What are 10 Marvelous Discoveries in Science? Plato once stated, “Science is nothing but perception,” and these ten unintentional acts of discovery exemplify that notion. Of course, being a prominent scientist in the field—dedicating your life to the search for one cure, invention, or innovation—helps, but a little luck also helps.
List the 10 Marvelous Discoveries in Science:
The discovery of penicillin, a class of antibiotics used to treat a range of bacterial illnesses, is forever inscribed in scientific folklore, yet it was simply a case of dirty dishes. Alexander Fleming, a Scottish scientist, took an August break from his day-to-day job in the lab researching staphylococci, sometimes known as staph. On his return on September 3, 1928, the astute scientist discovered an unusual fungus on a culture he had left in his laboratory—a fungus that had killed out all surrounding bacteria in the culture. Modern medicine would never be the same again.
Sometimes all you need to create the next scientific breakthrough is a snack. Percy Spencer was an American engineer who, while working at Raytheon, discovered that the chocolate bar in his pocket melted when he stepped in front of a magnetron, a vacuum tube used to produce microwaves. Spencer successfully created the first microwave oven in 1945, after a few more attempts (one involving an exploding egg). The original models were similar to early computers in that they were big and impractical. Compact microwaves would first appear in American households in 1967.
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During a hiking trip in 1941, Swiss engineer Georges de Mestral discovered burrs sticking to his jeans and his dog’s hair. He discovered that the burr’s hooks will attach to anything loop-shaped upon closer examination. He could be on to something if he could just artificially recreate the cycles.
The end outcome was Velcro. The material, a mix of the terms “velvet” and “crochet,” struggled to find popularity in the fashion business. However, NASA was one of its most noteworthy customers in the 1960s. The material was employed in flying suits and to help fasten goods in zero gravity. After that, it developed its space-age trend, enabling youngsters all across the world to put off learning how to tie shoelaces.
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The Big Bang
“Big things begin with modest steps.” Okay, so that’s a quotation from (Prometheus’) Michael Fassbender, but nothing could be more accurate for radio astronomers Robert Wilson and Arno Penzias.
The key to unlocking the current idea of how the cosmos was created starts with noise, similar to typical radio static. While operating with the Holmdel antenna in New Jersey in 1964, the two astronomers were confused by background noise. Wilson and Penzias discovered an explanation using Robert Dicke’s notion that radiation remaining from a universe-forming great bang would now operate as background cosmic radiation after ruling out probable interference from metropolitan areas, nuclear explosions, or pigeons living in the antenna.
Dicke and his crew had been looking for this background radiation approximately 37 miles from the Holmdel antenna at Princeton University. When he learned of Wilson and Penzias’ finding, he reportedly informed his colleagues, “Well fellas, we’ve been scooped.” Penzias and Wilson would later be awarded the Nobel Prize.
In 1938, Roy Plunkett, a DuPont scientist, was looking for methods to make refrigerators more home-friendly by replacing the present refrigerant, which was mostly ammonia, sulfur dioxide, and propane. Plunkett discovered his experimental gas had vanished after opening the container on one of the samples he’d been working on. All that remained was a peculiar, slick resin impervious to tremendous heat and chemicals.
The Manhattan Project employed the substance in the 1940s. It eventually made its way into the car sector a decade later. Teflon would not be employed for its most well-known use, nonstick cookware, until the 1960s.
Natural rubber was a popular material for waterproof shoes and boots in the 1830s, but its inability to tolerate frigid temperatures and intense heat quickly upset customers and producers. Some speculated that rubber had no future, but Charles Goodyear disagreed. After years of trial and error attempting to make rubber more durable, the scientist made his most important discovery completely by accident. When demonstrating his newest experiment in 1839, Goodyear inadvertently spilt his rubber mixture on a hot stove. He found a burned leather-like material with an elastic rim. Rubber had become waterproof.
Goodyear would never profit from his discoveries, and he died $200,000 in debt. His surname and legacy, however, live on through the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, which was named after him over four decades after his death.
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The creator of Coca-Cola was neither a savvy businessman, a confectioner, nor a visionary hoping to strike it big in the beverage industry. John Pemberton was just interested in curing headaches. Pemberton, a pharmacist by trade, included two major components in his optimistic headache cure: coca leaves and cola nuts. When his lab assistant accidentally blended the two with carbonated water, the outcome was the world’s first Coke. Coke tinkered with the now-secret formula throughout the years. Pemberton died two years later, so he never got to see his simple concoction give rise to a soft drink empire.
Bad weather may sometimes be a source of serendipity. Henri Becquerel, a French physicist, was working on an experiment with a uranium-enriched crystal in 1896. He felt that sunlight was the cause of the crystal’s picture burning on a photographic plate. With heavy clouds gathering, Becquerel packed his belongings and resolved to resume his studies on a brighter day.
He recovered the crystal from a darkish drawer a few days later, but the picture burnt on the plate (above) was “fogged,” as he put it. The crystal released rays that fogged a plate, but they were disregarded as weaker than William Roentgen’s X-ray. Becquerel would not go on to give the phenomenon a name. He left it to two colleagues, Pierre and Marie Curie.
Angina Pectoris is a fancy word for chest discomfort caused by spasms in the coronary arteries of the heart. Pfizer, a pharmaceutical firm, created a medication called UK92480 to assist constrict these arteries and ease pain. The tablet failed to achieve its intended goal, but the secondary adverse effect was unexpected. The medicine was dubbed Viagra, and you already know what it does. In the first quarter of 2013, Pfizer sold $288 million worth of the tiny blue tablet.
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Even when it blows up in your face, homework might pay dividends. Jamie Link, a chemistry graduate student at the University of California, San Diego, was working on a silicon chip. When the chip fractured, she realized (with the assistance of her professor) that the chip’s small parts were still transmitting signals, acting as tiny sensors. For the minuscule, self-assembling particles, they created the name “smart dust.” Smart dust offers a wide range of possible uses and is effective in targeting and killing cancers.