General / Science

7 continents and science-North America

Macaroni dish

This is the second last of the series on the 7 continents and one referred to as the new world. North America is the third largest continent preceded by Asia and Africa, home to 7.5% of the world’s population. This article is not about the current contribution of science and technology to the world such as Google, Facebook, Twitter, GPS etc, but one about the history of science of the very people who helped create the USA. 

Eight prominent statemen’s have been credited as the founding fathers of America due to their  contribution in gaining independence from Great Britain. Some of them were not only great politicians but were also well known for their scientific contributions. Here are their achievements and the ways their scientific temperament that shaped America.

John Adams: He was the second president of the United States from 1797 to 1801. He studied at Harvard and graduated in 1755. He then had a short stint as teacher before finally deciding to pursue law as a career. During his years as a student, he had the opportunity to study the concept of mechanical equilibrium from Professor John Winthrop who was a well known astronomer.  A particle experiences a net force of zero when all the forces acting on it are equal and this state in classical mechanics is called mechanical equilibrium. John Adams used this concept in his argument with Benjamin Franklin for introducing checks and balances in the government.  There are 3 governing bodies in the US government: Legislative (Senate), Executive (President, Vice President) and Judicial (Supreme Court), each of these branches has the power to veto the acts of the other branches, thus ensuring that no one branch of the government is more powerful than the other two branches. Thus the US government maintains a state of equilibrium, an impactful principal which was implemented mainly due to John Adams’s foresight. 

Eye glasses

Benjamin Franklin: He is known more for inventions than his statesmanship, Some of his most useful inventions are swimming fins for additional thrust under water, flexible catheter, bifocal eyeglasses,  lightning rod, contributed to understanding of electricity,  

Pasta maker

Thomas Jefferson: He was the third President and founded University of Virginia. He was known for several inventions which had practical everyday use. He created a macaroni machine to make one of America’s favorite foods and additionally, he is known for popularizing  one of America’s famous comfort foods which is Macaroni. He also developed a turnable table for books.

James Madison: He is known for his quirky invention such as a walking stick with a microscope to see small organisms while walking. At 5 feet height, it worked well for him, however the stick was too short for use by the general public. 

While talking about North America, I really can’t ignore our neighbors  Canada and  Mexico. Here are some inventions from these countries.

Paint rollers

Canada: Paint roller, Pagers, snow blower, Insulin, telephone, Java programming language, the electric wheelchair, the pacemaker.

Mexico: Ancient Mexican civilizations developed mathematics, astronomy, calendars, color wheel for color televisions.

Royalty free images were used.

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