Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Poll: Best invention ever and why?

  1. Mar 6, 2005 #1
    Poll: Best invention ever and why?

    I'm going to start over on my science project and hope to get some ideas. And please don't ask what it was before because it was really really bad.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 6, 2005 #2
    I like the mindisk. Not as expensive as a Ipod, but you can record lots of stuff onto it. Without it, trying to listen to james galway CDs would be a serious pain in the :uhh:
  4. Mar 6, 2005 #3
    My vote would go to Watt's steam engine and the Voltaic Cell. Without either of them, the western civilization could not have been built.
  5. Mar 6, 2005 #4
    PCR. Simple yet completely opened the floodgates for molecular biology in the past couple of decades.
  6. Mar 6, 2005 #5
    Well if we are restricted to inventions and not discoveries(like discovery of bacteria's role in infection and antibiotics, etc.) I would have to say Gutenberg's printing press. Before it, information was very expensive to disseminate. It was a direct contributor to the Renaissance and the birth of the

    I would also say that the transistor by Bardeen, Brattain & Shockley comes a close second. Without it, cheap electronics and computers would not be possible.
  7. Mar 10, 2005 #6
    I might agree about the steam engine, but instead of the voltaic cell, I'd choose the AC generator. Without it, there would be no long-distance transmission of electrical power.
  8. Mar 10, 2005 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Although the printing press is probably the undisputed greatest creation ever, a presentation on AC power would be fantastic. Instead of being the 10th student to make another boring presentation on a printing press, you would be the guy telling the tale of my hero Nikola Tesla.

    Here are some other fantastic things to consider:
    Transistors can open or close circuits depending on other electrical circuits. Transistors allow for complicated logic programming, and they efficiently replaced vacuum tubes. Basically all electronics you own including your computer, TV, and radio rely very heavily on the functionality of transistors.
    It might be hard to present this since it's a bit difficult to understand... for me at least.

    Bessemer Converter
    The Bessemer Converter changed everything because it meant steel could be created quickly, efficiently, and by unskilled workers. Before the bessemer converter, buildings were always shorter than 5 stories high because they had to be made of materials like brick which are incredibly heavy and weak compared to steel.

    Nuclear Bomb
    It began the new era of nuclear technology. Nuclear fission powerplants currently provide a considerable percentage of the world's power. USA is about 20% nuclear, france is about 80% nuclear, the entire world is about 16% nuclear. During the Cold War, newer bombs worked on fusion rather than fission. Powerplants have been constructed to use fusion and have so far been successful. If this fusion thing goes mainstream, we'll have unlimited power essentially forever :biggrin:
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?

Similar Discussions: Poll: Best invention ever and why?
  1. Why ? (Replies: 1)