Chemical innovations and developments impact our everyday life. In fact, the modern world wouldn’t be the same without chemical inventions. Without chemistry, people would die younger from diseases because there would be no antibiotics to fight infections. And without chemistry, everyday life would be considerably more challenging. Just imagine a world without fuels, anesthetics or batteries. The following article covers chemical inventions you might not have thought about.
1. Mobile electricity
Living without mobile electricity? It is almost impossible these days. Many devices you are using in your everyday life contain batteries which have been developed by chemists. Take for example, your smartphone that contains alkaline and lithium batteries as well as your laptop. The development of batteries is anything but new. More than 200 years ago, in 1800, Italian physician Alessandro Volta developed the voltaic pile, known as the first electrical battery which could continuously provide an electric current to a circuit. Today more than 15 billion batteries are sold for electrical devices like flashlights or radios every year.
Sunscreen is a development which is significantly younger than the battery, but, in the same way unthinkable to pass on. In the beginning of the 20th century pale skin was not only fashionable, it was also a sign of wealth. However, during industrialization, a social change took place: backless swimsuits came into fashion and the time of high-necked beach clothes was over. In addition, sports like skiing or kayaking became popular. Suddenly it was important to find new ways to protect the skin. When Franz Greiter was climbing Mount Piz Buin on the Swiss-Austrian border in 1938, he got a sunburn and suddenly an idea came to mind: the invention of sunscreen. It was eight years before the chemistry student was finally able to present his Gletscher Crème (Glacier Cream), named after the mountain where he got sunburnt. Today, sunscreen is a necessary and indispensable protection against sunburn and resulting skin cancer.
Are you reading this article on a screen? Of course, you are. Without chemistry this wouldn’t be possible. For a wide variety of applications, liquid-crystal display (LCD) technology became vital: televisions, computer monitors or washing machines. LCD technology has been around for decades although it is just ten years ago when LCD TV’s made the breakthrough. Today LCD TVs remain one of the most popular types on the market and LCD technology is still one of the most used technologies thanks to its adaptability. It can be used in devices of nearly all sizes and shapes and this is one of the main reasons why manufacturers prefer this technology.
As you can see, chemistry is a big part of your everyday life and without those chemical inventions life would be quite different.