Pécsi Tudományegyetem

University of Pécs

 

Hungarian inventions

Several devices known and used around the globe are Hungarian inventions, which few people know but we are very proud of. 

telephone exchange / radio – Tivadar Puskás’s “telephone herald” went live in Budapest on 15 February 1893. Without this invention, we could not listen to the radio today.

 

computer – János Neumann worked out the theory of computing in June 1945. The Neumann principle is the basis for information technology devices interweaving all aspects of our lives.

 

basic language – BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is the most widely used computer programming language, the basis for users’ programs. It was created by János György Kemény and his team in 1964.

 

computer cryptography – a study on a basis reduction algorithm, co-authored by László Lovász, was published in 1982. This algorithm is one of the main tools in cryptographic research; without it, neither the FBI’s nor excellent Hungarian information encryption systems would work.

 

Microsoft Word and Excel – Charles Simonyi developed Word (1987) and Excel (1989), the most widely used document editing programs without which the creation and editing of text documents or spreadsheets and statistics would be all but inconceivable.

 

safety matches – János Irinyi patented the noiseless and explosion-free safety matches, containing red instead of white phosphorus, in 1836. Without these sticks, the everyday task of lighting fires would be a hazardous and cumbersome affair.

 

ball-point pen – László József Bíró’s “biro pens”, patented in 1938, revolutionised handwriting. Without this invention, we would probably still use conventional fountain pens.

 

Rubik’s cube: one of the world’s best-known puzzles, invented more than 40 yeas ago. Ernő Rubik originally intended it as a demonstration tool to be used at the Budapest University of Technology. We could certainly live without these cubes but seven million people each year would not get to spend their pastime usefully, developing logics, creativity and stereoscopic vision.

 

Eötvös pendulum – the first horizontal variometer, called the Eötvös pendulum, was constructed in 1891. The invention by Lóránd Ágoston Eötvös revolutionised the measurement of gravity. The device, which could also sense horizontal changes in the field of gravity, is a prime example of the tangible realisation of a physical theory. Without it, the oil fields in Texas or Venezuela would have not been discovered.

 

Bolyai geometry – The theory of hyperbolic geometry states that several lines can be drawn parallel to a straight line through a point outside of it. This marked the definition of non-Euclidean geometry by János Bolyai in 1832. Without that, the relativity theory could not have been defined either.

 

Vitamin C – Albert Szent-Györgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize for the description of vitamin C in the 1930s. Since that time, the vitamin has become an indispensable part of everyday life throughout the world, without which it would be more difficult to fight infections and support the human immune system.

 

Cavinton – This medicine, developed under the leadership of chemical engineer Csaba Szántay, is used world-wide to stimulate brain functions and especially combat dementia. Without it, treating old-age cerebral conditions would be more difficult.

 

antibacterial disinfection – Ignác Semmelweis revolutionised medical practices in the mid-19th century by introducing asepsis. He recognised that pathogenic agents could be kept away from hospital patients if doctors washed their hands in chlorinated water before examining them. Without this discovery, many more mothers would have died of post-partum fever after giving birth. The discovery of bacteria was another major result.

 

needle-less insulin dosage - István Lindmayer invented the needle-less vaccination device that allowed for administering, among others, insulin without causing any pain. Without this, patients would suffer more.

 

stress theory – János Selye’s stress theory states that all life forms respond to threats with a general emergency reaction, tapping their reserves and hormonal resources. Without this theory defined in the mid-1930s, we could not explain the symptoms of stress, and treating this disease, which has by now become endemic, would probably have become possible later.

 

positive psychology - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and his colleague formulated positive psychology in 2000. It has developed into a new branch of the science of psychology.Positive psychologists aim to “find genius and talent”, and “make normal life fuller” beyond the mere treatment of mental illnesses.

 

holograph – Dénes Gábor’s holograph, invented in 1947, revolutionised the technology of recording images. The holograph played an important part in actual imaging and also in image storage. The holographic technology allows for brain modelling as well as the recognition and translation of letters and texts.

 

talking picture – without Dénes Mihály’s invention in 1922, we would still be watching silent films.

 

colour television – Péter Károly Goldmark introduced his invention, a colour TV for practical use, on 4 September 1940. Now we cannot imagine having to watch all programs in black and white.

 

nuclear chain reaction - Leó Szilárd was the first to discover in 1934 how to induce nuclear fission through targeted and controlled intervention. Without this discovery, there would be no nuclear power plants on Earth.

 

dynamo – this device, which turns mechanical energy into DC electric energy, was invented by Ányos István Jedlik in 1861. Without it, electric power could not be generated, and not even our bicycle lamps would work.

 

 carburettor – this part creates a mixture of air and fuel to be burned in Otto engines. It was invented by János Csonka and Donát Bánki in 1893. Without it, automobiles could not have proliferated in the early 20th century.

 

 transformer – a transformer changes (increases or decreases) the voltage of alternating current while keeping the output power unchanged. Based on Ottó Titusz Bláthy’s idea, a closed iron-core transformer was created in 1885, with most of the experimental work done by Miksa Déri. The patented device became known all over the world as the Zipernowsky-Déri-Bláthy (ZBD) transformer. It is installed in almost all electric machines; no household machine would work without it.

 

electric locomotive – Kálmán Kandó’s invention in 1902 led to the electrification of railways. A traction motor in the locomotive transformed single-phase alternating current into triple-phase current. Without this, electric railways could not have been launched, and steam engines would have lingered for quite a while all over the world.

 

telephone exchange / radio – Tivadar Puskás’s “telephone herald” went live in Budapest on 15 February 1893. Without this invention, we could not listen to the radio today.

 

computer – János Neumann worked out the theory of computing in June 1945. The Neumann principle is the basis for information technology devices interweaving all aspects of our lives.

 

basic language – BASIC (Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is the most widely used computer programming language, the basis for users’ programs. It was created by János György Kemény and his team in 1964.

 

computer cryptography – a study on a basis reduction algorithm, co-authored by László Lovász, was published in 1982. This algorithm is one of the main tools in cryptographic research; without it, neither the FBI’s nor excellent Hungarian information encryption systems would work.

 

Microsoft Word and Excel – Charles Simonyi developed Word (1987) and Excel (1989), the most widely used document editing programs without which the creation and editing of text documents or spreadsheets and statistics would be all but inconceivable.

 

safety matches – János Irinyi patented the noiseless and explosion-free safety matches, containing red instead of white phosphorus, in 1836. Without these sticks, the everyday task of lighting fires would be a hazardous and cumbersome affair.

 

ball-point pen – László József Bíró’s “biro pens”, patented in 1938, revolutionised handwriting. Without this invention, we would probably still use conventional fountain pens.

 

Rubik’s cube: one of the world’s best-known puzzles, invented more than 40 yeas ago. Ernő Rubik originally intended it as a demonstration tool to be used at the Budapest University of Technology. We could certainly live without these cubes but seven million people each year would not get to spend their pastime usefully, developing logics, creativity and stereoscopic vision.

 

Eötvös pendulum – the first horizontal variometer, called the Eötvös pendulum, was constructed in 1891. The invention by Lóránd Ágoston Eötvös revolutionised the measurement of gravity. The device, which could also sense horizontal changes in the field of gravity, is a prime example of the tangible realisation of a physical theory. Without it, the oil fields in Texas or Venezuela would have not been discovered.

 

Bolyai geometry – The theory of hyperbolic geometry states that several lines can be drawn parallel to a straight line through a point outside of it. This marked the definition of non-Euclidean geometry by János Bolyai in 1832. Without that, the relativity theory could not have been defined either.

 

Vitamin C – Albert Szent-Györgyi was awarded the Nobel Prize for the description of vitamin C in the 1930s. Since that time, the vitamin has become an indispensable part of everyday life throughout the world, without which it would be more difficult to fight infections and support the human immune system.

 

Cavinton – This medicine, developed under the leadership of chemical engineer Csaba Szántay, is used world-wide to stimulate brain functions and especially combat dementia. Without it, treating old-age cerebral conditions would be more difficult.

 

antibacterial disinfection – Ignác Semmelweis revolutionised medical practices in the mid-19th century by introducing asepsis. He recognised that pathogenic agents could be kept away from hospital patients if doctors washed their hands in chlorinated water before examining them. Without this discovery, many more mothers would have died of post-partum fever after giving birth. The discovery of bacteria was another major result.

 

needle-less insulin dosage - István Lindmayer invented the needle-less vaccination device that allowed for administering, among others, insulin without causing any pain. Without this, patients would suffer more.

 

stress theory – János Selye’s stress theory states that all life forms respond to threats with a general emergency reaction, tapping their reserves and hormonal resources. Without this theory defined in the mid-1930s, we could not explain the symptoms of stress, and treating this disease, which has by now become endemic, would probably have become possible later.

 

positive psychology - Mihály Csíkszentmihályi and his colleague formulated positive psychology in 2000. It has developed into a new branch of the science of psychology.Positive psychologists aim to “find genius and talent”, and “make normal life fuller” beyond the mere treatment of mental illnesses.

 

holograph – Dénes Gábor’s holograph, invented in 1947, revolutionised the technology of recording images. The holograph played an important part in actual imaging and also in image storage. The holographic technology allows for brain modelling as well as the recognition and translation of letters and texts.

 

talking picture – without Dénes Mihály’s invention in 1922, we would still be watching silent films.

 

colour television – Péter Károly Goldmark introduced his invention, a colour TV for practical use, on 4 September 1940. Now we cannot imagine having to watch all programs in black and white.

 

nuclear chain reaction - Leó Szilárd was the first to discover in 1934 how to induce nuclear fission through targeted and controlled intervention. Without this discovery, there would be no nuclear power plants on Earth.

 

dynamo – this device, which turns mechanical energy into DC electric energy, was invented by Ányos István Jedlik in 1861. Without it, electric power could not be generated, and not even our bicycle lamps would work.

 

carburettor – this part creates a mixture of air and fuel to be burned in Otto engines. It was invented by János Csonka and Donát Bánki in 1893. Without it, automobiles could not have proliferated in the early 20th century.

 

transformer – a transformer changes (increases or decreases) the voltage of alternating current while keeping the output power unchanged. Based on Ottó Titusz Bláthy’s idea, a closed iron-core transformer was created in 1885, with most of the experimental work done by Miksa Déri. The patented device became known all over the world as the Zipernowsky-Déri-Bláthy (ZBD) transformer. It is installed in almost all electric machines; no household machine would work without it.

 

electric locomotive – Kálmán Kandó’s invention in 1902 led to the electrification of railways. A traction motor in the locomotive transformed single-phase alternating current into triple-phase current. Without this, electric railways could not have been launched, and steam engines would have lingered for quite a while all over the world.

 

Source: Excellence in Research and Development in Hungary – Higher education and academic institutions

 

You shall not pass!