1980-2003

Scientists explore new energy sources, the World Wide Web spins a vast network and nanotechnology is born.

1980

Quantum Hall effect

German physicist Klaus von Klitzing discovers that when electrical conductors are subjected to strong magnetic fields and low temperatures, their resistance varies in discrete quantized jumps rather than in a smooth, continuous manner, a phenomenon known as the quantum Hall effect.
1981

Scanning tunneling microscopy

Scanning tunneling microscopy (STM), which is based on the so-called tunneling current that begins flowing when a sharp tip approaches a conducting surface at a distance of about one nanometer, is invented.
1983

Weakons & bosons

At the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), evidence of weakons (W and Z bosons) is produced, providing support for the theoretical link between weak and electromagnetic interactions.
1983

Neo magnets

Neodymium-iron-boron magnets, sometimes simply referred to as neo magnets, are first developed.
1987

Magnetic force microscope

The magnetic force microscope, a variant of the non contact atomic force microscope, is demonstrated for the first time. The instrument accomplishes magnetic resolution by the magnetostatic interaction between a ferromagnetic tip and a sample's stray micromagnetic fields.
1987

High-temperature superconductivity

For the first time, scientists achieve "high-temperature" superconductivity (above 77 degrees Kelvin) with a ceramic compound of yttrium, barium, copper and oxygen. Though the temperatures required to make YBCO superconductive are still quite low, they are high enough to be created with liquid nitrogen, much cheaper than the liquid helium required for lower temperatures.
1988

Giant magnetoresistance

German and French physicists discover the giant magnetoresistance (GMR) effect, which results from electron-spin effects in artificial multilayers of magnetic materials. The discovery marks the beginning of the field of spintronics, or spin-based electronics.
1988

World Wide Web

Tim Berners-Lee, a scientist at CERN, invents and demonstrates the World Wide Web (WWW), merging the technologies of personal computers, computer networking and hypertext into a global information system.
1993

Magnetic x-ray spectromicroscop

A magnetic x-ray spectromicroscope, combining the photoemission and magneto-optic Kerr effect techniques, is demonstrated.
1997

The Prius

Toyota launches the world's first mass-production hybrid vehicle, the Prius, which runs on both electricity and gas and offers better fuel efficiency and lower emissions than traditional vehicles.
1999

Ørsted satellite

The Danish Ørsted satellite, equipped to provide high-precision measurements of the Earth's magnetic field, is successfully launched.
1999

Electricity online

Electricity is marketed on the Internet for the first time.
2000

LIMPET

The first commercial wave power station, called the Land Installed Marine Powered Energy Transformer (LIMPET), begins generating electricity on the Isle of Islay, Scotland.
2003

Electricity from water

A team of Canadian researchers directly generates an electrical current by pumping tap water through numerous microchannels in a disk made of glass.
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