14 October 2009


The invention: The first totally synthetic thermosetting plastic,
which paved the way for modern materials science.
The people behind the invention:
John Wesley Hyatt (1837-1920), an American inventor
Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863-1944), a Belgian-born chemist,
consultant, and inventor
Christian Friedrich Schönbein (1799-1868), a German chemist
who produced guncotton, the first artificial polymer
Adolf von Baeyer (1835-1917), a German chemist
Exploding Billiard Balls
In the 1860’s, the firm of Phelan and Collender offered a prize of
ten thousand dollars to anyone producing a substance that could
serve as an inexpensive substitute for

13 October 2009

Photovoltaic cell

Photovoltaic cell
The invention: Drawing their energy directly from the Sun, the
first photovoltaic cells powered instruments on early space vehicles
and held out hope for future uses of solar energy.
The people behind the invention:
Daryl M. Chapin (1906-1995), an American physicist
Calvin S. Fuller (1902-1994), an American chemist
Gerald L. Pearson (1905- ), an American physicist
Unlimited Energy Source
All the energy that the world has at its disposal ultimately comes
from the Sun. Some of this solar energy was trapped millions of years
ago in the form of vegetable and animal matter

12 October 2009

Photoelectric cell

The invention: The first devices to make practical use of the photoelectric
effect, photoelectric cells were of decisive importance in
the electron theory of metals.
The people behind the invention:
Julius Elster (1854-1920), a German experimental physicist
Hans Friedrich Geitel (1855-1923), a German physicist
Wilhelm Hallwachs (1859-1922), a German physicist
Early Photoelectric Cells
The photoelectric effect was known to science in the early
nineteenth century when the French physicist Alexandre-Edmond
Becquerel wrote of it in connection with

Personal computer

The invention: Originally a tradename of the IBM Corporation,
“personal computer” has become a generic term for increasingly
powerful desktop computing systems using microprocessors.
The people behind the invention:
Tom J. Watson, (1874-1956), the founder of IBM, who set
corporate philosophy and marketing principles
Frank Cary (1920- ), the chief