5 of the worst inventions in modern history

Be glad your name isn't attached to any of these bad ideas.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
  • Some inventions can be celebrated during their time, but are proven to be devastating in the long run.
  • The inventions doesn't have to be physical. Complex mathematical creations that create money for Wall Street can do as much damage, in theory, as a gas that destroys the ozone layer.
  • Inventors can even see their creations be used for purposes far different than they had intended.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists can now bottle solar energy, turn it into liquid fuel

The barrier to solar energy has always been storage. Now, bottled sunshine has a shelf-life of 18 years.

Image: Zerbor/zapulzon/Shutterstock/Big Think
  • Researchers have invented a liquid isomer that can store and release solar energy.
  • The team has solved problems other researchers have previously encountered.
  • The discovery could lead to more widespread use of solar energy.
Keep reading Show less

New self-healing technology makes robots more human-like

The researchers created a special polymer that can make robots repair themselves.

  • Scientists are creating robots that can heal themselves
  • Ability to heal is important for soft robots
  • Soft robots can perform delicate operations but can damage easily
Keep reading Show less

5 of the richest companies in history

Inconceivable wealth. And a few lessons in how not to get rich, too.

Wikimedia Commons
  • You've definitely heard of Apple. But what about the Dutch East India Company?
  • Did a 1911 Supreme Court decision result in more millionaires in America than any other court case?
  • One example of how not to do it: the rise and fall of the Mississippi Company.
Keep reading Show less

Single-atom data storage has just been figured out

Most basic form of data, meet most basic form of matter.

  • Scientists have figured out how to store binary data in single atoms
  • Our technological ambitions require this kind of storage breakthrough
  • The new study may herald the start of a new age in computing
Keep reading Show less