What Are The Top Five Inventions?

  1. What are the top five inventions of all time? Put ten or more if you like.

    Here is my top five list.

    1. The Clock
    2. Indo-Arab Counting System
    3. Energy storage
    4. Universal Education
    5. The Atomic Bomb
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    The lightbulb

    electricity is not an invention, but the ability to harness it

    combustion engines

    the phonograph

    radio

    television

    the internet

    batteries

    transistors, I remember when radios and tvs had tubes that needed to warm up first.
     
  4. arildno

    arildno 12,015
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Where's the wheel, damn it??
     
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Good one. :approve:
     
  6. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    toilet paper
     
  7. 1. Vaccination
    2. The Wheel
    3. The Clock
    4. Plastics
    5. The Transistor
     
  8. arildno

    arildno 12,015
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Even better! :biggrin:
     
  9. Condom, or p-pills. Can't believe why noone has said Contraceptives yet. It's basicly the thing that's going to keep this world in numbers and thus in balance.
     
  10. Method of starting fires
    Wheel
    Lever
    mathematics (including numbers, concept of zero and negative numbers)
    Algebra
    Calculus
    Gas powered Automobile
    Airplane
    Digital Computer
     
  11. BobG

    BobG 2,357
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    1. Written language - Numbers were most likely the first written language. Legends can be passed on orally and a little variation by the storyteller is as likely to add quality to the story as to detract from it. A little variation in recounting business deals gets people mighty unhappy.

    2. Printing press - Communication allows one to build on the ideas of others. Example, after Rene Descartes invented the Cartesian coordinate system, both Newton and Leibniz quickly invented Calculus independently of each other.

    3. Radio - Same reason as above.

    4. Computers & Internet - Same reason as above, except even more so. The rapid spread of information probably prevents anyone being seen as the equivalent of Newton or Einstein, since almost no one develops new ideas alone from start to finish, anymore.

    5. Railroads - The first rapid transportation accelerated the industrial age. Transportation was so important that railroads drove the development of the first standardized time zones.

    OH, and slide rules, of course. :biggrin: Well, at least Napier's method of logarithms was pretty important, which is the principle that slide rules are based on.
     
  12. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Math-Science
    Engineering
    Art & Language
    Money & Trade
    Law

    Ha ha, I cheated ! :wink:
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2004
  13. Public sanitation systems,

    Haven't any of you seen 'Donnie Darko'?
     
  14. jimmy p

    jimmy p 578
    Gold Member

    1./ Sliced Bread
    2./ TV
    3./ Xbox
    4./ George Foreman's Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine... so good he puts his NAME on it!
    5./ Fire
     
  15. Ivan Seeking

    Ivan Seeking 12,529
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: I bought one of those for Tsu and she looked at me like I had given her a set of wrenches; until she used it once. :biggrin: They really are pretty handy, especially for little spraymaster skunks it turns out...oh wait...I mean chickens.

    Some may recall that a large group of experts from many fields of study voted that the printing press is the most significant invention of the last 1000 years. This made most other advancements possible.

    I will pick five based on the next 100 years. :biggrin:

    Gene splicing
    Quantum computers
    Space elevator
    LASER and directed energy weapons
    Internet II
     
  16. 1. Toliet Paper
    2. Pancakes
    3. The Spork (spoon and fork as one!)
    4. Family Guy
    5. Preparation-H
     
  17. Hmmmmmm. Not one of you has mentioned synthetic rubber. Can you imagine our transportation system as well as MANY other things without synthetic rubber?
     
  18. Whisky and Wine!! How can we forget these!!!
     
  19. 1.)Cutting tools

    2.) Pounding tools

    3.) Firemaking

    4.) The wheel

    5.) the screw


    Edit: The lever should really displace the screw on this list, but the screw is probably the most underrated invention in history, and is a kind of lever anyway.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2004
  20. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I recall arguing that the knife was probably a more "useful" invention than mathematics. I don't believe there was a specially warm response to that idea. This was over at the Gen Math Forum !
     
  21. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I can't see why you would put pounding tools at #2 ?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share a link to this question via email, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?