of light years away from us, which proved that the universe was vastly larger than had previously been thought. Fleming He saw a blue mould in the dish around which the bacteria had been destroyed. This blue mould was in fact the natural form of penicillin which Fleming realised was an effective way of killing bacteria. Eckert and Mauchly During the Second World War the Us Navy were looking for ways of improving the accuracy of their artillery shells.
Eckert, an engineer, and Mauchly, a physicist produced the world’s first computer. Eniac was huge. When it was turned on, the lights in the local town went dim. Watson and Crick In 1953, Watson and Crick published their model of the DNA molecule. As a result, the so-called “genome” for human beings was discovered. The four chemicals in our DNA combine to produce a code that contains information about our 100 000 genes. Already, this has helped doctors to cure some hereditary illnesses. Futurology The technology already exists, so very soon all of us are going to use our voices to give instructions to computers. * In the next few years, we will be communicating with our friends around the world using life-sized video images on large screens in our living rooms. * By the year 2020, computers will already have become more efficient and powerful than the human brain, both in terms of intelligence and the amount of information they can store. * By the year 2030, genetic engineering and nanotechnology will enable us to live for at least 150 years.
Using nanotechnology, tiny, insect-like robots may be sent around our bodies to carry out repairs and keep us healthy. * By the middle of the century, computers, millions of times smarter than us, will have been developed. By this time, we will be linking our brains with “ultra-smart” computers. A new species might have developed – “Homo Cyberneticus”. * By the end of the century, we will have colonised our solar system and will be looking for ways to colonise deep space.