30 fun facts about engineering, science and technology


1.      220 million tons of old computers and other technological hardware are trashed in the United States each year.

2.      A diamond will not dissolve in acid. The only thing that can destroy it is intense heat.

3.      According to Moore's Law, microchips double in power every 18 to 24 months.

4.      Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921.

5.      Although the famous first flight at Kitty Hawk took place on December 17, 1903, the secretive Wright Brothers did not demonstrate the technology to the broader public until August 8, 1908.

6.      As of early 2009, there have been 113 space shuttle flights since the program began in 1981.

7.      Bill Clinton's inauguration in January 1997 was the first to be webcast.

8.      Chuck Yeager blasted through the sound barrier at Edwards Air Force Base in 1947.

9.      Einstein received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect, the phenomenon by which electrons are knocked out of matter by electromagnetic radiation such as light.

10.   In 1901, the Spanish engineer Leonar do Torres-Quevedo was responsible for the earliest developments in the remote control with his Telekine that was able to do "mechanical movements at a distance."

11.   In their Miyagi, Japan laboratories, beginning in 1924, Professor Hidetsugu Yagi and his assistant, Shintaro Uda, designed and constructed a sensitive and highly-directional antenna using closely-coupled parasitic elements. The antenna, which is effective in the higher-frequency ranges, has been important for radar, television, and amateur radio.

12.   Marie Curie was the first person to win two Nobel Prizes for Science

13.   No one has received more U.S. patents than Thomas Edison – 1,093 to be exact.

14.   On 11 July 1962, France received the first transatlantic transmission of a TV signal from a twin station in Andover, Maine, USA via the TELSTAR satellite.

15.   On 9 June 1906 the Winnipeg Electric Railway Co. transmitted electric power from the Pinawa generating station on the Winnipeg River to the city of Winnipeg at 60,000 volts. It was the first year-round hydroelectric plant in Manitoba and one of the first to be developed in such a cold climate anywhere in the world.

16.   On December 12, 1901, a radio transmission of the Morse code letter 'S' was broadcast from Poldhu, Cornwall, England, using equipment built by John Ambrose Fleming.

17.   One third of the world population has never made a telephone call.

18.   Samuel Morse, the inventor of the Morse code, was a painter as well. One of his portraits is of the first governor of Arkansas and hangs in the governor’s mansion of that state.

19.   Telecommunications satellites, and other satellites that need to maintain their position above a specific place on the earth, must orbit at 35,786 kilometers and travel in the same direction as the earth's rotation.

20.   The circumference of the earth is about 25,000 miles. Its surface area is about 200,000,000 square miles and it weighs 6,588,000,000,000,000,000,000 tons.

21.   The Ericsson Company first produced cellular phones in 1979.

22.   The first computer mouse was introduced in 1968 by Douglas Engelbart at the Fall Joint Computer Expo in San Francisco.

23.   The first Japanese-language word processor was developed in Tokyo between 1971 and 1978.

24.   The first laser was made in California in 1960.

25.   The first two video games copyrighted in the U.S. were Asteroids and Lunar Lander in 1980.

26.   The Internet is the fastest-growing communications tool ever. It took radio broadcasters 38 years to reach an audience of 50 million, television 13 years, and the Internet just 4 years.

27.   There have been 113 space shuttle flights since the program began in 1981.

28.   Tim Berners-Lee coined the phrase “World Wide Web” in 1990.

29.   U.S. President Bill Clinton's inauguration in January 1997 was the first to be webcast.

30.   Valdemar Poulsen, a Danish engineer, invented an arc converter as a generator of continuous-wave radio signals in 1902.