Over the past century, humans have come a long way from where they were. Scientists and experimentalists from around the world are making great progress in a number of fields. From inventing a new theory to reinventing the perceived ones, the quest for knowledge is endless. Today, we have ultra-fast computers, a whole lot of information about our universe, and a lot more. All this has been possible because of some amazing inventions that have taken place in the history of the world.
Following is a list of the top ten most amazing breakthroughs from the world of physics:
- Deep Carbon Cycle
The first one on our list of the most amazing physics breakthrough of the century, we have the discovery of the deep carbon cycle. For quite some time, researchers have been a lot more interested in structuring and restructuring carbon molecules. This has even become one of the rigorous fields in condensed matter. Arranged in hexagonal lattices, carbon atoms have some amazing electronic and structural properties. This is even believed to revolutionize all of the electronics sectors. By properly manipulating graphene and nanotubes, microscopic wired, semiconductors, and diodes can be easily created. The deep carbon cycle is therefore an incredible discovery.
Quark-Gluon Plasma, which has been recently discovered, is believed to be a weird form of matter that came into being for three minutes right after the Big Bang. With a thick soup-like consistency of high-energy quarks and gluons, the loosely packed quark-gluon plasmas need immense energy to exist. It was in the year 2000 when CERN announced a successful recreation of this exotic form of matter. They made the quark-gluon plasma by colliding high-energy lead ions into lead and gold targets. Later, in 2005 a Brookhaven’s RHIC team confirmed the discovery, making it legit.
3. Large Hardon Collider
Another important invention in the physics world is the Large Hadron Collider. It nearly took around fifteen years of research, development, and construction to access the device. In September 2008, the accelerator of the Large Hadron Collider was first switched on with high stakes. It had a circumference of seventeen miles and is in fact the largest particle accelerator the world knows of. Moreover, with a cost of more than $6 Billion, the large hadron collider has been the most expensive science project ever! This device played a key role in discovering the Higgs Boson particle which is one of the greatest achievements of the physics world to date.
4. The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe
The Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) mission discovered that the cosmic microwave background radiation is residual heat from the Big Bang. It was particularly made to map the minute variations of temperature in the background heat. Released in June 2001, WMAP carried devices that were capable of measuring cosmic microwave information with more accuracy than its predecessor. With this project, the scientists were able to take the exact measurements and make the assumption that the universe is aged 13.7 billion years. Thus, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe was one of the greatest breakthroughs of the century.
5. Higgs Boson
The infamous Higgs Boson particle has opened doors to a world of many scientific discoveries to follow. Not only is it an exceptional physics invention of the century, but in fact of all time! The Higgs field that is believed to have pervaded space and supplements all of the elementary subatomic particles, is important to the science world. It is considered to be the backbone of the universe; without which nothing would exist. It is named after Peter Higgs, a physicist from the University of Edinburgh. He was the one who first proposed the mechanism in the year 1964. The Higgs Boson particle is also referred to as the God particle.
6. Quantum Teleportation
Next up on the list is the renowned discovery of Quantum teleportation. With a lot of research, time, and effort, researchers and physicists were able to impart the information related to quantum from one system to another over perceptible distances. It was in the year 1998 that the first such teleportation took place at Caltech when two photons snarled into one another. In February 2009, a UMD/NIST team of the Joint Quantum Institute proudly announced the successful discovery of quantum teleportation. This invention served as the basis for a number of discoveries like that of the superfast computers, to follow.
7. Gravity Probe B
Gravity Probe B, with a lot of hope, was finally set up in April 2004. It carried four spherical superconducting gyroscopes in order to be able to measure the geodetic effect and frame in the context of the law of relativity. These gyroscopes were the most perfect looking spheres that were ever built and had the width of forty atoms. After much patience, it was finally announced in 2007 that the scientists have observed the geodetic effect for the first time in the data. It is because of the discovery and creation of Gravity Probe B that we today know about the geodetic effect.
8. Negative-index Metamaterial
The past century has given us some of the greatest scientific discoveries of all time. One of them is the invention of the Negative-index metamaterial theory, in which objects seem to become invisible. Scientists from Britain, in 2006, were the first ones to theorize a way to make such materials that can divert light around an object. Based on this theory, experimentalists from around the world came together to practically implement and engineer the material. Negative-index metamaterials were then deduced to be the kind of objects whose refractive index for an electromagnetic wave is negative.
9. Direct Proof of Dark Matter
In August 2006, astronomers, while tracking movements of the colliding galaxies belonging to the Bullet Cluster, announced that they finally have a record of dark matter. Prior to this, dark matter was present only in theory and lacked direct proof. With the help of their computer devices, physicists were able to watch the movements of the observable stars colliding with gas, which probably wouldn’t have been available to the naked eye. Thus, the finding evidence of dark matter brought a lot of clarity regarding the reality of the substance.
10. Light Stopped completely inside a Crystal
Traveling approximately a 300,000 kilometers per second of speed, light is believed to be the fastest thing in the whole universe. It is only when the light comes in contact with other objects, that the speed becomes comparatively slow. A 2001 testing with two separate teams of physicists, one from Harvard and the other one at the Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, made an attempt to altogether stop and store light. They tried to pass by coupling laser light through a cloud of cooled rubidium atoms. As a result, the light stopped for around 20 milliseconds and was later restored. Thus, the experiment proved to be successful.