Editorial Feature

The History of Science and Engineering in Manchester

Science and Engineering in Manchester - Infographic

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Science and Engineering in Manchester - A Proud History

The Observant Astronomer

1630 – The transit of Venus across the sun is observed and verified by William Crabtree1

The Industrial Revolution

1761 – England’s first ever canal, The Bridgewater, is built to help feed the industrial revolution with coal2

Atomic Theory

1808 – John Dalton introduces the world to Dalton Atomic Theory and his New System of Chemical Philosophy – a predecessor of modern chemistry3

Inter-City Travel

1830 – The Liverpool and Manchester railway, the first ever railway between two cities, is opened - connecting Liverpool Docks to Industrial Manchester4

1840 – One of the first nasty environmental effects of the Industrial Revolution is identified – Acid Rain5

Understanding Energy Transfer

1843 – The Laws of Thermodynamics become gospel when Joule presents his theory on the transfer of heat, allowing Mancunions to develop even more powerful machines6

1890 – Work on the 90-mile-long Thirlmere Aqueduct begins, which will deliver fresh water from the Lake District to a polluted Manchester7

The Nuclear Family

1897 –J. J. Thompson discovers the electron and proposes that atoms can be broken down into smaller units – an idea his student, Rutherford, finds extremely interesting…8

The Automotive Age Arrives

1904 – A chance meeting between Charles Rolls, a local car dealership owner, and Henry Royce, a successful engineer, leads to the creation of Rolls Royce and “the modern car”9

1909 – Hans Geiger invents the Geiger Tube, which allows nuclear radiation to be detected and measured10

1917 - Rutherford ‘splits the atom’ at the University of Manchester’s Physics Laboratory, allowing Bohr to establish nuclear atomic theory11

1932 - James Chadwick Discovers the Neutron, completing the original atomic family12

The Dawn of the Digital Age

1951 – Alan Turing, having played an instrumental part in breaking German ENIGMA codes during WW2, creates the Turing Test as a method of assessing Artificial Intelligence13

1945 – Work on the Jodrell Bank Radio-Telescope begins which is, at the time, the largest telescope on the planet14

1978 – The first ever test tube baby, conceived via IVF treatment, is born at Oldham Hospital15

2004 – The two-dimensional wonder material Graphene is isolated, bringing a whole new dimension to nanoscience16 

2010 – Manchester-Based Brian Cox wins the Kelvin Medal for his outstanding work communicating the excitement of physics to the public17

2017 - Researchers at the University of Manchester’s Computer Science Department continue Turing’s legacy by demonstrating that supercomputers can be constructed using DNA18

What Next?

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Sources

1 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-18333373

2 - http://www.bridgewatercanal.co.uk/history/

3 - https://www.chemheritage.org/historical-profile/john-dalton

4 - https://www.thegazette.co.uk/all-notices/content/100741

5 - http://www.rsc.org/diversity/175-faces/all-faces/robert-angus-smith

6 - https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200912/physicshistory.cfm

7 - http://hidden-manchester.org.uk/waterways/thirlmere-aqueduct.html

8 - https://www.chemheritage.org/historical-profile/joseph-john-j-j-thomson

9 - https://www.rolls-royce.com/about/our-story/rolls-royce-history-timeline.aspx

10 - https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/201206/physicshistory.cfm

11 - http://news.bbc.co.uk/local/manchester/hi/people_and_places/history/newsid_8282000/8282223.stm

12 - https://www.aps.org/publications/apsnews/200705/physicshistory.cfm

13 - http://thebubblechamber.org/2014/06/can-machines-think-yet-a-brief-history-of-the-turing-test/

14 - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2009/feb/02/lovell-telescope-jodrell-bank-astronomy

15 - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33599353

16 - http://www.graphene.manchester.ac.uk/discover/latest-findings/

17 - http://www.iop.org/about/awards/education/kelvin/medallists/page_43988.html

18 - http://www.manchester.ac.uk/discover/news/scientists-reveal-new-super-fast-form-of-computer-that-grows-as-it-computes

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