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A Great Scientific Breakthrough - Roshni Sen

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

Hey readers, It’s Roshni Sen Co-head, Journalist, and Artist. Many great discoveries were made by accident. Someone happened to be in the right place at the right time. There were probably 1/1000 chances, but yet it still happened and changed human life forever. Like Newton gravity theory or x-rays. Other discoveries were concluded after years of research. Regardless the world wouldn’t be where it is without these curious, brilliant minds.

        Isaac Newton was an English mathematician and physicist who lived from 1642 to 1727. The legend is that Newton discovered gravity when he saw a falling Apple while about the forces of nature. Then realized that some force must be acting on the following objects like Apple because otherwise, they would not start moving from the rest. Newton also realized that the moon would fly off away from the earth in a straight line to its orbit if some force was not causing it to fall towards the earth. A moon is only an object circling around the earth under the traction of gravity. Can you turn called the gravity of the sport and determine that the gravitational forces exist between all objects. Using the idea of gravity, the new term was able to explain the astronomical observations of Kelper’s third law. The work of Galileo, Kepler and Newton proved once and for all that the earth was in the centre of the solar system and that there were more planets that orbit the sun.

       X-rays were discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen (1845-1923) who was a Professor at Wuerzburg University in Germany. Working with a cathode-ray tube in his laboratory, Roentgen observed a fluorescent glow of crystals on a table near his tube. The tube that Roentgen was working with consisted of a glass envelope (bulb) with positive and negative electrodes encapsulated in it. The air in the tube was evacuated, and when a high voltage was applied, the tube produced a fluorescent glow. Roentgen shielded the tube with heavy black paper and discovered a green coloured fluorescent light generated by a material located a few feet away from the tube. He concluded that a new type of ray was being emitted from the tube. This ray was capable of passing through the heavy paper covering and exciting the phosphorescent materials in the room. He found that the new ray could pass through most substances casting shadows of solid objects. Roentgen also discovered that the ray could pass through the tissue of humans, but not bones and metal objects. One of Roentgen's first experiments late in 1895 was a film of the hand of his wife, Bertha. That is how the first x-ray was created. 

        Benjamin Franklin had one of the greatest scientific minds of his time. He was interested in many areas of science, made many discoveries, and invented many things, including bifocal glasses. In the mid-1700s, he became interested in electricity. Up until that time, scientists had mainly known about and experimented with static electricity. Benjamin Franklin took things a big step ahead. He came up with the idea that electricity had positive and negative elements and that electricity flowed between these elements. He also believed that lightning was a form of this flowing electricity. In 1752, Franklin conducted his famous kite experiment. In order to show that lightning was electricity, he flew a kite during a thunderstorm. He tied a metal key to the kite string to conduct the electricity. Just as he thought, electricity from the storm clouds transferred to the kite and electricity flowed down the string and gave him a shock. He's lucky that he didn't get hurt, but he didn't mind the shock since it proved his idea. Building upon Franklin's work, many other scientists studied electricity and began to understand more about how it works. For example, in 1879, Thomas Edison patented the electric light bulb and our world has been brighter ever since!

         No equation is more famous than E = mc2, and few are simpler. According to scientific folklore, Albert Einstein formulated this equation in 1905 and, in a single blow, explained how energy can be released in stars and nuclear explosions. Albert Einstein was only 26 when he published the brief, 3-page article that announced the equivalence between mass and energy, known today as E=mc2 (see e.g. Wikipedia or listen to experts). This article appeared as the last in the series of Einstein's four 1905 breakthrough papers. Notice that in the original paper, Einstein uses V instead of c for the speed of light, and L instead of E for energy. Today's world-famous formula is simply explained in words. Anyway, the message is fascinating: as the speed of light is constant, the energy inherent to a body is proportional to its mass, with a huge constant of proportionality (c2 = 90 billion joules in each kilogram of mass). Remarkably, Einstein proposed an experiment to test his daring theory - and this is where good science can be instantly recognized. Credit must also be given to the journal Annalen der Physik, for the courage to publish all the four revolutionary articles.

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