The technology and innovations that shaped the world during Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign

The 70 year reign of the late Queen Elizabeth II saw a lot of innovation and technological development throughout her life.

Technological changes had already begun after his accession to the throne following the death of his father George VI in February 1952.

His coronation in June 1953 was the first in Britain to be shown in its entirety on television rather than radio, although the footage was in black and white.

During his long reign, the methods of communication changed dramatically, from now outdated means like telegrams to the advent of the internet and the rise of social media.

But this is not the only great invention to shake up society.

Euronews Next reviews the main innovations from the reign of Elizabeth II to the present day.

The H-bomb – 1952

Queen Elizabeth was no stranger to bombs and the threat of war, having lived through World War II. But soon after she became queen, the world’s deadliest weapon was tested.

On November 1, 1952, the United States tested the world’s first hydrogen bomb, or H-bomb, in the Pacific Marshall Islands. The USSR followed soon after, as did the UK in 1958.

It was a real threat during the tense Cold War era and remains so to this day, although the H-bomb has yet to be used in conflict.

It is said to be more dangerous than the atomic bomb, which splits uranium and causes a reaction. An H-bomb, however, has a two-hit attack. It carries a much larger explosion, causing a massive impact even farther, then spreads radiation above the planet.

The Space Race – 1955

The escalation of the Cold War also pushed forward the Space Race, or Space Race as it is officially known and began in 1955 when the USSR responded to an American announcement that it would launch the first satellite artificial in space with one of its own.

Major developments have been seen in space exploration including Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin becoming the first human to travel in space in 1961 and of course the first manned mission to the Moon on July 20, 1969 when the astronaut American Neil Armstrong became the first human being to walk on its surface.

The Queen met Armstrong and fellow Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins on their return from their visit to Buckingham Palace.

Salk Polio Vaccine and COVID-19 Vaccines – 1955

In 1953, Dr. Jonas Salk announced on a national radio broadcast that he had successfully tested a vaccine against poliomyelitis, the virus that causes the deadly disease poliomyelitis.

Just two years later, it was administered in the United States and eventually transferred to Europe.

The vaccine caused apprehension, but in 1957 the Queen announced that her two children, Prince Charles and Princess Anne, had been vaccinated against polio as children and were most at risk of contracting it. disease.

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Queen has also advocated for the COVID-19 vaccine. In a video shared on The Royal’s social media account, she said: “Once you’ve had the vaccine you feel, you know, you’re protected, which I think is really important. “.

“As far as I could tell, it was completely harmless,” she said.

Internet – 1969

The ARPAnet, ancestor and technical foundation of the Internet, was born in November 1969.

In 1976, Elizabeth II sent her first email using a military machine connected to the ARPAnet.

The official birth of the Internet is envisaged in 1983 with the TCP/IP communication protocol. However, what we call the World Wide Web (WWW) was later created in 1989 by British scientist Tim Berners-Lee and made available to the public in 1993.

Gaming: from pong to metaverse – 1972

In November 1972, the video game Pong was released by the American company Atari. It was one of the first video games that saw players use two paddles to fly a ball back and forth across the screen, much like virtual table tennis.

Since then, the game has grown to include the Playstation, Xbox and the more advanced Nintendo Wii.

A new era of gaming is also upon us: the metaverse, where you can use augmented reality and virtual reality headsets to feel yourself in the game.

Of course, the games have also changed to become more complicated than Pong and much more realistic.

The cell phone and the smartphone – 1973

The first mobile phone, a much larger model than what we are used to today, was released in April 1973.

Martin Cooper of Motorola created the first public mobile phone on a device weighing 1.1 kg.

In 1983, the Motorola DynaTAC 8000X became the first commercially available model.

Although it wasn’t particularly used back then, it was the basis of the devices we’re stuck with today and couldn’t imagine a life without.

But it was not until 1994 that the first smartphone was invented. IBM created the first called Simon Personal Communicator (or simply IBM Simon). It was available for purchase in 1994.

The Concord – 1973

In September 1973, the first supersonic commercial passenger aircraft, the Concorde, made its first transatlantic flight. The aircraft was jointly built by British and French manufacturers and later flew around the world, including New York in 1977.

Elizabeth II flew the Concorde for the first time in 1977 in Barbados, which was also the aircraft’s first company there.

The first “test tube baby” – 1978

Since the birth of the world’s first ‘test tube baby’ in July 1978 in Manchester, northern England, in vitro fertilization (IVF) has helped people with infertility problems have children.

The process takes an egg from the woman’s ovaries and fertilizes it with sperm in a lab. The fertilized egg is then returned to the woman’s womb to grow and develop.

Although some were skeptical of the process at the time, it is estimated that more than 8 million babies have been born worldwide through IVF.

Cloning – 1996

Dolly the sheep divided opinion when she became the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell in a Scottish lab in 1996.

Although she died of lung cancer in 2003, Dolly was instrumental in advancing stem cell research for treatments, such as blood sugar and other chronic diseases.

social media

In the early 2000s, what became known as social media took root on the internet with Myspace and Facebook changing the way we communicate. Later, other companies such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok also grew.

The British Monarchy has also hit social media and an outpouring of grief for Elizabeth II can be seen by millions of social media users around the world.

About William Moorhead

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