Materials Science and Engineering/Timeline of Material Advances

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Prehistoric to CE[edit | edit source]

~200000 BCE - Creation of tools and weapons made of stone[edit | edit source]

Found in Europe, Africa and East Asia

~7000 BCE - Earliest Form of Metallurgy[edit | edit source]

Old World Neolithic peoples decorate copper by hammering

~28000 BCE - First Fired Ceramics[edit | edit source]

~5500 BCE - Development of wooden wheel for transport[edit | edit source]

Introduced in Ancient Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq)

~5000 BCE - Discovery of Ability to Extract Liquid Copper from Malachite and Azurite[edit | edit source]

First example of extractive metallurgy

~3500 BCE - Smelting of Iron by Egyptians[edit | edit source]

Iron is the most dominant metallurgical material

~3000 BCE to 300 BC - Manufacturing similar to paper with papyrus plant[edit | edit source]

Experimentation of materials for the writing of the Egyptians

~3000 BCE - Combination of Tin Ore and Copper Ore to Produce Bronze[edit | edit source]

Discovered in area of modern Syria and Turkey

~2200 BCE - Invention of Glass in Iran[edit | edit source]

A great nonmetallic engineering material

~1500 BCE - Lost-Wax Casting[edit | edit source]

Developed by Metal Workers in Near East

~1500 BCE Porcelain[edit | edit source]

Crafted by Potters in China

~300 BCE - Development of Crucible Steel Making in India[edit | edit source]

~200 BCE - Iron Casting[edit | edit source]

Introduced in China

~100 BCE - Glass Blowing[edit | edit source]

Likely Developed by Phoenicians

0 CE - 999 CE[edit | edit source]

400 - Seven Meter High Iron Pillar Forged[edit | edit source]

100AD Clear Glass. Romans added manganese oxide to the Syrian glass mix of 100BC

100AD The dome. Roman engineering in stone.

100AD Suspension bridge. Chinese development with vines, ropes and chains.

Ancient societies invent some of the first machines for moving water and agriculture.

590 Chinese scientists discover explosive mixtures consisting of sulfur, charcoal, and saltpeter (potassium nitrate)

618 Paper money is first put into use during the Tang Dynasty of China (618–906)

700s Porcelain is invented in China

747 The first reported air conditioning system comprised of water-powered fan wheels, by Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty.

1000 CE - 1499 CE[edit | edit source]

1450 - Lead-Tin-Antimony Alloy to Cast in Copper Alloy Molds[edit | edit source]

Devised by Johannes Gutenberg

Used in printing press

1150-1350 Blast furnace: Cast iron makes its appearance in central Europe
1180 Mirrors : The first reference to a "glass" mirror is 1180 by Alexander Neckham which states "If you remove the lead behind the glass then the image of the person you are looking at will disappear."

1105 1er. Windmill - France.

1100 La Pólvora (China).

1195 Magnetic Compass - Europe.

1200 Firearm (China).

1300 The types of wood - Turkestan appear.

circa 1220. Wheel crane : The first reference to a wheel crane in the literature dates back to 1225 in France

Wheelbarrow (circa 1170): Very useful in construction, mining, and agriculture. The first literary evidence on the use of wheelbarrows dates back to 1170 - 1250 in northwestern Europe.

Mechanical watches (13th and 14th century): A European innovation, weight-driven watches were mainly used in city hall clocks.

Paper mill (1282): The first accurate evidence of a paper mill powered by hydraulic power dates back to 1282

Magnets (1160): The first reference goes back to the Roman d'Enéas, written between 1155 and 1160.

1500 CE - 1599 CE[edit | edit source]

1505 - Glass mirror. Venetian innovation of glass.[edit | edit source]

1530 - Gerardus Mercator helps to revolutionize navigation with better mapmaking.[edit | edit source]

1540 - Vannoccio Biringuccio publishes first systematic book on metallurgy.[edit | edit source]

1540 - Sand casting. Italian metallurgist casting with molten metal.[edit | edit source]

1556 - Georg Agricola's influential book on metallurgy.[edit | edit source]

1556 - Examination of Mining and Metallurgy Practiced in 16th Century.[edit | edit source]

1590 - A Dutch spectacle maker named Zacharias Janssen makes the first compound microscope.[edit | edit source]

1600 CE - 1699 CE[edit | edit source]

~1608 - The duth scientist Hans Lippersheyinvents the telescope Times[edit | edit source]

~1612 - The Flintlock firearm is developed in France[edit | edit source]

~1621 - John Napier invents the slide rule[edit | edit source]

~1643 - Torricelli makes the first barometer using mercury in a sealed glass tube[edit | edit source]

~1650 - Vacuum pump. German scientific invention by Otto von Guericke[edit | edit source]

~1651 - The Dutch scientist Anton van Leeuwenhoek develops a microscope[edit | edit source]

~1668 - Optical Microscopy that Magnifies Greater than 200 Times[edit | edit source]

1700 CE - 1799 CE[edit | edit source]

1709 - Replacement of Charcoal by Coke in Blast Furnace in Process of Iron Smelting[edit | edit source]

Discovered by Abraham Darby I

1775 - Invention of Modern Concrete[edit | edit source]

1766 - Henry Cavendish discovers hydrogen As a chemist, one of his most important findings was the discovery of hydrogen. On February 23, 1765, Cavendish was able to isolate this element and discover its properties, as well as carbon dioxide and other gases. Through his experiments it was established that hydrogen is the lightest

1766 to the Royal Society. Subsequently, he discovered the composition of waterof the known gases The results were published in the communication Factitious Airs, presented in 1766 to the Royal Society. He later discovered the composition of the natural water, stating that "it is composed of dephlogisticated air (oxygen) bound to phlogiston (hydrogen)".

1774 - Joseph Priestley discovers the oxygen and shows that the air is formed by different gases Priestley's family moved to a house next to a brewery and he became interested in the gas bubbling in this company. This discovery occurred when heated HgO, mercury monoxide, with which it obtained two vapors, one is condensed in mercury droplets (Hg). To that gas he picked it up in a container, observing that it increased the brilliance of a flame and that if it introduced live mice, they became very active and lived longer. Priestley inhaled from this gas and felt comfortable. A this gas, called it dephlogisticated air, but it was oxygen by nature. He was the first person to use the oxygen mask. Priestley communicated his observations to the French chemist Antoine Laurent de Lavoisier, who repeated the experiments, thus demonstrating that he was in the air and in the water, pointing out his role in respiration and combustion

1789 Zirconium 1789 Uranium 1790 Estroncio 1791 Titanio 1794 Itrio 1797 Beryllium 1797 Chrome

Introduced by John Smeaton

1800 CE - 1899 CE[edit | edit source]

1805 - Electroplating[edit | edit source]

Invented by Luigi Brugnatelli

1807 - Foundation of Electrometallurgy and Electrochemistry[edit | edit source]

Process of electrolysis developed by Sir Humphry Davy

Developed to separate element metals from salts

1815 - Safety lamp for coal mines[edit | edit source]

Humphry Davy invents a safety lamp that is used in coal mines without triggering an explosion.

1821 - Thermocouple[edit | edit source]

Invented by Thomas Johann Seebeck.

1822 - Theory of Stress and Strain[edit | edit source]

Presented by Augustin Cauchy Measurements of compression and tensile strength of strong matierials, graded and simplified the smelting process.

1824 - Patent issued for the invention of cement[edit | edit source]

Issued to Joseph Aspdin.

1825 - Invention of electromagnet[edit | edit source]

Invented by William Sturgeon.

1827 - Isolation of Elemental Aluminum[edit | edit source]

Accomplished by Friedrich Wohler

1844 - Vulcanization of Rubber[edit | edit source]

Process invented by Charles Goodyear

1849 - Ferroconcrete (reinforced concrete)[edit | edit source]

Invented by Joseph Monier.

1850 - Invention of inverted microscope[edit | edit source]

Invented by J. Lawrence Smith

1856 - Bottom-Blown Acid Process to Melt Low-Carbon Iron[edit | edit source]

Patented by Bessemer

1859 - Discovery of celluloid.[edit | edit source]

Discovered by Alexander Parkes. It is generally considered the first thermoplastic.

1860 - Invention of Linoleum[edit | edit source]

Fredrick Walton invents linoleum, comprised of linseed oil, pigments, pine rosin, and pine flour.

1863 - Light Microscopy to Study Microstucture of Steel[edit | edit source]

Used by Henry Clifton Sorby

1864 - Periodic Table of Elements[edit | edit source]

Introduced by Mendeleev

1867 - Dynamite[edit | edit source]

Patented by Alfred Nobel

1872 - Asphalt[edit | edit source]

It is first developed by Edward de Smedt at Columbia University.

1872 - Polyvinyl chloride (PVC)[edit | edit source]

Is first created by Eugen Baumann.

1876 - Basis of Understanding Modern Thermodynamics and Physical Chemistry[edit | edit source]

"On the Equilibrium of Heterogeneous Substances" published by J. Willar Gibbs

1878 - Arc-type electric furnace[edit | edit source]

Patented by William Siemens. Leads to the modern electric arc furnace, which is the principle furnace type for the modern electric production of steel.

1883 - First solar cell[edit | edit source]

Charles Fritts makes the first solar cells using selenium wafers.

1883 - Invention of thermostat[edit | edit source]

Warren Johnson invents the first temperature regulating device known as a thermostat.

1886 - Electrolytic Reduction of Alumina into Aluminum[edit | edit source]

Discovered by Charles Martin Hall and Paul Heroult

1890 - Examination of Microstructure of Hard Steel Alloy[edit | edit source]

Adolf Martens finds banded regions of variously oriented microcrystals

1893 - Patent for SiC[edit | edit source]

Edward Goodrich Acheson patents a method for making carborundum (SiC), an abrasive compound.

1896 - Discovery of Radioactivity[edit | edit source]

Found by Pierre and Marie Curie

1898 - Development of Phase Diagram of Iron and Carbon[edit | edit source]

Creating by William Roberts-Austen

1900 CE - 1949 CE[edit | edit source]

1901 -Radio-wave signals across the Atlantic Ocean from England to Canada[edit | edit source]

sends by Guglielmo Marconi

1901 The first electric vacuum cleaner is developed[edit | edit source]

1903 -Build the first engine-powered airplane.[edit | edit source]

Brothers Wilbur and Orville Wright

1904 - Alloying Composition of Stainless Steel[edit | edit source]

Developed by Leon Guillet

1905 -Explains the photoelectric effect.[edit | edit source]

Albert Einstein

1905 -Invents the chainsaw[edit | edit source]

Samuel J. Bens

1906 -Carrier pioneers the air conditioner.[edit | edit source]

Willis Carrier

1906 -Discovers chromatography.[edit | edit source]

Mikhail Tswett

1907 -Invents the electric clothes washer[edit | edit source]

Alva Fisher

1908 -Develops the electrostatic smoke precipitator (smokestackpollution scrubber).[edit | edit source]

Frederick Gardner

1908 -Launches the Ford Model T, the world's first truly affordable car.[edit | edit source]

American industrialist and engineer Henry Ford

1909- Develop the glass electrode, enabling very precise measurements of acidity.[edit | edit source]

German chemists Fritz Haber and Zygmunt Klemensiewicz

1909 - Bakelite[edit | edit source]

Synthesized by Leo Baekeland

Bakelite is a thermosetting hard plastic

1911 - Superconductivity[edit | edit source]

Discovered by Kammerlingh Omnes

Found when studying pure metals at low temperatures

1912- Describes the basic chemistry that leads to practical, lithium-ion rechargeable batteries (though they don't appear in a practical, commercial form until the 1990s).[edit | edit source]

American chemist Gilbert Lewis

1912 -Counter, a detector for radioactivity[edit | edit source]

Hans Geiger develops the Geiger

1912 - Diffraction of X-Rays by Crystals[edit | edit source]

Discovered by Max von Laue

1913 - Publication of the Bohr Model of Atomic Structure[edit | edit source]

Theory that properties determined by number of electrons in orbits around nucleus

1919 -Pioneers the mass spectrometer and uses it to discover many isotopes.[edit | edit source]

Francis Aston

1920 - Develops mechanical television[edit | edit source]

John Logie Baird

1920- Develops the principle of the modern, liquid-fueled space rocket[edit | edit source]

Robert H. Goddard

1920- Independently develop primitive optical character recognition (OCR) scanning systems.[edit | edit source]

German engineer Gustav Tauschek and American Paul Handel

1920 -Invents the magnetron, a device that can generate microwaves from electricity.[edit | edit source]

Albert W. Hull

1920 -Invents modern electronic television[edit | edit source]

Philo T. Farnsworth

1920 - Statement Regarding Structure of Polymers[edit | edit source]

Work Published by Hermann Staudinger

Polymer Consists of Long Chains of Short Repeating Molecular Units

1920 - Fracture Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Publication by A.A. Griffith of "The Phenomenon of Rupture and Flow of Solids"

Problem of fracture in context of energy balance

1921- Coin the word "robot" in a play about artificial humans.[edit | edit source]

Karel Capek and his brother

1921 -Develops the polygraph ("lie detector") machine[edit | edit source]

John Larson

1925 - Basis of Quantum Mechanics[edit | edit source]

Matrix mechanics developed by Werner Heisenberg

Wave mechanics and the non-relativistic Schrodinger equation of atoms invented by Erwin Schrodinger

1926 - "Superalloy"[edit | edit source]

Process Patented by Paul Merica

Created by adding small amounts of aluminum to Ni-Cr alloy

1927 - Light-Emitting Diode[edit | edit source]

Paper published by Oleg Losev

1928 -Invents coolant chemicals for air conditioners and refrigerators[edit | edit source]

Thomas Midgley, Jr.

1928 -The electric refrigerator is invented.[edit | edit source]

1930 -Pioneers color television[edit | edit source]

Peter Goldmark

1930 -Pioneer the modern ballpoint pen[edit | edit source]

Laszlo and Georg Biro

1930 -Creates the first solar-powered house[edit | edit source]

Maria Telkes

1930 -Oversees the development of radar[edit | edit source]

Robert Watson Watt

1930 -Develops the electronic pH meter[edit | edit source]

Arnold Beckman

1931 -Invents the xenon flash lamp for high-speed photography[edit | edit source]

Harold E. Edgerton

1932 -discovers the shape memory effect in a gold-cadmium alloy[edit | edit source]

Arne Olander

1933 - Transmission Electron Microscope[edit | edit source]

Built by Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska

1934 - Theory of Dislocations to Explain Plastic Deformation of Ductile Materials[edit | edit source]

Proposed by Egon Orowan, Michael Polyani, and G.I. Taylor

1935 - Polymer Nylon[edit | edit source]

Wallace Hume Carothers, Julian Hill are among researches who patented the process

1936 -Invents the magnetic reed switch.[edit | edit source]

W.B. Elwood

1938 -Invents the principle of photocopying (xerography)[edit | edit source]

Chester Carlson

1938 -Invents a nonstick plastic coating called Teflon[edit | edit source]

Roy Plunkett

1939 - Builds the first truly practical helicopter[edit | edit source]

Igor Sikorsky

1939 - Split Nucleus of Uranium Atom[edit | edit source]

Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassman bombard nucleus of uranium atom by bombarding with neutrons

1939 - Discovery of P- and N-Type Regions in Silicon[edit | edit source]

Found by Russel Ohl, George Southworth, Jack Scaff, and Henry Theuerer

1940 - Develop a compact magnetron for use in airplane radar navigation systems.[edit | edit source]

English physicists John Randall and Harry Boot

1942 - Builds the first nuclear chain reactor at the University of Chicago.[edit | edit source]

Enrico Fermi

1945 - Proposes a kind of desk-sized memory store called Memex, which has some of the features later incorporated into electronic books and the World Wide Web (WWW).[edit | edit source]

US government scientist Vannevar Bush

The term "metamaterials" was coined in 1999 by Rodger M. Walser of the University of Texas at Austin, and he defined metamaterials as "macroscopic composites having a manmade, three-dimensional, periodic cellular architecture designed to produce an optimized combination, not available in nature, of two or more responses to specific excitation."

The first metamaterial was developed by W.E. Kock in 1946. He created the metal-lens antennas.

1948 - Transistor[edit | edit source]

Fundamental component of all modern electronics

Invented by John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, and William Schockley

1949 - Patent barcodes—striped patterns that are initially developed for marking products in grocery stores.[edit | edit source]

Bernard Silver and N. Joseph Woodland

1950 CE - 1959 CE[edit | edit source]

1950 - X-ray crystallography reveal helical structure of DNA[edit | edit source]

Rosalind Franklin uses x-ray crystallography to create crystal-clear x-ray photographs that reveal the basic helical structure of the DNA molecule.

1950 - Microwave laser and Microwave ovens[edit | edit source]

Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow invent the maser (microwave laser). Gordon Gould coins the word "laser" and builds the first optical laser in 1958. Percy Spencer accidentally discovers how to cook with microwaves, inadvertently inventing the microwave oven.

1951 - Experimental Breeder Reactor 1[edit | edit source]

The Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) produces the world’s first usable amount of electricity from nuclear energy. When neutrons released in the fission process convert uranium into plutonium, they generate, or breed, more fissile material, thus producing new fuel as well as energy. No longer in operation, the reactor is now a registered national historic landmark and is open to the public for touring

1952 - Glass into fine-grained ceramics[edit | edit source]

Corning research chemist S. Donald Stookey discovers a heat treatment process for transforming glass objects into fine-grained ceramics. Further development of this new Pyroceram composition leads to the introduction of CorningWare in 1957.

1953 - High-density polyethylene[edit | edit source]

Karl Zeigler develops a method for creating a high-density polyethylene molecule that can be manufactured at low temperatures and pressures but has a very high melting point.

1954 - Synthetic diamonds[edit | edit source]

Working at General Electric’s research laboratories, scientists use a high-pressure vessel to synthesize diamonds, converting a mixture of graphite and metal powder to minuscule diamonds. The process requires a temperature of 4,800°F and a pressure of 1.5 million pounds per square inch, but the tiny diamonds are invaluable as abrasives and cutting points.

1955 - High molecular weight polypropylene developed[edit | edit source]

Building on the work of Karl Ziegler, Giullo Natta in Italy develops a high molecular weight polypropylene that has high tensile strength and is resistant to heat, ushering in an age of "designer" polymers.

1955 - Silicon dioxide discovery[edit | edit source]

Carl Frosch and Link Derick at Bell Labs discover that silicon dioxide can act as a diffusion mask. That is, when a silicon wafer is heated to about 1200°C in an atmosphere of water vapor or oxygen, a thin skin of silicon dioxide forms on the surface.are diffused into the wafer while the active elements are protected by the oxide layer.

1958 - Integrated circuit[edit | edit source]

Jack S. Kilby of Texas Instruments and Robert Noyce of Fairchild Semiconductor, create the integrated circuit, a composite semiconductor block in which transistor, resistor, condenser, and other electrical components are manufactured together as one unit.

1958 - Carbon Fibers[edit | edit source]

Dr. Roger Bacon created the first high performance carbon fibers at the Parma Technical Center outside of Cleveland, OH

1958 - "Microchip"[edit | edit source]

Created by Jack Kilby

Integration of Capacitors, Resistors, Diodes, and Transistors in Germanium

1959 - Introduction of the concepts of nanotechnology[edit | edit source]

Presentation by Richard Feynman of "There's Plenty of Room at the Bottom"

1959 - Photolithography[edit | edit source]

1960 CE - 1969 CE[edit | edit source]

1960- Theodore Maiman invents the ruby laser.[edit | edit source]

The first working laser (pulsed ruby) is developed by Maimam of Hughes Aircraft Corporation. Javan, Bennet, and Herriot make the first He:Ne gas laser

1960 - Spandex fibers are synthesized[edit | edit source]

1962 - Laser Diode[edit | edit source]

The first to demonstrate coherent light emission from a semiconductor diode (the first laser diode), is widely acknowledged to have been Robert N. Hall and his team at the General Electric research center in 1962.

1962 - Polyimide resins are synthesized[edit | edit source]

1962- William Armistead and S. Donald Stookey of Corning Glass Works invent light-sensitive (photochromic) glass.[edit | edit source]

Modern photochromic lenses tend to be plastic and instead of silver chemicals they contain organic (carbon-based) molecules called naphthopyrans that react to light in a slightly different way: they subtly change their molecular structure when ultraviolet light strikes them. In this altered form, they soak up more ordinary light as it tries to pass by (technically, we say they have a different absorption spectrum), which is what makes the lenses darken. Imagine lots of molecules suddenly darkening inside a clear lens. It's a bit like closing the blinds in front of your window on a sunny day: as the slats turn, they progressively block out more and more light.

1962 - The first SQUID superconducting quantum interference device is invented[edit | edit source]

A SQUID (for superconducting quantum interference device) is a very sensitive magnetometer used to measure extremely subtle magnetic fields, based on superconducting loops containing Josephson junctions.

1963 - The first balloon embolectomy catheter is invented by Thomas Fogarty.[edit | edit source]

Thomas Fogarty invented the "medical industry standard" balloon embolectomy catheter. Patented in 1963, this inflated balloon extraction technique revolutionized surgical embolectomy procedures. The Foley catheter is a rubber tube with a balloon tip named after it's inventor. After insertion into the bladder via the urethra, the tip is filled using a syringe with sterilized liquid or air, in order to keep the catheter in place. This type of catheter allows for continuous draining of the bladder, important during and after surgery.

1963 - Ivan Sutherland develops Sketchpad, one of the first computer-aided design programs.[edit | edit source]

1965 - A bulletproof nylon fabric, Kevlar, is invented at DuPont[edit | edit source]

Kevlar® or polyparaphenylene terephthalamide is a polyamide synthesized for the first time in 1965 by Polish-American chemist Stephanie Kwolek (1923-2014), who worked for DuPont. The obtaining of the fibers of Kevlar was complicated, emphasizing the contribution of Herbert Blades, that solved the problem of which solvent to use for the processing.

1965 - Frank Pantridge develops the portable defibrillator for treating cardiac arrest patients.[edit | edit source]

1965 - James Russell invents the compact disk[edit | edit source]

A compact disk (cd) is a popular form of digital storage media used for computer files, pictures, and music. The plastic platter is read and written to by a laser in a CD drive. It comes in several varieties including CD-ROM, CD-R, and CD-RW. James Russell invented the compact disk in 1965. James Russell was granted a total of 22 patents for various elements of his compact disk system. However, the compact disk did not become popular until it was mass manufactured by Philips in 1980.

1965 - Styrene–butadiene block copolymers are synthesized.[edit | edit source]

1965 - Commercial Scanning Electron Microscope[edit | edit source]

Introduced by Cambridge Instruments

1970 CE - 1985 CE[edit | edit source]

1970s (Late)   Arthroscope introduced
Advances in fiber-optics technology give surgeons a view into joints and other surgical sites through an arthroscope, an instrument the diameter of a pencil, containing a small lens and light system, with a video camera at the outer end. Used initially as a diagnostic tool prior to open surgery, arthroscopic surgery, with its minimal incisions and generally shorter recovery time, is soon widely used to treat a variety of joint problems.
1970s   Digital seismology
The introduction of digital seismology in oil exploration increases accuracy in locating underground pools of oil. The technique of using seismic waves to look for oil is based on determining the time interval between the sending of a sound wave (generated by an explosion, an electric vibrator, or a falling weight) and the arrival of reflected or refracted waves at one or more seismic detectors. Analysis of differences in arrival times and amplitudes of the waves tells seismologists what kinds of rock the waves have traveled through.
1970s   Mud pulse telemetry
Teleco, Inc., of Greenville, South Carolina, and the U.S. Department of Energy introduce mud pulse telemetry, a system of relaying pressure pulses through drilling mud to convey the location of the drill bit. Mud pulse telemetry is now an oil industry standard, saving millions of dollars in time and labor.
  1970   Optical fibers that meet purity standards
Corning Glass Works scientists Donald Keck, Peter Schultz, and Robert Maurer report the creation of optical fibers that meet the standards set by Kao and Hockham. The purest glass ever made, it is composed of fused silica from the vapor phase and exhibits light loss of less than 20 decibels per kilometer (1 percent of the light remains after traveling 1 kilometer). By 1972 the team creates glass with a loss of 4 decibels per kilometer. Also in 1970, Morton Panish and Izuo Hayashi of Bell Laboratories, along with a group at the Ioffe Physical Institute in Leningrad, demonstrate a semiconductor laser that operates continuously at room temperature. Both breakthroughs will pave the way toward commercialization of fiber optics.

1970 The floppy disk (8 in.) is invented by Alan Shugart at IBM.

  1970s   Amorphous metal alloys created
Amorphous metal alloys are made by cooling molten metal alloys extremely rapidly (more than a million degrees a second), producing a glassy solid with distinctive magnetic and mechanical properties. Such alloys are put to use in signal and power transformers and as sensors.
1970s   Airbags become standard 
Airbags, introduced in some models in the 1970s, become standard in more cars.  Originally installed only on the driver's side, they begin to appear on the front passenger side as well.
1970s   Fuel prices escalate, driving demand for fuel-efficient cars
Fuel prices escalate, driving a demand for fuel-efficient cars, which increases the sale of small Japanese cars. This helps elevate the Japanese automobile industry to one of the greatest in the world.
1970s   Aswan High Dam
The Aswan High Dam construction is completed, about 5 kilometers upstream from the original Aswan Dam (1902). Known as Saad el Aali in Arabic, it impounds the waters of the Nile to form Lake Nasser, the world’s third-largest reservoir, with a capacity of 5.97 trillion cubic feet. The project requires the relocation of thousands of people and floods some of Egypt’s monuments and temples, which are later raised. But the new dam controls annual floods along the Nile, supplies water for municipalities and irrigation, and provides Egypt with more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electric power every year.
1970   The first CD-ROM patented
James T. Russell, working at Battelle Memorial Institute's Pacific Northwest Laboratories in Richland, Washington, patents the first systems capable of digital-to-optical recording and playback. The CD-ROM (compact disc read-only memory) is years ahead of its time, but in the mid-1980s audio companies purchase licenses to the technology. (See computers.) Russell goes on to earn dozens of patents for CD-ROM technology and other optical storage systems.

1970 Silica optical fibers grown by Corning Incorporated

  1970   Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)
Xerox Corporation assembles a team of researchers in information and physical sciences in Palo Alto, California, with the goal of creating "the architecture of information." Over the next 30 years innovations emerging from the Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) include the concept of windows (1972), the first real personal computer (Alto in 1973), laser printers (1973), the concept of WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) word processors (1974), and EtherNet (1974). In 2002 Xerox PARC incorporates as an independent company—Palo Alto Research Center, Inc.

1970 The first microfiber (polyester) is invented by Toray Industries in Japan; The first fabric comprised of microfibers, Ultrasuede, is also introduced

1970   UNIX operating system
At Bell Labs, Dennis Ritchie and Kenneth Thompson complete the UNIX operating system, which gains a wide following among scientists.
1970   Initial ARPANET host-to-host protocol
In December the Network Working Group (NWG), formed at UCLA by Steve Crocker, deploys the initial ARPANET host-to-host protocol, called the Network Control Protocol (NCP). The primary function of the NCP is to establish connections, break connections, switch connections, and control flow over the ARPANET, which grows at the rate of one new node per month.

1971 The liquid crystal display (LCD) is invented by James Fergason

1971   First soft contact lens
Bausch & Lomb licenses Softlens, the first soft contact lens. The new product is the result of years of research by Czech scientists Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim and is based on their earlier invention of a "hydrophilic" gel, a polymer material that is compatible with living tissue and therefore suitable for eye implants. Soft contacts allow more oxygen to reach the eye’s cornea than do hard plastic lenses.

1971 Vacuum forming

1971 The first single chip microprocessor, Intel 4004, is introduced

1971 The video cassette recorder (VCR) is invented by Charles Ginsburg

1971 Hydrogels are synthesized

1971   First space station, Salyut 1
The Soviet Union launches the world’s first space station, Salyut 1, in 1971. Two years later the United States sends its first space station, Skylab, into orbit, where it hosts three crews before being abandoned in 1974. Russia continues to focus on long-duration space missions, launching the first modules of the Mir space station in 1986.
1971   Intel introduces "computer on a chip"
Intel, founded in 1968 by Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, introduces a "Computer on a chip," the 4004 four-bit microprocessor, design by Frederico Faggin, Ted Hoff, and Stan Mazor. It can execute 60,000 operations per second and changes the face of modern electronics by making it possible to include data processing hundreds of devices. A 4004 provides the computing power for NASA's Pioneer 10 spacecraft, launched the following year to survey Jupiter.

3M Corporation introduces the ceramic chip carrier, designed to protect integrated circuits when they are attached or removed from circuit boards. The chip is bonded to a gold base inside a cavity in the square ceramic carrier, and the package is then hermetically sealed.

1972   CAT or CT scan is introduced
Computerized axial tomography, popularly known as CAT or CT scan, is introduced as the most important development in medical filming since the X ray some 75 years earlier. (See Imaging)
1972   First percolator with an automatic drip process
Sunbeam develops the Mr. Coffee, the first percolator with an automatic drip process as well as an automatic cut-off control that lessens the danger of over-brewing. Mr. Coffee quickly becomes the country’s leading coffeemaker.
1972   CAT scan
Engineer Godfrey Hounsfield of Britain’s EMI Laboratories and South African–born American physicist Allan Cormack of Tufts University develop the computerized axial tomography scanner, or CAT scan. With the help of a computer, the device combines many x-ray images to generate cross-sectional views as well as three-dimensional images of internal organs and structures. Used to guide the placement of instruments or treatments, CAT eventually becomes the primary tool for diagnosing brain and spinal disorders. (In 1979, Hounsfield and Cormack are awarded the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine.)
1972   MRI adapted for medical purposes
Using high-speed computers, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is adapted for medical purposes, offering better discrimination of soft tissue than x-ray CAT and is now widely used for noninvasive imaging throughout the body. Among the pioneers in the development of MRI are Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell (Nobel Prize winners in 1952), Paul Lauterbur, and Raymond Damadian.
1972   First public demonstration of the new network technology
Robert Kahn at BBN, who is responsible for the ARPANET’s system design, organizes the first public demonstration of the new network technology at the International Conference on Computer Communications in Washington, D.C., linking 40 machines and a Terminal Interface Processor to the ARPANET.
1972   First public demonstration of the new network technology
Robert Kahn at BBN, who is responsible for the ARPANET’s system design, organizes the first public demonstration of the new network technology at the International Conference on Computer Communications in Washington, D.C., linking 40 machines and a Terminal Interface Processor to the ARPANET.
1972   Pioneer 10 sent to the outer solar system
Pioneer 10, the first mission to be sent to the outer solar system, is launched on March 2 by an Atlas-Centaur rocket. The spacecraft makes its closest approach to Jupiter on December 3, 1973, after which it is on an escape trajectory from the Solar System. NASA launches Pioneer 11 on April 5, 1973, and in December 1974 the spacecraft gives scientists their closest view of Jupiter, from 26,600 miles above the cloud tops. Five years later Pioneer 11 makes its closest approach to Saturn, sending back images of the planet’s rings, and then heads out of the solar system in the opposite direction from Pioneer 10. The last successful data acquisitions from Pioneer 10 occur on March 3, 2002, the 30th anniversary of its launch date, and on April 27, 2002. Its signal is last detected on January 23, 2003, after an uplink is transmitted to turn off the last operational experiment.
1972   Home video game systems become available
In September, Magnavox ships Odyssey 100 home game systems to distributors. The system is test marketed in 25 cities, and 9,000 units are sold in Southern California Alone during the first month at a price of $99.95.

In November, Nolan Bushnell forms Atari and ships Pong, a coin-operated video arcade game, designed and built by Al Alcorn. The following year Atari introduces its home version of the game, which soon outstrips Odyssey 100.

1973 The disposable lighter is invented by Bic.

  1973   Chemical vapor deposition process
John MacChesney and Paul O’Connor at Bell Laboratories develop a modified chemical vapor deposition process that heats chemical vapors and oxygen to form ultratransparent glass that can be mass-produced into low-loss optical fiber. The process still remains the standard for fiber-optic cable manufacturing.
1973   Paper describes basic design of the Internet and TCP
In September, Kahn and Vinton Cerf, an electrical engineer and head of the International Network Working Group, present a paper at the University of Sussex in England describing the basic design of the Internet and an open-architecture network, later known as TCP (transmission control protocol), that will allow networks to communicate with each other. The paper is published as "A Protocol for Packet Network Interconnection" in IEEE Transactions on Communications.
1973   First portable cell phone call is made
The first portable cell phone call is made by Martin Cooper of Motorola to his research rival at Bell Labs, Joel Engel. Although mobile phones had been used in cars since the mid-1940s, Cooper’s was the first one invented for truly portable use. He and his team are awarded a patent in 1975.
1973   Interstate 70 opens west of Denver
Interstate 70 in Colorado opens from Denver westward. It features the 1.75-mile Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel, the longest tunnel in the interstate program.

1973 Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is invented by Lauterbur and Damadian[

1973 The plastic bottle (PET)

1974 Post-it notes featuring a low-residue adhesive is invented by 3M

1974   Energy Reorganization Act of 1974
The Energy Reorganization Act of 1974 splits the Atomic Energy Commission into the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). ERDA’s responsibilities include overseeing the development and refinement of nuclear power, while the NRC takes up the issue of safe handling of nuclear materials.
1974   Texas Instruments introduces the TMS 1000
Texas Instruments introduces the TMS 1000, destined to become the most widely used computer on a chip. Over the next quarter-century, more than 35 different versions of the chip are produced for use in toys and games, calculators, photcopying machines, appliances, burglar alarms, and jukeboxes. (Although TI engineers Michael Cochran and Gary Boone create the first microcomputer, a four-bit microprocessor, at about the same time Intel does in 1971, TI does not put its chip on the market immediately, using it in a calculator introduced in 1972.)

1975 First home computer is marketed to hobbyists[edit | edit source]

The Altair 8800, widely considered the first home computer, is marketed to hobbyists by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems. The build-it-yourself kit doesn’t have a keyboard, monitor, or its own programming language; data are input with a series of switches and lights. But it includes an Intel microprocessor and costs less than $400. Seizing an opportunity, fledgling entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Paul Allen propose writing a version of BASIC for the new computer. They start the project by forming a partnership called Microsoft.

U.S. military begins using fiber optics

The U.S. military begins using fiber optics to improve communications systems when the navy installs a fiber-optic telephone link on the USS Little Rock. Used to transmit data modulated into light waves, the specially designed bundles of transparent glass fibers are thinner and lighter than metal cables, have greater bandwidth, and can transmit data digitally while being less susceptible to interference. The first commercial applications come in 1977 when AT&T and GTE install fiber-optic telephone systems in Chicago and Boston. By 1988 and 1989, fiber-optic cables are carrying telephone calls across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.

1976 - Common channel interoffice signaling[edit | edit source]

AT&T introduces common channel interoffice signaling, a protocol that allows software-controlled, networked computers or switches to communicate with each other using a band other than those used for voice traffic. Basically a dedicated trunk, the network separates signaling functions from the voice path, checks the continuity of the circuit, and then relays the information.

First home computer is marketed to hobbyists

The Altair 8800, widely considered the first home computer, is marketed to hobbyists by Micro Instrumentation Telemetry Systems. The build-it-yourself kit doesn’t have a keyboard, monitor, or its own programming language; data are input with a series of switches and lights. But it includes an Intel microprocessor and costs less than $400. Seizing an opportunity, fledgling entrepreneurs Bill Gates and Paul Allen propose writing a version of BASIC for the new computer. They start the project by forming a partnership called Microsoft.

1977 NASA launches two Mars space probes[edit | edit source]

NASA launches two Mars space probes, Viking 1 on August 20 and Viking 2 on November 9, each consisting of an orbiter and a lander. The first probe lands on July 20, 1976, the second one on September 3. The Viking project’s primary mission ends on November 15, 11 days before Mars’s superior conjunction (its passage behind the Sun), although the two spacecraft continue to operate for several more years. The last transmission reaches Earth on November 11, 1982. After repeated efforts to regain contact, controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory close down the overall mission on May 21, 1983.

Common channel interoffice signaling

AT&T introduces common channel interoffice signaling, a protocol that allows software-controlled, networked computers or switches to communicate with each other using a band other than those used for voice traffic. Basically a dedicated trunk, the network separates signaling functions from the voice path, checks the continuity of the circuit, and then relays the information.

1978 An artificial heart, Jarvik-7, is invented by Robert Jarvik. -[edit | edit source]

The first analog video optical disk player is introduced by MCA Discovision.

First electronic sewing machine

Singer introduces the Athena 2000, the world’s first electronic sewing machine. A wide variety of stitches, from basic straight to complicated decorative, are available at the touch of a button. The "brain" of the system is a chip that measures less than one-quarter of an inch and contains more than 8,000 transistors.

First cochlear implant surgery

Graeme Clarke in Australia carries out the first cochlear implant surgery. Advances in integrated circuit technology enable him to design a multiple electrode receiver-stimulator unit about the size of a quarter.

1979 The first cassette Walkman TPS-L2 is invented by Masaru Ibuka of Sony. -[edit | edit source]

Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act

Congress passes the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), which spurs the growth of nonutility unregulated power generation. PURPA mandates that utilities buy power from qualified unregulated generators at the "avoided cost"—the cost the utility would pay to generate the power itself. Qualifying facilities must meet technical standards regarding energy source and efficiency but are exempt from state and federal regulation under the Federal Power Act and the Public Utility Holding Company Act. In addition, the federal government allows a 15 percent energy tax credit while continuing an existing 10 percent investment tax credit.

1980 Compact disk players are introduced by Philips.-[edit | edit source]

Japanese electrical pioneer Akio Morita develops the Sony Walkman, the first truly portable player for recorded music.

First circuit boards that have built-in self-testing technology

Chuck Stroud, while working at Bell Laboratories, develops and designs 21 different microchips and three different circuit boards—the first to employ built-in self-testing (BIST) technology. BIST results in a significant reduction in the cost, and a significant increase in the quality of producing electronic components.

TCP/IP standard adopted

U.S. Department of Defense adopts the TCP/IP (transmission control protocol/internet protocol) suite as a standard.

Fiber-optic cable links major citie

AT&T announces that it will install fiber-optic cable linking major cities between Boston and Washington, D.C. The cable is designed to carry three different wavelengths through graded-index fiber—technology that carries video signals later that year from the Olympic Games in Lake Placid, New York. Two years later MCI announces a similar project using single-mode fiber carrying 400 bits per second.

California wind farms

In California more than 17,000 wind machines, ranging in output from 20 to 350 kilowatts, are installed on wind farms. At the height of development, these turbines have a collected rating of more than 1,700 megawatts and produce more than 3 million megawatt-hours of electricity, enough at peak output to power a city of 300,000.

1981 -[edit | edit source]

The world’s largest solar-power generating station goes into operation (10 MW capacity). The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is invented. Stung by Apple's success, IBM releases its own affordable personal computer (PC). The Space Shuttle makes its maiden voyage. Patricia Bath develops laser eye surgery for removing cataracts.

1982 -[edit | edit source]

The first “personal computer” (PC) is introduced by IBM. Robert Denkwalter et al. from Allied Corporation are granted the first patent for dendrimers. Alexei Ekimov and Louis E. Brus (independently) discover quantum dots.

1983 -[edit | edit source]

US phone companies begin to offer cellular phone service. Steve Jobs of Apple introduces a new computer featuring the first graphical user interface (GUI), named The Lisa. Compact discs (CDs) are launched as a new way to store music by the Sony and Philips corporations.

1984 -[edit | edit source]

The CD-ROM is invented for computers. The first clumping kitty litter is invented by biochemist Thomas Nelson. The CD-ROM is invented for computers

The first clumping kitty litter is invented by biochemist Thomas Nelson

1985 - Antilock braking system (ABS) available on American cars[edit | edit source]

The Lincoln becomes the first American car to offer an anti lock braking system (ABS), which is made by Teves of Germany. ABS uses computerized sensing of wheel movement and hydraulic pressure to each wheel to adjust pressure so that the wheels continue to move somewhat rather than "locking up" during emergency braking. Donald Tomalia and coworkers at Dow Chemical report the discovery of hyper branched polymers, named dendrimers. Donald Tomalia and coworkers at Dow Chemical report the discovery of hyper branched polymers, named dendrimers

1980 CE - 1989 CE[edit | edit source]

1981 - Scanning Probe Microscopes[edit | edit source]

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a new branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen.

' 1987 - First laser surgery on a human cornea'	

New York City ophthalmologist Steven Trokel performs the first laser surgery on a human cornea, after perfecting his technique on a cow’s eye. Nine years later the first computerized excimer laser—Lasik—designed to correct the refractive error myopia, is approved for use in the United States. The Lasik procedure has evolved from both the Russian-developed radial keratotomy and its laser-based successor photorefractive keratectomy.

1988 - Giant Magnetoresistive Effect[edit | edit source]

GMR was independently discovered in Fe/Cr/Fe trilayers by a research team led by Peter Grünberg of the Jülich Research Centre (DE), who owns the patent, and in Fe/Cr multilayers by the group of Albert Fert of the University of Paris-Sud (FR), who first saw the large effect in multilayers that led to its naming, and first correctly explained the underlying physics.

1990 CE - 1999 CE[edit | edit source]

1990 CE - Biotextiles are invented in the US =[edit | edit source]

1991 - Discovery of Nanotubes[edit | edit source]

Found by Sumio Iijima

=== 1991 Sony announces the first carbon anode based commercial Li-ion cell === 1991 MiniDiscs (MDs) are introduced by Sony Electronics, Inc.

=== 1992 Prof. Jerome Schentag invents a computer-controlled “smart pill,” for drug-delivery applications

=== 1993 The Pentium processor is invented by Intel 1994 The first search engine for the World Wide Web is created by Filo and Yang[5]

1994 - The International Technology Roadmap of Semiconductors[edit | edit source]

=== 1995 Nanoimprint lithography is invented by Stephen Chou at Stanford

=== 1995 Digital Versatile Disk or Digital Video Disk (DVD) is invented

1995- becomes one of the world's first online radio stations.

-Pierre Omidyar launches the eBay auction website.

1996- WRAL-HD broadcasts the first high-definition television (HDTV) signal in the United States.

1997- Electronics companies agree to make Wi-Fi a worldwide standard for wireless Internet.

1998 - Motorola introduces Iridium service, the first global satellite-based wireless telephone service[7]

- Adam Cohen (19 years old!) develops an “electrochemical paint brush” circuit that uses an STM probe to manipulate copper atoms on a silicon surface

- Apple computer introduces the iMac 1998 Geoffrey Ozin at the University of Toronto develops synthetic seashells from SiO2

- Toyota Motor Corporation releases the Prius – the first mass-produced hybrid low-emission vehicle (LEV)

- Television stations in the US began to transition from analog to digital signals

1999 - Danish physicist Hau is able to control the speed of light, useful for potential applications in communications systems and optical computers.

- Safeco Field in Seattle opens, featuring a retractable roof, and extensive drainage lines and heating coils to maintain ideal turf conditions.

- The chemical ingredient used by mussels to anchor themselves to rocks is discovered, and used to synthesize a waterproof adhesive.

- Molecular-based logic gates are demonstrated to work better than silicon based gates – an important precedent in the development of a molecular computer.

2000 - Intel releases the Pentium IV microprocessor, consisting of 42 million transistors

- Motorola releases the i1000 Plus – the first cell phone capable of connecting to the internet

- Robotic pets (e.g., Poo-Chi, Tekno) are first introduced

- The first generation of “digital jukeboxes,” the AudioReQuest ARQ1, retails for $800 and is the first device capable of storing thousands of MP3 songs

2001 - Apple revolutionizes music listening by unveiling its iPod MP3 music player.

- National Nanotechnology Initiative

- A United States federal initiative of nanoscale science and technology.

- Richard Palmer develops energy-absorbing D3O plastic.

- Scott White, Nancy Sottos, and colleagues develop self-healing materials.

2002 - The lightest substance on Earth, known as Aerogels, is developed by NASA

- iRobot Corporation releases the first version of its Roomba® vacuum cleaning robot.

2004 Graphene is discovered[edit | edit source]

Graphene was produced in a laboratory in 2004, by Russian-born scientists Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov working at the UK's University of Manchester.

What are non-Newtonian materials?

Ketchup, nail polish, toothpaste, whipped cream, cornstarch, blood, face cream, silly-putty, paint, and custard—what do these things have in common? Apparently nothing! In fact, they're all examples of non-Newtonian fluids. In everyday terms, they get either more viscous (thicker and less runny) or less viscous (thinner and more runny) if you push and poke them around a bit. Some of them are shear-thinning (they get less viscous), others are shear-thickening (getting more viscous) when you push them about:

Shear thinning: Ketchup, toothpaste, blood, paint, nail polish, whipped cream, and face-cream start off relatively thick and viscous but become more runny if you subject them to forces. Shear thickening: Cornstarch, custard, many soups, and silly-putty work the opposite way. They thicken up when you subject them to forces. Some non-Newtonian materials are permanently changed by applied forces: custard stays thick, for example. Others are changed only temporarily and revert back to their original form when the force is removed. Ketchup thins when you shake it but thickens up again once it's sitting on your plate. Toothpaste thickens and thins repeatedly: it's thick inside the tube, thins and flows when you squeeze it, thickens back into a gel once it's sitting on your brush, and thins again when you brush it over your teeth

2005[edit | edit source]


A pioneering low-cost laptop for developing countries called OLPC is announced by MIT computing pioneer Nicholas Negroponte.

Over the last few years, they've worked to create a trimmed-down, low-cost laptop suitable for people who live in developing countries where electricity and telephone access are harder to find. Their project is known as OLPC: One Laptop Per Child.

What's different about the OLPC?

In essence, an OLPC computer is no different from any other laptop: it's a machine with input, output, memory storage, and a processor—the key components of any computer. But in OLPC, these parts have been designed especially for developing countries.

Here are some of the key features:

Low cost: OLPC was originally designed to cost just $100. Although it failed to meet that target, it is still cheaper than most traditional laptops. Inexpensive LCD screen: The hi-tech screen is designed to work outdoors in bright sunlight, but costs only $35 to make—a fraction of the cost of a normal LCD flat panel display. Trimmed down operating system: The operating system is like the conductor of an orchestra: the part of a computer that makes all the other parts (from the processor chip to the buttons on the mouse) work in harmony. Originally, OLPC used only Linux (an efficient and low-cost operating system developed by thousands of volunteers), but it began offering Microsoft Windows versions as an alternative in 2008. Wireless broadband: In some parts of Africa, fewer than one person in a hundred has access to a wired, landline telephone, so dialup Internet access via telephone would be no use for OLPC users. Each machine's wireless chip will allow it to create an ad-hoc network with other machines nearby—so OLPC users will be able to talk to one another and exchange information effortlessly. Flash memory: Instead of an expensive and relatively unreliable hard drive, OLPC uses a huge lump of flash memory—like the memory used in USB flash memory sticks and digital camera memory cards. Own power: Home electricity supplies are scarce in many developing countries, so OLPC has a hand crank and built-in generator. One minute of cranking generates up to 10 minutes of power. Is OLPC a good idea?

Anything that closes the digital divide, helping poorer children gain access to education and opportunity, must be a good thing. However, some critics have questioned whether projects like this are really meeting the most immediate needs of people in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, around 1.1 billion people (18 percent of the world's population) have no access to safe drinking water, while 2.7 billion (a staggering 42 percent of the world's population) lack basic sanitation. During the 1990s, around 2 billion people were affected by major natural disasters such as floods and droughts. Every single day, 5000 children die because of dirty water—that's more people dying each day than were killed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

With basic problems on this scale, it could be argued that providing access to computers and the Internet is not a high priority for most of the world's poorer people. Then again, education is one of the most important weapons in the fight against poverty. Perhaps computers could provide young people with the knowledge they need to help themselves, their families, and communities escape a life sentence of hardship?

-Carbon nanotubes are synthesized in bulk, and spun into a yarn -iPod Nano and a video-capable iPod are introduced by Apple

2006[edit | edit source]

- High-definition DVD players become commercially available - Apple computer introduces MacBook Pro, MacBook, and iMac product lines that contain Intel dual-core chips – the first to contain over one billion transistors - Flat-panel display technologies employing carbon nanotubes are demonstrated - LG designs cellular phone that has a built-in breathalyzer for sobriety testing; this application is also tested as standard equipment for future automobiles

2007[edit | edit source]

- A nanowire battery is demonstrated by Dr. Cui at Stanford University - Electronic books launches its Kindle electronic book (e-book) reader. - Cellphones Touchscreens Apple introduces a touchscreen cellphone called the iPhone.

2008[edit | edit source]

- A low-cost solar concentrator is developed at MIT. - A bionic contact lens is invented by Babak Parviz. - “Buckypaper” is discovered at Florida State University - Nocera and coworkers at MIT develop a new catalyst to efficiently split water into H2 and O2 under ambient conditions, which may lead to a new paradigm for the large-scale deployment of solar energy. - Chemical vapor deposition is used for the first large-scale growth of graphene. - A self-healing rubber is made from vegetable oil. - Researchers at the Univ. of Pennsylvania report a robot (ckBot) that reassembles itself after being dismantled.

2009[edit | edit source]

- Tour (Rice) and Dai (Stanford) report the first precedents to unzip carbon nanotubes to form graphene nanoribbons. - The University of Maryland’s Joint Quantum Institute successfully transport data from one atom to another in a container one meter away (the first instance of pseudo-transportation!). - Dow Chemical Co. develops roofing shingles integrated with thin-film solar cells comprised of copper indium gallium diselenide, CIGS. - The Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the first jet airliner to use composite materials for most of its fuselage, is developed by Boeing. - Self-assembling peptides are used for self-cleaning window applications. - The $20 knee is designed by Stanford engineering students. - Berkeley researchers create an “invisibility cloak”. - A “smart” LCD screen that recognizes off-screen gestures is developed. - 18-cm long arrays of SWNTs were synthesized – the longest carbon nanotube array to date. - The first Android cell phone is released, based on a Google OS. - Simon Peers and Nicholas Godley unveil an 11-ft.-long spider-silk cloth made in Madagascar. - The first 3-D digital camera is introduced by Fujifilm. - The EnergyHub smart thermostat is developed

2010[edit | edit source]

- Apple releases their first tablet-PC, the iPad. - 3M/Littmann develops the first electronic stethoscope. - The first $35 computer is unveiled in India. - Powered exoskeletons are developed to provide mobility assistance for aged and infirmed people. - The British company Xeros develops a washing machine comprised of nylon beads, requiring 90% less water than traditional machines. - The “Smart Bullet” is developed by Allant Tech systems, funded by the United States military; this allows soldiers to measure the distance to a target using a laser range finder, dialing in exactly where the bullet should explode (over/past walls, the corner of buildings, etc.) at precise distances.

- Computers - Touchscreens "Apple releases its touchscreen tablet computer, the iPad." - 3D Television "3D TV starts to become more widely available."

There are several different ways of making a 3D TV, but all of them use the same basic principle: they have to produce two separate, moving images and send one of them to the viewer's left eye and the other to the right. To give the proper illusion of 3D, the left eye's image mustn't be seen by the right eye, while the right eye's image mustn't be seen by the left.

Anaglyph: You have to wear eye glasses with colored lenses so your brain can fuse together the partly overlapping red and cyan pictures on the screen. Polarizing: You wear lenses that filter light waves in different ways so each eye sees a different picture. Active-shutter: The left and right lenses of your glasses are fitted with liquid crystals that effectively "open" and "close" at high speed, in rapid alternation, so your two eyes view separate images (frames) shown on the same screen. Lenticular: You don't need glasses with this system. Instead, a row of plastic lenses in front of the screen bends slightly different, side-by-side images so they travel to your left and right eyes. You must sit in the right place to see a 3D image.

Source[edit | edit source]

"Top 10 Advances In Materials Science Over Last 50 Years" Science Daily. December 19, 2007

"The Greatest Moments in Materials Science and Engineering" JOM