President Obama has called on Americans to innovate their way to a speedy economic recovery. In that spirit, Live Science rounds up the top 10 US innovations:
- Flight. The Wright Brothers’ 12-second flight in 1903 ushered the world into the age of aviation.
- Atomic bomb. The Manhattan project left a dubious legacy, perhaps, but achieved a critical scientific feat nonetheless.
- Moon travel. The Apollo program captivated the world by making space travel a reality in 1969.
- Laser technology. Scientists at the Hughes Research lab in California first demonstrated the laser, now used in CDs, DVDs, eye surgery, bar codes, etc.
- The Internet. The ARPAnet connected computers at UCLA, Stanford, UC Santa Barbara, and the University of Utah in the late 1960s—and the rest is history.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging. The MRI can find disease without harming the patient.
- Communications satellites. The Army launched the first such satellite in 1958, clearing the way for the thousands now orbiting Earth.
- Transistors. A three-man American team won the 1956 Nobel prize for developing the transistor and shaping the electronic age.
- Assembly line. Henry Ford’s method for mass production made manufactured goods more affordable.
- Light bulb. Thomas Edison perfected the design for the light bulb, and so started a technological revolution that changed civilization itself.