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Science and technology in UK

في الخميس 18 يونيو 2009 - 20:00
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[edit] Science and technology

Isaac Newton's Principia is one of the most influential works in the history of science.
A Watt steam engine, the steam engine that propelled the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world.[5]From the time of the Scientific Revolution, England and Scotland, and thereafter the United Kingdom, have been prominent in world scientific and technological development. The English philosopher, Francis Bacon put forward his Baconian method in his 1620 book, Novum Organum. This method promoted empiricism and induction in scientific enquiry and was one of the driving forces behind the scientific revolution.

Possibly the most famous of all English scientists, Isaac Newton, is considered by historians of science to have crowned and ended the scientific revolution with the 1687 publication of his Principia Mathematica, which ushers in what is recognisable as modern physics. He is most famous for realising that the same force is responsible for movements of celestial and terrestrial bodies, that is gravity. It is commonly reported that he made this realisation when he was sitting underneath an apple tree and was hit on the head by a falling apple; this story is, however, apocryphal. He is also famous as the father of classical mechanics, formulated as his three laws and as the co-inventor (with Gottfried Leibniz) of differential calculus. Less famously, he also created the binomial theorem, worked extensively on optics, and created a law of cooling.

Since Newton's time, figures from the UK have contributed to the development of most major branches of science. Examples include Michael Faraday, who, with James Clerk Maxwell, unified the electric and magnetic forces in what are now known as Maxwell's equations; James Joule, who worked extensively in thermodynamics and is often credited with the discovery of the principle of conservation of energy; Paul Dirac, one of the pioneers of quantum mechanics; Charles Darwin, author of On the Origin of Species and discoverer of the principle of evolution by natural selection; Harold Kroto, the discoverer of buckminsterfullerene; William Thomson (Baron Kelvin) who drew important conclusions in the field of thermodynamics and invented the Kelvin scale of absolute zero; and the creator of Bell's Theorem, John Stewart Bell.

Historically, many of the UK's greatest scientists have been based at either Oxford or Cambridge University, with laboratories such as the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge and the Clarendon Laboratory in Oxford becoming famous in their own right. In modern times, other institutions such as the Red Brick and New Universities are catching up with Oxbridge. For instance, Lancaster University has a global reputation for work in low temperature physics. The Royal Society serves as the national academy for sciences, with members drawn from many different institutions and disciplines. Formed in 1660, it is the oldest learned society still in existence.

Technologically, the UK is also amongst the world's leaders. Historically, it was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution, with innovations especially in textiles, the steam engine, railroads and civil engineering. Famous British engineers and inventors from this period include James Watt, Robert Stephenson, Isambard Kingdom Brunel and Richard Arkwright.

Since then, the United Kingdom has continued this tradition of technical creativity. Alan Turing, Frank Whittle (inventor of the jet engine), Charles Babbage (who devised the idea of the computer) and Alexander Fleming (discoverer of penicillin) were all British. The UK remains one of the leading providers of technological innovations today, providing inventions as diverse as the World Wide Web and Viagra (created by Tim Berners-Lee and Pfizer respectively).

Other famous scientists, engineers and inventors from the UK include: John Logie Baird, William Caxton, Richard Trevithick, Robert Hooke, Humphry Davy, Robert Watson-Watt, Henry Bessemer, Frank Pantridge and others.





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