Mankind has come a long way since the dawn of the 21st Century.
From the discovery of water on mars, to the discovery of Trappist System, which has 8 planets orbiting around it, 3 of them in the habitable zone. The world of science is endless which is now growing faster than ever before. The Following are some of the remarkable scientific discoveries of the 21st Century.
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10. Water on Mars
It all began when Phoenix Lander was sent to Mars on May 25, 2008 to search for water. It was the first successful landing on the polar region of Mars. Soon after landing, it discovered ice which evaporated after some days (Sols). Scientists confirmed that it was water ice and not some other substance. Mars is not suitable for life yet, but this water ice will be extremely useful when the first group of astronauts will land there.
9. Higgs Boson
Every visible thing we see today is made of particles which carry force. Scientist Peter Higgs proposed this theory in 1964 that all particles in the world form mass with the help of some unknown particle. Finally in 2012 scientists announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson. Many Higgs bosons clump together to form Higgs field, this field helps the particles to have mass. Higgs field is almost everywhere in the universe. If there was no Higgs Field, the world we see today would not exist at all. Scientists claim that this discovery would help us understand the Dark Matter.
8. Dark Matter
In 2006, NASA found a direct evidence of the existence of the Dark Matter. Dark matter makes up almost a quarter of the universe. Dark Matter provides the the bulk of gravity which holds galaxies. We can’t see dark matter, nor collide with it, but we can detect its gravity. Telescopes observed a massive collision between two large clusters of galaxies. Dark matter and normal matter was wrenched apart by this massive collision which gave direct evidence of the existence of Dark Matter.
7. Converting Water into Fuel
We can use hydrogen as fuel which we can obtain by splitting hydrogen and oxygen from water by a method called electrolysis but too much energy is required in hydrolyzing of water.German Cleantech Company has developed a machine that can convert water and carbon dioxide into liquid hydrocarbons by a very cheap process but still we are already getting a lot of cheap hydrogen(fuel) from methane, which we can produce from biological sources already! More research on the project is needed.
6. Human Genome Project
The genome is a complete collection of DNA in an organism and it contains all the information needed to build and maintain a life form. An international scientific research called ”Human Genome Project’ was completed in 2003, their goal was to map the entire human genome and they succeeded in it. The human genome contains every instruction needed to construct an entire human being. The sequencing of the human genome would help us understand and cure diseases like cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease and get a little more closer to human cloning.
5. Bionic Technology
Scientists have managed to create mechanical limbs for people with certain disabilities. Now scientists have created new type of prosthetics with which we would be even able to feel the touch of the artificial arm.Right now, this technology is new,expensive and evolving.
4. Induced Pluripotent stem cells
Stem cells are type of cells can become any type of cell in the body and they can also divide to produce more stem cells of the same type. Stem cells can be used to repair a tissue or grow an entire new organ in the body like heart, liver or kidney, so no more waiting for someone to donate you an organ. There are two types of stem cells, Embryonic stem cells and Adult stem cells. Embryonic stem cells are not easily available and they are very controversial but Japanese scientist has reprogrammed a new type of stem cell called Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell directly from Adult Stem Cells.These stem cells will be easily available in the future. More research is needed on the project. It’s one of the greatest medical breakthroughs of the 21st century.
3. Photonic Molecules
Light Sabers may not just be a science fiction anymore. Scientists have discovered a new type of matter made of photons which are actually particles of light. Photonic matter was first theorized in 2007. In 2013, physicists in MIT, managed to bond photons together and after that new photonic molecules were formed. Scientists say that photonic molecules could be used to preserve Quantum Data or they could be arranged in such a way in a medium that they form photonic crystals, somewhat similar to light sabers from star wars.
2. Sequencing Genome of Cancer Patient
In 2008, scientists first time sequenced the genome of a cancer patient, including the dead cells, which enabled them to identify the mutations that were responsible for cancer. Scientists are now getting closer and closer to the cure of the cancer. Cancer is not easy to cure because almost every case is different, but scientists are getting closer to a cure that would be for all types of cancer.
1. Detection of Gravitational Waves
Gravitational waves are ripples in the fabric of Space-time produced by the acceleration of massive objects in Space, these are just like the ripples rain drops produce when they fall in the lake. In 2015, LIGO first time detected a gravitational wave which originated from the collision of two black holes that happened approximately 1.3 billion years ago. The discovery was announced by LIGO in 2016.Scientists considered this to be one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the 21st century. Gravitational waves would help us map the places of the universe we can’t see or detect cataclysmic events in the Universe.