01 Oct Some Chemistry Inventions that Enabled the World of Today
In our chemistry tuition today, we will learn about and understand some of the most important inventions in chemistry that changed the modern world for better.
What if we told you that polythene – the most common plastic in the world – was accidentally invented twice? There are several other inventions that you may not be aware of, and they for sure changed the world we live in today.
Here are some chemistry inventions you will learn about in your chemistry tuition, today:
1. Polythene – The Accidental Invention
A majority of common plastic objects ranging from water pipes to food packaging are various forms of polythene. Do you know that an 80mm tonne of this stuff that’s made each year has been the result of two discoveries happened by chance? These two discoveries were made in 1898 and 1933. In 1898 German chemist Hans von Pechmann first noticed a waxy substance at the bottom of his tubes while investigating something different. After further investigation, he named this substance polymethylene. In 1933 chemists at chemical company ICI noticed the same waxy substance while working on high-pressure reactions. They re tried but failed to reproduce the effect until they noticed that in the original reaction oxygen had leaked into the system. Two years later they introduced common plastic that we use widely today.
2. The Screen You Read On
Dating back to the late 1960s, the flat-screen color display, the British Ministry of Defence decided to seek the replacement of huge and costly cathode ray tubes with flat screens in its military vehicles. In 1970 George Gray at the University of Hull worked his way out for making LCDs to operate at useful temperatures. He invented a molecule known as 5C and 90% of the LCD devices consisted of this molecule.
Penicillin has many times saved our lives. Without it, a prick from a thorn or a sore throat can easily turn fatal. Alexander Fleming gets the credit for penicillin when in 1928 he observed how a mold growing on his Petri dishes suppressed the growth of nearby bacteria. But he failed to extract any usable penicillin. 10 years later Howard Florey and his team found a way to purify penicillin in usable quantities and as they had no suitable scientific equipment because of the raging World War II they used bathtubs, bookshelves, and milk churns! Amazing isn’t it? But however Florey and his teammates were shy of publicity and they did not want any limelight and Fleming got the chance to take the spotlight.
So these are two of the most important chemistry inventions covered in today’s chemistry tuition that enabled the modern world. Stay tuned for more interesting stuff!
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