Science & History

7 scientific discoveries made by mistake

From that primitive age, people were addicted to discovery. Numerous discoveries have been made by the hard work of people, sometimes in need, sometimes in the hope of a better life. However, as far as we can know about these discoveries now or as much as we can discuss and critique them, the discoveries were not so easy at all. It would not have been possible to move forward on such a difficult path without the keen brains and hard work of the scientists.

From ancient times to the present, every discovery seems to tell a new story. But the story behind every discovery rarely comes before us. And if we can get to the bottom of what we know, we can know the story of hard work and pursuit. But it’s not just a story of perseverance, there are some funny or bizarre facts behind some scientific discoveries. In short, not all discoveries were purposeful, there were some inventions that were not in anyone’s imagination at all, and in fact, these discoveries were made by mistake or by accident at the hands of various scientists.

Today we will learn about some of the scientific discoveries that went wrong. So let’s take a look at some of the discoveries.

1. X-ray

It’s hard to find people who haven’t heard of X-rays. One of the most common medical tests is the X-ray test. This test is very common to look for any place inside the body. But the funny thing is that it is not the result of any discovery or hard work. X-rays, which play a very important role in today’s medical science, were discovered by accident.

In 1895, Wilhelm R রntgen invented the X-ray. However, this German scientist discovered X-rays without knowing it. One day in 1895, he was experimenting with a cathode ray tube. He was trying to see if the cathode ray could penetrate through the glass.

At the time of the test, the cathode ray tube was covered with a thick black cloth and the room was completely dark. But nonetheless, Rontgen noticed a strange thing. He saw a green light on a fluorescent screen next to the cathode ray tube that was emanating from the cathode ray tube.

After noticing this, his interest increased and he did some more experiments. He sees that this strange ray of light can penetrate through most objects. This ray of unknown and strange power is why Rontgen named it ‘x-ray’ meaning ‘unknown ray’

2. Penicillin

In 1929, Alexander Fleming accidentally discovered the world’s first antibiotic, penicillin, in his laboratory.

Alexander Fleming was a bacteriologist at St. Mary’s Hospital. Staphylococcus aureus bacteria was cultured in a petri dish in his laboratory before the service went out on summer vacation. However, after the holiday, he was a little surprised. He found some fungi in the Petri dish of his cultured Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. And this fungus was Penicillium notatum.

He examined under a microscope and found that the fungus was interfering with the normal growth of staphylococci. Alexander Fleming collected several penicillin fungi over a few more weeks and tested them to see if penicillin had certain properties that would not only impede the normal growth of bacteria but also prevent many infectious diseases.

Although there are other scientists who have contributed to the discovery of penicillin, it all started suddenly.

3. Microwave oven

The microwave oven is one of the most popular household appliances in the world. But very few people know how this wonderful device was discovered. Microwave oven science got science through a complete accident.

One day in 1945, an American engineer named Percy Spencer was working in a lab. He was working on a high-powered vacuum tube inside a magnetron radar. One day while working with a magnetron, Spencer noticed that a candy bar of peanut butter in his pocket had begun to melt. Spencer realized that this was due to the microwave used on the radar.

After various experiments, he built the first microwave oven in 1945, which was a huge thing in size. Microwave ovens have been used in homes in the United States since 1986. Microwaves are now a widely used device around the world.

4. Chloroform

Prior to the discovery of chloroform, it was not used as an anesthetic for surgery on patients. That is, the operation was performed without anesthetizing the patient. However, after the discovery of chloroform in 1847, it was used as an anesthetic in various fields including surgery.

Sir James Young Simpson was involved in long research on anesthetics. One day in 1847, in the midst of a conversation with invited guests at his home in Edinburgh, he wondered what it was like to test his discovery.

He brought chloroform in a bottle to the guests. Then no one else remembers anything! He regained consciousness the next morning, while the guests were lying unconscious one by one. At first he was scared. Later, when everyone’s knowledge returned, he was reassured.

However, he was very careful about such dangerous experiments later, because if this colorless Jain compound is left in the open, it will fly away. Too much chloroform in the air can be deadly. Since it acts directly on the nerves, excessive intake of the body can lead to headaches and permanent kidney and liver problems.

Simpson finally made the discovery known to everyone in 1947, and the use of chloroform internationally to anesthetize patients began in just three years.

5. Dynamite

The name Assiano Sobrero is unfamiliar to many of us. This man has contributed a lot to the discovery of explosives.
He was born in 1812 in Castle Monferato, Italy and was a chemist by profession. While working in a laboratory in Paris in the 1840s, he discovered a substance called nitroglycerin, which was an oily and highly explosive liquid.

But Sobrero did not see the potential commercial use of the discovery. However, a Swedish chemist named Alfred Nobel was able to do that.

The explosive liquid discovered by Assiano Sobrero was so dangerous that no conditions were created for its commercial use. So Noble thought that if he could somehow invent a way to control this substance, he would be able to create a better and more effective alternative to conventional explosives.
After finishing his studies, Alfred began experimenting with it. However, he had to pay a high price for this research. Once during a research, a terrible explosion took place in his factory in which his brother ‘Emil’ along with some workers died.

Nobel was devastated by his brother’s death. After this incident, Alfred Nobel set out to find a safe way to detonate explosives. But despite his best efforts, the desired discovery came about through another accident.

Once while taking nitroglycerin from one place to another, Noble saw a pot open through a hole. It was found that the pot was wrapped with the thing that it absorbed the horrible explosive nitroglycerin very well. The pots were wrapped in a mixture of sedimentary rocks called Kieselgar.

Since nitroglycerin is very dangerous in the liquid state, Nobel decided to use this Kieselger as an explosive stabilizer. In 18, Nobel patented the dynamite, the safest but deadliest explosive he had ever discovered.

6. Artificial color

William Parkin, aged 18, worked as a lab assistant in London. He was tasked with discovering a new way to make quinine, a malaria drug. When he was working on it around 1864, after a failed attempt, he saw a strong purple thakatha substance under the used beaker. Instead of throwing it away, Perkin tested it and soon realized that he had created an artificial color that was more vibrant than other natural colors.

7. Radioactivity

As we know, Henry Becquerel discovered radioactivity. However, his discovery has become a bit unknown. There are basically some elements that radiate different types of radioactive rays due to the instability of the nucleus. And this is called radioactivity.

In 1896, French scientist Henry Becquerel was conducting an experiment with uranium crystals. He puts this crystal in the sun and then wraps it in black paper and places it on a photographic plate. His intention was that the uranium crystal would take energy from the sun and emit it as X-rays.

But he could not prove his test as the sky in Paris was cloudy on February 26-27. But when he pulls out the uranium crystal, he sees that there has been some radiation from the crystal without the supply of sunlight or any other external energy that has caused the staining on the photographic plate, which is due to the radioactivity of the uranium responsible.

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