the microchip? telephones, jet engines and cars revolutionized the world, but the microchip advanced all of these inventions and many others, like space telescopes and satellites, far beyond they ever could have gone without them.
well...i thought about this a little more...if there was an apocalypse i would definitely want a huge store of things that Man would find hard to make like Pampers, toothpaste, feminine products and dental floss...
THE COMPUTER. Without it, there'd be no internet, no microchip, printing would be less advanced, news would travel more slowly, modern office tech would be less efficient and accomplish less in longer time periods, many industrial and scientific advances would be stalled, including those reliant upon accurate computer modeling; meteorology would also be set back decades, whereas computer tech has saved lives thru accurate storm forecasting dependent upon computer technology, etc, etc,etc.
Computers can be battery-powered rather than electrically powered. There is a class of batteries known as deep cycle batteries; some of these, such as Industrial Deep Cycle batteries, can last from 10 to 20 years. The NiFe alkaline battery lasts from 5 to 35 years. These batteries have high power output, and could be cabled by design to connect with and power computers in place of electricity.
From the Internet: Nickel Iron (NiFe) Batteries Shortcomings Low cell voltage. Very heavy and bulky. The low reactivity of the active components limits the high rate performance of the cells. They cells take a charge slowly, and give it up slowly. Low coulombic efficiency, typically less than 65% Steep voltage drop off with state of charge Low energy density. High self discharge rate.
Are you saying that this is man's greatest invention? - They have been around since 1900. - And aren't they recharged with electricity?
Not sure where your online stats come from, but batteries even now power cell phones, etc. Also, electricity is a force rather than an invention (no patent exists claiming a legal monopoly on electricity ); but the field of electronics is a field in which inventions abound, the computer being one of those, and it CAN be run by battery power. Computer is my top pick.
Ok ok ok....I've got one.....glass....glass...what would this world be like without windows, without sparkling things, how would we drive cars in rain or snow? How would near-sighed people see leaves on trees, how would far-sighted men tell their wives apart? What would we use for thermometers...how would we see the fish in our fishtanks? Oh Oh...what would we use to check if our diamonds a really real?
Fire was the top on my list...otherwise we would have frozen a few milleniums ago. The wheel is the next. Tools after that. Language after that. Okay, I'll stop. ha ha ha (and no, these are not daily routines either!)