The United Kingdom has played a leading role in the advancement of science. It led the industrial revolution and has produced many scientists and engineers credited with important advances, including;
The laws of motion and illumination of gravity, by physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist and theologian, Sir Isaac Newton
The unification of electromagnetism, by James Clerk Maxwell
The discovery of hydrogen, by Henry Cavendish
The steam locomotive, by Richard Trevithick and Andrew Vivian
The theory of aerodynamics, by Sir George Cayley
The world's first working television system, and colour television, by John Logie Baird
The invention of the jet engine, by Frank Whittle
Evolution by natural selection, by Charles Darwin.
The Turing machine, by Alan Turing, the basis of the modern computer.
The invention of the hovercraft, by Christopher Cockerell
The electric motor, by Michael Faraday, who largely made electricity viable for use in technology
The first practical telephone, patented by Alexander Graham Bell.
The structure of DNA, by Francis Crick and others
The first public steam railway, by George Stephenson
The invention of the World Wide Web, by Tim Berners-Lee.
Theories in cosmology, quantum gravity and black holes, by Stephen Hawking
The first commercial electrical telegraph, co-invented by Sir William Fothergill Cooke and Charles Wheatstone.
The invention of the incandescent light bulb, by Joseph Swan
The creation of postage and modern postal service, by Sir Rowland Hill
The discovery of penicillin, by biologist and pharmacologist, Sir Alexander Fleming.
Notable civil engineering projects, whose pioneers included Isambard Kingdom Brunel, contributed to the advancement of railway transport systems. Other advances pioneered in the UK include the marine chronometer, the jet engine, modern bicycle, electric lighting, steam turbine, electromagnet, stereo sound, motion picture, the screw propeller, the internal combustion engine, military radar, electronic computer, photography, aeronautics, soda water, IVF, nursing, antiseptic surgery, vaccination, antibiotics.
Scientific journals produced in the UK include Nature, the British Medical Journal and The Lancet. In 2006, it was reported that the UK provided 9 percent of the world's scientific research papers and a 12 per cent share of citations, the second highest in the world after the US. In the 1950s, the UK had more Physics Nobel Prizes than any other nation, despite its relatively small size.