The #NextGreatDiscovery

Many of today's greatest innovations are built on the shoulders of fundamental research conducted decades ago.

Since Stanford first opened its doors to students and faculty, a core tenet of the university has been for its citizens to improve the world around them. Stanford researchers have achieved this goal repeatedly over the years, through the development of devices that made radar and MRI scans possible, or medical breakthroughs like the first heart-lung transplant, or through invisible lines of computer code that make everyday technologies possible, such as digital music, email, and Google.

Those applied technologies, however, required a dedication to basic fundamental research. Though impossible to predict where the experiments of Stanford investigators will lead them, investing in their work – and in basic science in general – is crucial to keeping the #NextGreatDiscovery alive.

The Klystron Tube

The invention of the klystron tube provided a key component for the development of radar, air navigation, satellite communication, and high-energy particle accelerators.

Heart-lung Transplant

After decades of research, the first heart-lung combination transplant was a major technical achievement in itself, and its success led to many new medical developments.

The Growth Mindset

Research identifies two core mindsets – "fixed" and "growth" – that shape how people approach challenges, and has shaped how educators, parents, and companies relate to people.

Implicit Bias

By furthering the understanding of how the subconscious mind interprets race, researchers are proposing practical ways to identify and overcome implicit bias.

Frequency Modulation Synthesis

A music professor wrote the computer algorithm that brought music into the digital age. This work led to the development of electronic synthesizers, CDs, and the songs you stream or download to your phone.

Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

In 1946, Felix Bloch and Edward Purcell published the explanation of nuclear magnetic resonance, the fundamental science that allows MRI machines to see what's going on inside your body.

NLS (oNLine System)

The first "modern" computer replaced punch cards with a mouse and graphic user interface that could perform text editing, video conferencing, hypertext, and windowing, helping launch the information age.


Researchers can control the function of specific cells with pulses of light. Optogenetics has illuminated the mechanisms of brain disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, depression, and schizophrenia.

Transmission Control Protocol

TCP, as it's known, is the computer protocol that allows you to search the WWW, stream media, share files, and send emails. Its development earned Vint Cerf his "Father of the Internet" nickname.


The PageRank algorithm, created by students Sergey Brin and Larry Page, laid the foundation for Google's search engine to find exactly what you're looking for on the internet.

Linear Electron Accelerator

The creation of linear electron accelerators in the 1940s led to the 2-mile-long SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, along with numerous medical advancements and fundamental physics discoveries.

Public-key Cryptography

People across the globe enjoy internet-based communications every day without fear of theft or revelation, thanks to this encryption protocol developed at Stanford in the 1970s.

Beyond the Farm

Publicly funded research has helped universities across the country make the #NextGreatDiscovery.