List of German inventions and discoveries

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"What the world is today, good and bad, it owes to Gutenberg. Everything can be traced to this source, but we are bound to bring him homage, … for the bad that his colossal invention has brought about is overshadowed a thousand times by the good with which mankind has been favored."

American writer Mark Twain (1835−1910)[1]

German inventions and discoveries are ideas, objects, processes or techniques invented, innovated or discovered, partially or entirely, in Germany or abroad by a person from Germany (that is, someone born in Germany – including to non-German parents – or born abroad with at least one German parent and who had the majority of their education or career in Germany). Often, things discovered for the first time are also called inventions and in many cases, there is no clear line between the two.

German-born Albert Einstein, world-famous physicist.

Germany has been the home of many famous inventors, discoverers and engineers, including Carl von Linde, who developed the modern refrigerator;[2] Paul Nipkow, who laid the foundation of the television with his Nipkow disk;[3] Hans Geiger, the creator of the Geiger counter; and Konrad Zuse, who built the first fully automatic digital computer.[4] Such German inventors, engineers and industrialists as Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin,[5] Otto Lilienthal, Gottlieb Daimler, Rudolf Diesel, Hugo Junkers and Karl Benz helped shape modern automotive and air transportation technology. Aerospace engineer Wernher von Braun developed the first space rocket at Peenemünde and later on was a prominent member of NASA and developed the Saturn V Moon rocket. Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's work in the domain of electromagnetic radiation was pivotal to the development of modern telecommunication.[6]

Albert Einstein introduced the special relativity and general relativity theories for light and gravity in 1905 and 1915 respectively. Along with Max Planck, he was instrumental in the introduction of quantum mechanics, in which Werner Heisenberg and Max Born later made major contributions.[7] Wilhelm Röntgen discovered X-rays.[8] Otto Hahn was a pioneer in the fields of radiochemistry and discovered nuclear fission, while Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch were founders of microbiology.

The movable-type printing press was invented by German blacksmith Johannes Gutenberg in the 15th century. In 1997, Time Life magazine picked Gutenberg's invention as the most important of the second millennium.[9] In 1998, the A&E Network ranked Gutenberg as the most influential person of the second millennium on their "Biographies of the Millennium" countdown.[9]

The following is a list of inventions, innovations or discoveries known or generally recognised to be German.

Anatomy

Animals

Archaeology

Troy
A reconstruction of Homo heidelbergensis

Arts

Astronomy

Illustration of Kepler's second law
Neptune

Biology and genetics

Overview of the citric acid cycle (click to enlarge)
Events involving meiosis, showing chromosomal crossover

Chemistry

Bunsen burner

Clothing, cosmetics and fashion

Computing

Replica of the Z1 in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin

Construction, architecture and shops

Drill scheme

Cuisine

A glass of Berliner Weisse flavoured with raspberry syrup
Currywurst
Pfälzer Saumagen
Toast Hawaii

Education, language and printing

Recreated Gutenberg press at the International Printing Museum, Carson, California

Entertainment, electronics and media

Schematic showing the circular paths traced by the holes in a Nipkow disk

Geology and mining

Map of Pangaea with modern continents outlined

Household and office appliance

Two-hole (filebinder) hole punch

Mathematics

Regional variations (English, German, Russian) of the integral symbol.
surfaces of Gaussian curvature.
Illustration the intersection of two sets.

Medicine and drugs

Military

Replica of V2

Musical instruments

Physics and scientific instruments

Geiger-Müller Counter
4-meter-tall sculpture of Einstein's 1905 E = mc2 formula at the 2006 Walk of Ideas, Berlin, Germany.
X-rays are part of the electromagnetic spectrum, with wavelengths shorter than visible light. Different applications use different parts of the X-ray spectrum.

Sociology, philosophy and politics

Religion, ethics and festivities

Wreath with two candles lit for the second Sunday of Advent
Easter Bunny

Sport

Tourism and recreation

Toys and games

The fischertechnik

Transportation

automobile Benz Velo

See also

References

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