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World & Tech Milestones

James Clerk Maxwell and his equations

James Clerk Maxwell and his equations

In 1865, James Clerk Maxwell published the “second greatest unification in physics” since Newton.

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Theodore Maiman and his laser

The First Laser

Theodore Maiman built the first working laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation).

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Alexander Graham Bell at inauguration of long-distance telephone line

The Invention of the Telephone

Alexander Graham Bell sent the first voice message over a telegraph wire in 1876.

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Original Light Bulb

The Modern Lightbulb

Thomas Edison (the man with 1093 patents) demonstrated the first practical lightbulb in 1879.

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Heinrich Hertz

Radio Waves are Real!

In 1886, radio waves were transmitted and received for the first time by Heinrich Hertz.

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computer on the edge of a nickel

The World’s Smallest Computer

The Michigan Micro Mote is a fully autonomous computing system that acts as a smart sensing system.

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The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer

The First All-Electronic Computer

The Electronic Numerical Integrator And Computer was the first large-scale computer to run at electronic speed.

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Bill Hewlett and David Packard

HP + Silicon Valley

Bill Hewlett and David Packard finalized their partnership in January 1939 after supplying oscillators to Disney.

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Blue-green eye

The Invention of LASIK Eye Surgery

LASIK surgery came about thanks to ultrafast femtosecond lasers, the direct result of Michigan research.

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Room of people working as "human computers"

Human Computers

“Human computers” were often utilized in order to solve mathematical problems and process data.

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Satellite in space

The First Terahertz Tech in Space

The NASA Center for Space Terahertz Technology pioneered the development of Terahertz antenna arrays.

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Guglielmo Marconi

The Radio is Invented

In 1896, at the age of 22, Guglielmo Marconi first demonstrated wireless transmission by radio.

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The Early History of Microprocessing

ECE alum Lee Boysel and his team created the first single-chip CPU microprocessor.

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Emmett Leith

Emmett Leith: Modern Holography

Leith made holography a reality, stunning the world with his holographic train in 1964.

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Red light interactions

Michigan’s First Materials Center

Center for Photonic and Multiscale Nanomaterials focuses on controlling light interactions with matter.

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Ann Arbor, Michigan USA

Sponsored Research to the Midwest

Department Chair William Gould Dow was responsible for bringing industry- and government-sponsored research to Michigan.

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Quantum Dots

First in Quantum Dots

Prof. Battacharya was instrumental in early understanding of the tiny semiconductor particles called quantum dots.

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WIMS, small device

First in Wireless Integrated Systems

The first Research Center in Wireless Integrated Microsensing and Systems forged advances in many fields.

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RIE, American Institute of EE logos

IEEE formed from AIEE and IRE

In 1963, two organizations merged to form the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.

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vintage photo of scientists around a transistor

The Transistor

John Bardeen, William Shockley and Walter Brattain invented the transistor in 1947.

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Neural probes

The Michigan Probe

Extremely accurate probes us a variety of technologies to make mapping the brain with light possible.

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NASA logo

NASA is formed

Department Chair William Gould Dow was a charter member of the group responsible for its founding.

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