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Moving into a new century, it's quite natural to look back and ponder - cast up a balance, so to speak, and identify symbol names and events. What were the symbols of the twentieth century? What impacted our life in these hundred years? The A-bomb, computers and Internet? The discovery of a genetic code? The cloned sheep Dolley? Yes, sure... If we take a closer look and consider other, not so big events, we will still give pride of place to scientific and technological achievements, the breakthroughs.

The Moscow-published Nezavisimaya Gavta (its English logo is Independent Newspaper) runs a supplement, NG-NAUKA, or IN-SCIENCE, which did exactly that-it struck a balance of scientific and technological achievements of the century Throughout the year 2000 it was polling readership on these four nominations, to use the pat word:

- Outstanding scientists of the century;

- Scientific discoveries and theories (concepts) that impacted most of all the course of human civilization in the twentieth century;

- Most significant technologies and inventions;

- Greatest state-of-the-art technical (engineering) projects.

The readers' opinion poll produced a hundred names all in all, a "golden hundred" of 20th century science and engineering. Let's go over it plank by plank.

Outstanding Scientists

1. Ivan Pavlov (theory of conditioned and unconditioned reflexes-known as the Pavlovian reflexes);

2. Marie Sklodowska Curie (works on radioactivity);

3. Nikolai Semyonov (theory of branching chemical reactions);

4. Otto Hahn (uranium fission);

5. Albert Einstein (special and general theory of relativity);

6. Niels Bohr (atomic structure theory);

7. Max Planck (quantum theory);

8. Wolfgang Pauli (the Pauli exclusion principle in quantum mechanics);

9. Werner Heisenberg (quantum mechanics);

10. Paul Dirac (quantum mechanics);

11. Enrico Fermi (nuclear and neutron physics);

12. Edward Teller (nuclear reactions);

13. Steven Hawking ("black holes" radiation theory);

14. Benois Mandelbrot (fractional geometry);

15. Francis Crick, James Watson (discovery of a DNA double helix);

16. Norbert Wiener (cybernetics);

17. Ilya Prigozhin (thermodynamics of nonequilibrium processes);

18. Dennis Gabor (holography);

19. Alexander Friedman (model of a nonstationary expanding Universe);

20. Claud Shannon (mathematical information theory);

21. William Shockley, John Bardeen, Walter Brattain (transistor effect);

22. Alexander Fleming (discovery of penicillin);

23. Jules Henri Poincare (mathematical formulization of the special theory of relativity);

24. Tim Berners Leigh (World-Wide Web conception);

25. Christian Barnard (human heart transplant);

26. Pyotr Kapitsa (low-temperature physics);

27. Thomas Morgan (genetics);

28. Andrei Sakharov (works on thermonuclear fusion);

29. Fritz Haber (ammonia synthesis);

30. Glenn Seaborg (synthesis of transuranium elements);

31. Sergei Korolyov (realization of Soviet space projects);

32. Nikolai Vavilov (genetics);

33. Igor Kurchatov (development of the Soviet atomic weapon);

34. Vladimir Vernadsky (theory of the noosphere);

35. Vladimir Ipatyev (high-pressure and high-temperature chemistry);

36. Konstantin Tsiolkovsky (theory of space flights);

37. Yuliy Khariton (development of the Soviet atomic weapon);

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38. Vladimir Utkin (development of Soviet aerospace technology);

39. Andrei Mirzabekov (genome sequencing);

40. Nikolai Basov, Alexander Prokhorov (works on quantum electronics);

41. Wallace Carothers (nylon synthesis).

Scientific Discoveries and Theories That Impacted the Course of Human Civilization

1. Special theory of relativity;

2. General theory of relativity;

3. Quantum mechanics;

4. Transistor effect;

5. Electro-weak interactions theory;

6. The noosphere concept;

7. Dissipative systems theory;

8. Branching chain reactions;

9. Laser effects;

10. DNA double helix;

11. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR);

12. Theory of immunity;

13. Discovery of chromosomes as heredity carriers;

14. Experimental proof of the quantum phenomenon;

15. Correlation of Heisenberg's indeterminacy;

16. Entropy principle;

17. Big Bang theory;

18. Quark theory of the structure of matter;

19. High-temperature superconductivity;

20. Sustainable development concept;

21. "Nuclear winter" concept;

22. Discovery of embryonal stem cells;

23. Continental drift theory;

24. Synthesis of transuranium elements;

25. Isolation of telamerase, an enzyme arresting the process of cell aging;

26. Vavilov's law of homologous series;

27. Discovery of the relict lake Vostok under a three-kilometer-thick ice shield in the heart of the Antarctic Continent;

28. Discovery of blood groups;

29. Planetary model of the atom;

30. Vavilov-Cherenkov effect (luminous radiation of electrons moving in water);

31. X-ray diffraction in crystals;

32. Cosmological theory ofsuperstrings.

Most Significant Technologies and Inventions

1. Gene engineering;

2. Internet;

3. Cloning of mammals;

4. Nuclear power engineering;

5. Lasers;

6. Computer virtual realities;

7. Silicon microchips;

8. Fiber-optics communication;

9. Facsimile service (FAX);

10. Mobile telephone;

11. Nanotechnologies;

12. Tomography;

13. Fullerene synthesis;

14. Television;

15. Compact disks (CD) and compact video disks (CVD);

16. Radiolocation and radar;

17. Thermonuclear fusion;

18. Molecular microchips for genome decoding;

19. Jet aircraft;

20. Synthesis of plastics;

21. Ball-point pen;

22. Zipper fastener;

23. Xerox;

24. SCUBA (self-contained underwater breathing apparatus, otherwise known as Aqualung);

25. Perfluoran ("blue blood") - blood substitute based on perfluorocarbon emulsions;

26. Technology of "clean rooms";

27. Bubble chamber;

28. Particle accelerators;

29. Rotor automated transfer lines.

State-of-the-art Technical Projects

1. "Sarcophagus" (a dome built over the fourth unit of the Chernobyl nuclear power station);

2. Man's moon walk;

3. "Vega" project (assay of the substance of Halley's comet);

4. Kalashnikov submachine gun;

5. Sojourner Mars rover (the Martian station Mars Pathfinder);

6. The biggest H-bomb (50 megatons) developed and tested in the Soviet Union;

7. Orbital station MIR;

8. High dam of the Rogunskaya hydro-power station (355 m high);

9. Human heart transplant;

10. The world's first artificial satellite of the earth (sputnik);

11. Superdeep well on the Kola Peninsula (over 12,000 meters deep);

12. The Lenin nuclear icebreaker;

13. Ground-effect machine (plane) Monster of the Caspian (body length, 100 m; wing span, 40 m; 10 jet engines; speed, 800 km/h just several meters above water surface);

14. Unmanned mission of the Soviet space shuttle BURAN;

15. English Channel tunnel;

16. Hubble telescope;

17. Human genome project;

18. Siberian mining-and-chemical plant (Krasnoyarsk-20);

19. Soyu-Appolo Test Project;

20. Petronas Twin Towers (452 m) built in the downtown district of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia;

21. Ostankino TV tower in Moscow (537 m);

22. Radio broadcasting on a regular basis;

23. The first soft landing on Venus of the Soviet interplanetary probe VENERA-3;

24. Jovian probe GALILEO;

25. Space shuttle craft;

26. Big Adron Collider, a particle accelerator at the European Center of Nuclear Research (CERN);

27. CYCLOPE king-size marine platform for natural gas recovery in the North Sea;

28. GOELRO plan (State Plan for the Electrification of Russia).


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A "GOLDEN HUNDRED" OF THE CENTURY // London: Libmonster (LIBMONSTER.COM). Updated: 08.09.2018. URL: (date of access: 22.03.2023).


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