Sciences contribution to the modern world essay

Reviews Parergon Two deal with the ways in which printing helped to spread science beyond the universities in the early modern world. Another essay examines the way in which, in the days before accurate clocks, Galileo used music to divide time into intervals less than a second. Stillman writes with an infectious enthusiasm for his subject, and a clarity based on both expert knowledge and a desire to communicate beyond scientific specialists.

While few in the humanities could spare the time or attentiveness to read all three volumes carefully, intensive browsing is rewarding. In fact, given the scientific developments since Galileo, the volume may in fact be of less interest to physicists than to historians and literary scholars. It is certainly an important contribution to the history of early modern ideas.

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LOG IN. Born in Ulm, Germany, in , Einstein was a precocious child. As a teenager, he wrote a paper on magnetic fields. Einstein never actually failed math, contrary to popular lore. The marriage lasted until her death in That year he published his four most important papers.


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Other papers that year were on Brownian motion, suggesting the existence of molecules and atoms, and the photoelectric effect, showing that light is made of particles later called photons. His fourth paper, about special relativity, explained that space and time are interwoven, a shocking idea now considered a foundational principle of astronomy.

Einstein expanded on relativity in with his theory of gravitation: general relativity. It holds that anything with mass distorts the fabric of space and time, just as a bowling ball placed on a bed causes the mattress to sag. The temporary darkness around the sun enabled astronomers to chronicle the bending. The validation made Einstein a superstar. Two years later, Einstein won the Nobel Prize in Physics, not for general relativity, but for his discovery of the photoelectric effect.

By this time, the year-old physicist had made most of his major contributions to science. He became a U. The theory predicted both black holes and gravitational waves — and just last year, physicists measured the waves created by the collision of two black holes over a billion light-years away.

During their epic journey across the cosmos, the ripples played with space and time like a fun-house mirror contorting faces. General relativity also is the bedrock of gravitational lensing, which uses the gravity of stars and galaxies as a giant magnifying glass to zoom in on farther cosmic objects.

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Astronomers may soon take advantage of such physics to see geographic details of worlds light-years away. Einstein, who died of heart failure in , would have applauded such bold, imaginative thinking. His greatest insights came not from careful experimental analysis, but simply considering what would happen under certain circumstances, and letting his mind play with the possibilities. Imagination encircles the world. Her road to Paris and success was a hard one, as equally worthy of admiration as her scientific accomplishments. Her parents, deeply patriotic Poles, lost most of their money supporting their homeland in its struggle for independence from Russian, Austrian and Prussian regimes.

Her father, a math and physics professor, and her mother, headmistress of a respected boarding school in Russian-occupied Warsaw, instilled in their five kids a love of learning.

They also imbued them with an appreciation of Polish culture, which the Russian government discouraged. Their only options were to marry or become governesses.


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  • Curie and her sister Bronislawa found another way. The pair took up with a secret organization called Flying University, or sometimes Floating University. Fittingly, given the English abbreviation, the point of FU was to stick it to the Russian government and provide a pro-Polish education, in Polish — expressly forbidden in Russian-controlled Poland.

    Eventually, the sisters hatched a plan that would help them both get the higher education they so desperately wanted. Then, Bronislawa would return the favor once she was established. Curie endured years of misery as a governess, but the plan worked. In , she packed her bags and headed to Paris and her bright future.

    For more on influential women scientists throughout history, check out our free e-book. In , he discovered that uranium emitted something that looked an awful lot like — but not quite the same as — X-rays, which had been discovered only the year before. Intrigued, Curie decided to explore uranium and its mysterious rays as a Ph.

    It was a defining moment for what Curie would eventually call radioactivity. The two started examining minerals containing uranium and pitchblende, a uranium-rich ore, and realized the latter was four times more radioactive than pure uranium. They reasoned some other element must be in the mix, sending those radioactive levels through the roof.

    They published a paper in July , revealing the find. And just five months later, they announced their discovery of yet another element, radium, found in trace amounts in uranium ore. In , Curie, her husband and Becquerel won the Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on radioactivity, making Curie the first woman to win a Nobel.

    Tragedy struck just three years later. Pierre, who had recently accepted a professorship at the University of Paris, died suddenly after a carriage accident. Curie was devastated by his death. In Curie won her second Nobel Prize, this time in chemistry, for her work with polonium and radium. She remains the only person to win Nobel prizes in two different sciences.

    She died in from a type of anemia that very likely stemmed from her exposure to such extreme radiation during her career. Isaac Newton was born on Christmas Day, Never the humble sort, he would have found the date apt: The gift to humanity and science had arrived. A sickly infant, his mere survival was an achievement. Just 23 years later, with his alma mater Cambridge University and much of England closed due to plague, Newton discovered the laws that now bear his name. He had to invent a new kind of math along the way: calculus. The introverted English scholar held off on publishing those findings for decades, though, and it took the Herculean efforts of friend and comet discoverer Edmund Halley to get Newton to publish.

    A bet the former had with other scientists on the nature of planetary orbits. When Halley mentioned the orbital problem to him, Newton shocked his friend by giving the answer immediately, having long ago worked it out. Not only did it describe for the first time how the planets moved through space and how projectiles on Earth traveled through the air; the Principia showed that the same fundamental force, gravity, governs both.

    Newton united the heavens and the Earth with his laws. Newton never went halfway on anything.

    Ancient India's Contribution to Science and Technology

    It would take too long to list his other scientific achievements, but the greatest hits might include his groundbreaking work on light and color; his development and refinement of reflecting telescopes which now bear his name ; and other fundamental work in math and heat. So how did Newton pass his remaining three decades? But Newton, focused as ever, threw himself into it.

    He also focused his attention on counterfeiters, searching them out as zealously as he sought answers from the heavens. Newton was known by his peers as an unpleasant person. He had few close friends and never married. He famously feuded with German scientist Gottfried Leibnitz, mainly over who invented calculus first, creating a schism in European mathematics that lasted over a century.

    How fitting that the unit of force is named after stubborn, persistent, amazing Newton, himself a force of nature. As a young man, his main interests were collecting beetles and studying geology in the countryside, occasionally skipping out on his classes at the University of Edinburgh Medical School to do so. It was a chance invitation in to join a journey around the world that would make Darwin, who had once studied to become a country parson, the father of evolutionary biology.


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    Aboard the HMS Beagle , between bouts of seasickness, Darwin spent his five-year trip studying and documenting geological formations and myriad habitats throughout much of the Southern Hemisphere, as well as the flora and fauna they contained. He noticed small differences between members of the same species that seemed to depend upon where they lived. The finches of the Galapagos are the best-known example: From island to island, finches of the same species possessed differently shaped beaks, each adapted to the unique sources of food available on each island.

    This suggested not only that species could change — already a divisive concept back then — but also that the changes were driven purely by environmental factors, instead of divine intervention.