Feature Post, Space

7 wonders of modern engineering

In a previous article you had the chance to read about the seven wonders of the ancient world, which remained famous for thousands of years and still amaze people from all over the world due to their magnificent traits. But time passed and nowadays people take pride in other accomplishments, from scientific experiments to stadiums. This list is by no means exhaustive, representing just a small part of these amazing things mankind managed to build.

1. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider

This is the word on everybody’s lips these days. Our understanding of the world is about to change, or at least that’s what the people who work there claim. Located in Switzerland, near Geneva, it spans the border between Switzerland and France at about 100 m under the ground. There, scientists use a particle accelerator to study the smallest particles known to man, the very building blocks of everything. There are many different opinions about what the conclusions of these experiments will be, but it’s certain that they will help scientists take our understanding of physics to a whole new level. This truly amazing creation could give answers about the very creation of the universe, so its importance has to be understood and appreciated.

2. The Hubble Telescope

Carried into orbit in 1990, Hubble remained crucial for astronomy both for its vital scientific importance and for the public relations boom it created, which led to the further development. Also, it is the only telescope created in such a way that it can be serviced in space by astronauts. Just four such service missions took place until today, which just goes to show how well it was built and how well it served its purpose. Many Hubble observations have led to breakthroughs in astrophysics, including understanding how the universe expands.

3. Three Gorges Dam

Supplying China with energy is a task that seems almost impossible in our days, and it requires some magnificent accomplishments, such as this dam, which takes shape of the largest hydroelectric power plant in the world by far. It supplies 4% of the energy needed by China, reaching 22,500 megawatts and it’s still not fully operational, as some generators have not been yet installed. The scale of this project is truly huge, but there is still some debate about the usefulness and about the destruction of some archaeological sites from the area.

4. Burj-Al-Arab Hotel

Not all magnificent buildings are used for industrial and research purposes. Dubai features some of the most impressive creations in the world, and many of them are not done yet. The largest building used as the hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab rises at 321 meters and is connected to the mainland by a private curved bridge. It’s design and features are just amazing, as it imitates a type of vessel, called dhow, featuring an 180 meter high atrium between the two sides. Also, it’s built on an artificial island.

5. Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge

The Akashi Kaikyo Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in the world, and just could be Japan’s greatest architectural achievement. It took the work of over 2 million workers and181 000 tonnes of steel and 1.4million cubic metres of concrete. The steel cable which they used could go around the world 7 times.

6. Space Telescope Chandra

Our century is definitely a century in which space plays a big role. We are just starting to meet the technical requirements necessary for going into outer space or just taking pictures, and Chandra was very important in this road, sending the most precise and amazing images mankind has seen from outer space. The X-ray images it features redefined many of our notions about cosmos.

7. Bird’s nest

Situated in the very core of Beijing, the Beijing National Stadium, or Bird’s nest as people nicknamed it, is without a doubt one of the most amazing buildings in the world, and it was built at a tenth of what it would have cost in Europe or America ($423 million). It’s the world’s largest steel construction, and it hosted a sum of events during the 2008 Olympics.

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  • http://www.hotmail.com Cyril

    What exactly is “Mondern” engineering?

  • sam

    “… and it was built at a tenth of what it would have cost in Europe or America ($423 million).”

    I believe there is an obvious reason for that.

  • http://water4waterloo.com Rooster

    number 4 all thanks to American dollars

  • Spudge_Boy

    I think you should switch the Bird’s Nest to a real photo of it.

  • Banyan55

    Number 4 was also thanks to British architects.

  • Siddharth

    I believe that the LHC is the greatest achievement of mankind. Successful or not, it is apt example of the true genius of mankind.

  • popper

    Seriously? The Panama Canal anyone?

  • joe schmoe

    Popper, you missed reading the word “modern” there…none of these existed in 1914.

  • So So List

    Burj Dubai is about 50 times more impressive than Burj Al-Arab.
    The Millau viaduc is also a notable bridge that, in my opinion, surpasses that japanese bridge in feats of engineering.

    I don’t know anything about aerospace engineering so I’d have to agree but having two telescopes on the lists may be a bit much…

    Agreed that the LHC is our greatest achievement yet. Dozens of countries coming together with he simple ambition to acquire knowledge. A project that isn’t driven by greed, domination or evil… a simple thirst for knowledge.

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  • Mountain Dew

    Um, yeah the whole 1/10 the cost part about the Bird’s Nest is because it was built with SLAVE LABOR…

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  • http://www.workingclassvoice.co.uk TopSod

    When do we class modern from?

  • http://NA samsun

    Maybe the Chunnel. Buildins? Mall of America!

  • Steve

    What about Palm Jumeirah in Dubai? I would think that is way more impressive than Burj al Arab.