The best Tech inventions of all time 6: Stunning science discoveries
Moving charged particles down a wire delivers a current to an object such as a light bulb, which then glows. Without electricity the world, would cease to function efficiently.
Man-made dyes have been produced since 1856 which faithfully reproduce exact tones and shades. We are no longer at the mercy of natural variations and plant based colours.
In nanotechnology, atoms and molecules are manipulated to produce medical and physical products and new materials for energy and consumer products.
Short wave ultraviolet light is used to inactivate organisms and bacteria by disrupting their DNA. It is used in food and water purification and to sanitize products. Hot air hand dryers often have blue lights to sanitise your hands as they dry.
Magnetic levitation moves objects along a track without touching the ground. It allows objects to travel at very high speeds. The Shanghai Maglev train has a top speed of 270mph, is quiet, not bumpy and very geeky to ride.
X rays have shorter wavelengths than UV rays but longer than gamma rays. The electromagnetic radiation penetrates the inside of objects such as soft tissue bodies and items such as hand luggage at security checkpoints.
Transistors amplify or switch electronic signals and are considered the fundamental building block of electronic devices. Invented in 1947, they paved the way for silicon transistors and reduced the need to use vacuum tube valves.
The Deoxyribonucleic acid molecule contains the genetic instruction in the living cell, and is carried in all forms of living thing. The double helix protein sequence pattern was discovered in 1953 by Watson and Crick.
Electronic integrated circuits on one small silicon chip of semiconductor material can carry several billion transistors and are printed by photolithography at very low cost. They are used in almost all electronic equipment.
Semiconductors are crystals or other solids that can pass current, show resistance and other electrical properties. Silicon is the most common semiconductor material, but germanium is also used commercially.
Discovered in 2012, the particle was named after Peter Higgs postulated its existence. It is often termed the "God Particle", crucial to the understanding of particle physics but elusive due to its instability. It decays into other particles almost immediately. It has no spin, or electric charge and it does not change colour.