Science Breakthroughs: 7 Discoveries That Changed Our Understanding of the Universe


The universe is an enormous and mysterious place, filled with a myriad of wonders and secrets that scientists have been trying to unravel for centuries. From understanding the basic principles of physics to discovering the existence of dark matter, there have been numerous scientific breakthroughs over the years that have fundamentally changed our understanding of the universe. This blog post will discuss seven such discoveries.

The Theory of Relativity

Einstein's theory of relativity, put forth in 1905, fundamentally changed the way we understand the universe. This theory, which includes the special theory of relativity and the general theory of relativity, introduced concepts such as space-time and gravitational waves. It helped us understand that the laws of physics are the same for all non-accelerating observers, and that the speed of light in a vacuum is the same no matter the speed at which the observer is travelling.

The Big Bang Theory

The Big Bang Theory, first proposed by Georges Lemaître in 1927, suggests that the universe originated from a singularity - a point of infinite density - about 13.8 billion years ago. This theory, which has been supported by a wide variety of empirical evidence, fundamentally changed our understanding of the origin and evolution of the universe. It also led to the concept of cosmic inflation, which explains the uniformity of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Quantum Mechanics

Quantum mechanics, developed in the early 20th century by scientists like Max Planck and Albert Einstein, deals with phenomena on a very small scale, such as atoms and subatomic particles. It introduced the concept of wave-particle duality, which means that all particles also have properties of waves. Quantum mechanics also introduced the concept of superposition, which states that particles can be in multiple states at once, and the concept of entanglement, which suggests that particles can be instantaneously connected, regardless of distance.

The Expansion of the Universe

In 1929, Edwin Hubble discovered that the universe is expanding. This was a major breakthrough because it supported the Big Bang Theory and disproved the previously held idea that the universe was static and unchanging. Hubble's discovery was based on his observation that galaxies are moving away from us, which he deduced by observing that their light is redshifted.

The Discovery of Dark Matter

Dark matter is a type of matter that does not emit or interact with electromagnetic radiation, which makes it invisible and incredibly difficult to detect. It was first postulated in 1932 by Jan Oort, who noticed that the stars in the Milky Way were moving faster than they should be if only visible matter was present. This led to the conclusion that there must be an unseen form of matter causing this extra gravitational pull.

The Discovery of Exoplanets

The discovery of exoplanets, or planets that orbit stars outside of our solar system, has significantly broadened our understanding of the universe. The first exoplanet was discovered in 1995, and since then, thousands more have been found. This discovery has ignited the search for extraterrestrial life and has led to the question of whether Earth-like planets are common or rare in the universe.

The Detection of Gravitational Waves

In 2016, scientists at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) made the groundbreaking discovery of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime caused by violent cosmic events. This confirmed a major prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity and opened up a new way to observe the universe.


The universe is a complex and fascinating place, and these seven scientific breakthroughs have significantly expanded our understanding of it. As technology continues to advance and our knowledge continues to grow, who knows what other incredible discoveries await us in the depths of space.