Whether you care or not, these Nobel achievements have changed your life

With Paul Romer and William Nordhaus winning the Nobel Prize in economics, the 2018 Nobel week has come to an end.

The nomination, selection and announcement of the Nobel Prize every year is like a top academic feast, attracting the attention of the world.

2018 Nobel laureates in economics Paul Romer and William Nordhaus

Perhaps, in the eyes of most members of the public, the award is as distant as the sea of stars.

The opposite is true. The Nobel Prize is almost always with us, never far away-because it was created to award great discoveries and inventions that are truly beneficial to humanity.

It can be said that every one of us is the beneficiary of the Nobel Prize, and is deeply influenced by the Nobel Prize winner and his groundbreaking research results all the time.

They have saved countless lives

For a long time, humans have been at their wits’ end against bacterial infections, and countless people have lost their lives because of the lack of effective treatment. It was not until penicillin was discovered that humans began to break away from the fear of being dominated by bacterial infections, and the average lifespan was significantly increased.

Alexander Fleming

The man who made this great milestone was Alexander Fleming, the discoverer of penicillin and the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. After he discovered penicillin, and through the efforts of two Nobel laureates, Flory and Chandler, penicillin finally moved from the laboratory to real life.

A small bottle of penicillin, so that people in the face of some types of bacterial infection is no longer powerless at the mercy of death. Wounded soldiers on the battlefield will no longer die from infection.

Penicillin saved countless lives in the second World War as soon as it came out. Until today, penicillin is still widely used in clinical treatment as a kind of highly effective and low toxic antibiotics.

In the summer of 1922, another Nobel Prize winner appeared, making diabetes no longer out of control, and countless patients saw hope. He was Dr. Banting, a Canadian doctor, who developed an injectable drug that controls the amount of blood sugar in the body, which became known as artificial insulin.

Tu Youyou (right) and her tutor Lou Zhicen in China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in 1950s.

Tu Youyou, a Chinese scientist who won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, discovered artemisinin, a drug used to treat malaria, that saved millions of lives around the world, especially in developing countries.

And, of course, there is one scientist we know very well, and she is Madame Curie. During the first World War, she used the radiation imaging principle of radioactive material to look for foreign bodies such as shrapnel in the bodies of wounded soldiers. This was one of the first cases of imaging examination using radioisotope technology.

Since then, medical imaging technology has become a very important clinical diagnostic means.

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Since the first Nobel laureate in physics, William Conrad Roentgen, took the first X-rays of his wife’s hand, the black-and-white and gray-style films have been inextricably linked to medical diagnosis. When doctors hear a description of a patient’s condition, they often ask to take an X-ray first, and then proceed to the next treatment based on what is reflected in the film.

All of these techniques began with the study of radioactive elements and radiation. Since the beginning of the 20th century, a number of scientists who have made outstanding contributions to the study of radioactive elements and radiation have won the Nobel Prize.

From lack of food to adequate food and clothing

Food, clothing, housing and transportation may seem commonplace to us today, but a few decades ago, or even a hundred years ago, it would have been a completely different picture. At that time, food production often failed to meet the needs of human life, or even survival.

Food and clothing is a serious problem for people all over the world. At that time, the necessary sources of fertilizer for agricultural production were plant residues, animal dung and other natural fertilizers. However, the limited availability of natural fertilizers, which greatly limited food production, did not change until the emergence of Fritz Harper.

Save lives, destroy lives: Fritz Haber

In the middle of the 19th century, it was found that nitrogen was one of the most important elements in plant growth. The content of nitrogen in air is very high, but it is difficult to be absorbed because of the chemical stability of nitrogen.

Harper solved the problem by finding a way to capture nitrogen and make nitrogen fertilizer. Since then, a large number of fertilizer appeared in the agricultural production, food production has also been increased. He also won the 1918 Nobel Prize in chemistry and was praised as “the man who made bread out of the air”.

It must also be mentioned that the scientist who brought plenty of food to the world has also caused many people to die in agony-the gas bombs he developed were used by the German army in World War I, causing the untold deaths of countless people. It was a life of mixed reputations.

Forging the Heart of Industry, injecting the Soul of Machine.

What are the technologies that have the greatest impact on our way of life in today’s society? The smartphone, which has become a “necessity” for many people, is bound to be at the top of the list. Apart from mobile phones, almost all electronic devices, from spaceships to household appliances, require a “core”-a processor, as we often call it, an electronic device made mainly of semiconducting materials.

The invention of semiconductors has brought mankind into the information age, in which we are deeply influenced. The information age can not be separated from a group of great founders and pioneers. This wonderful story dates back to the beginning of the twentieth century.

The Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918 was awarded to Max Planck, a German physicist, for his important contribution to the quest for the quantization of energy. Next, a number of important scientists in the field of quantum physics have won the Nobel Prize, including Einstein, Bohr, de Broglie, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and so on. Quantum theory has become an important theory on par with the theory of relativity.

The raw material used to make semiconductors – photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Quantum physics is famous for its obscurity and mystery. Bohr, the master of quantum theory, even said, “if you think you know quantum physics, you don’t know it.” “the profundity of quantum theory can be seen at that time.

But this has not affected in any way the important role played by quantum physics. With the rapid development of quantum physics into a complete theoretical system, in 1956 American scientist John Bardin and two of his colleagues made important discoveries on semiconductors and transistors based on the band theory of quantum mechanics. Was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics.

With the advancement of semiconductor technology, computers and other electrical appliances can be developed rapidly, all over the world. It is no exaggeration to say that advanced quantum physics is worthy of the “soul of the core.” Now computer and information technology, represented by artificial intelligence and big data, are leading mankind into a new era.

With their wisdom and hard work, these Nobel laureates are changing the lives of today’s mankind step by step, and we want to thank them for their outstanding contributions. We should also pay tribute to the countless scientists who have not won the prize but who have quietly dedicated themselves to the front line from the beginning to the end.

The birth of major scientific achievements has never been born, they need to work in generations of researchers on the soil to absorb nutrients, to thrive, and eventually bear fruit.

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