American pride leads us to believe we have become the most scientifically advanced nation solely in every way via our superior educational system and intellectual prowess. Really?
Here's a few things to ponder. While our space program is bar none the tops, it didn't come out of thin air. After the war many German rocket scientist fled/recruited/forced to join The United States space program. Giving us a leg up over the Russians.
Wernher von Braun although best known, was not the only one who became part of what became known as 'Operation Paperclip'. So without the boost by German scientists we would not be where we are today.
Many of us are aware of this. However, few are aware that our current "stealth fighters" came about as a direct result of 1944 German ingenuity. The picture you see above is actually a 1944 Horten Ho 2-29 designed by the Nazis some 30+ years before we Americans developed flying wing type of radar-invisible stealth technology!
Fortunately for us the carbon fiber composites, required by today's F-117A Nighthawk stealth aircraft, were not yet invented. However it was able to fly almost undetected by radar from Berlin to NYC and back without refueling. The Ho 2-29 was to be powered by BMW 003 jet engines invented by Hans Von Ohain of Germany.
Hey if it makes you feel better Sir Frank Whittle was an English aviation engineer who was credited with co-inventing the jet engine even though he wasn't aware of Hans's work. Course on the other hand neither of those were Americans either!
So it's quite apparent today's stealth evolved as a result of German engineering. Here's a brief video excerpt from National Geographic's Special- "Hitler's Stealth Fighter"
In 1765 James Watt, Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer, improved the steam engine.(A unit of power called the Watt was named after James Watt. The Watt symbol is W, and it is equal to 1/746 of a horsepower, or one Volt times one Amp.)
Electricity- English scientist William Gilbert in 1600.
Nuclear Energy- Enrico Fermi is considered a major figure in the discovery of nuclear energy. Born in Rome, he was the first scientist to split the atom and his research later led to nuclear power generation. Leo Szilard & Fermi discovered the first nuclear reactor that caused nuclear chain reactions.
Then there was Einstein .. enough said!
You get the idea. We Americans have many wonders based on great minds from all over the globe, but we certainly don't have a monopoly on superior technology. The challenge going forward is, will we remain on top of the scientific technology game? He who has the most toys wins.