10 scientific inventions discovered by chance » Sometimes it happens that discoveries happen unexpectedly, and sometimes they become a side effect of research that goes in a completely different direction.
Surprisingly, the microwave oven was invented almost by accident. About how exactly engineer-inventor Percy Spencer made his great discovery, there are legends. Some sources assert that, passing by the working magnetron, he felt, how in his pocket melts sweets. According to another version, Spencer heated a sandwich on the magnetron. Whatever it was, it never occurred to anyone before him to use microwave radiation for cooking.
It was during work in the company Raytheon in the 1940’s. Spencer also made an invention, which, despite all his former services to the country, glorified him more and more – to the whole world. A patent for a microwave oven was issued in 1946, and the first microwave oven called Radarange was released in 1947. It was a very cumbersome furnace – almost human height, weighing more than 300 kg, they were very different from those microwave ovens that we use these days. Yes, and their price was high – about $ 3 thousand. Only in the 1960s. There was a serial production of household microwave ovens, affordable (about $ 500) and relatively small in size.
The discovery of Teflon happened accidentally, like many scientific discoveries. It happened on April 6, 1938. The glory of the discoverer belongs to Dr. Roy J. Plankett. He worked in one of the laboratories of DuPont in New Jersey. At that time, Plunkett studied the properties of freons. Once he froze tetrafluoroethylene under strong pressure, resulting in a waxy white powder, which later demonstrated amazing properties. Two years later, the production of new material was already set up, and the world recognized it under the name of Teflon.
Velcro Velcro fastener
The idea of the invention came in 1941 to the Swiss engineer Georges de Maistral, a patent was received in 1955. Georges de Mestral was used to walking his dog off the head of a burdock after walking with a dog. One day he examined them under a microscope, through which he saw tiny hooks, with their help the heads cling to the animal’s fur.
So De Maistral had the idea of a velcro fastener. On its implementation, the engineer took years of trial and error, as a result of which the inventor realized that stickers are best made of nylon. In 1955, de Mestral was finally able to patent his invention. The first to use textile fasteners were cosmonauts, scuba divers and skiers. Over time, Velcro fasteners are widely used, becoming a regular part of everyday clothes and shoes.
Quinine is the main alkaloid of the cinchona bark with a strong bitter taste, possessing antipyretic and analgesic properties, as well as pronounced action against malarial plasmodia. This allowed for a long time to use quinine as the main treatment for malaria. Today, more effective synthetic preparations are used for this purpose, but for a number of reasons quinine finds its application even now. Since the XVII century. Cinnamon bark was used to relieve a three-day fever. The plant was brought to Europe around 1633, and its useful qualities were first mentioned in 1639 Jesuit Lima reported to Rome on the use of plants to alleviate the intermittent fever raging every summer in this city. Then the plant was popularized in Europe. According to the legend, a certain person who, suffering from a fever, found himself in the forest. He drank water at the roots of the cinchona. The water had a bitter taste, but he continued to drink this water, and he felt better. When he recovered, he went home and told a story about the healing properties of the tree.
In 1879 Konstantin Falberg worked at the Johns Hopkins University under the guidance of Professor Ira Ryessen.
They studied the derivatives of bitumen (coal tar). In the course of work, a very sweet substance was accidentally synthesized, ortho-sulfobenzoic acid, or ortho-sulfobenzimide, to which Falberg later called “saccharin.” In 1879, Fahlberg, together with Ira Remzenom published in an article in the German journal about a new scientific discovery, in English a slightly expanded article was published in 1880. In 1884, Fahlberg, actually appropriating the discovery, received a patent for invention and independently organized mass production in Germany saccharin.
Wilson Greybatch made a classic mistake – he pulled out the wrong part of the box. Thus, an instrument appeared that saved the lives of millions of people. In 1956, Greytbatch worked on the creation of a device for recording the heart rhythm of animals at the University of Buffalo. He climbed into the drawer of the table and took out a resistor of the wrong size, connecting it to the circuit. When the scientist turned on the instrument, he heard a rhythmic sound that resembled the beat of the human heart. Today more than half a million pacemakers are implanted every year.
Initially, Viagra was designed to treat high blood pressure. However, during clinical trials, men who used this medicine told doctors about the same side effect of its use, which was expressed in a prolonged and elevated erection. But for initial zadumok Viagra was almost ineffective, so the doctors decided to completely transfer the focus of the appointment of this drug to men suffering from erectile dysfunction.
The inventor of the method of vulcanization is the American Charles Goodyear (1800-1860), who since 1830 tried to create a material that can remain elastic and durable in heat and cold. He treated the rubber resin with acid, boiled it in magnesia, added various substances, but all of its products turned into a sticky mass on the first hot day. The discovery came to the inventor accidentally. In 1839, working at the Massachusetts rubber factory, he once dropped a lump of rubber mixed with sulfur on a hot plate. Contrary to expectations, it did not melt, but, on the contrary, was charred, like skin. In his first patent, he proposed to expose rubber to the effects of copper nitrite and royal vodka. Subsequently, the inventor discovered that the rubber becomes resistant to temperature effects when sulfur and lead are added.
The history of cornflakes originates in the XIX century. The owners of the Battle Creek sanatorium in the state of Michigan, Dr. Kellogg and his brother Will Keith Kellogg, were preparing a dish of corn flour, but they urgently needed to leave for the emergency business of the boarding house. When they returned, they found that the corn flour, which was strictly registered, had slightly deteriorated. But they still decided to make dough out of flour, but the dough curdled, and flakes and lumps turned out. Brothers desperately fried these flakes, and it turned out that some of them became airy, and some got a pleasant crunchy consistency. Subsequently, these flakes were offered to patients of Dr. Kellogg as a new dish, and served to the table with milk and marshmallows, they were very popular. Adding sugar to the flakes, Will Keith Kellog made their taste more acceptable to a wider audience. So in 1894 the original corn flakes were patented by the American physician John Harvey Kellogg. In 1906 Kelloggs started mass production of a new type of food and founded their own company.
The history of radiographic research begins in 1885. It was then that Wilhelm Roentgen was the first to record the darkening of photographic plates, which occurred under the influence of radiation from a special spectrum. At the same time, the scientist discovered that when a part of the human body is irradiated, the image of the skeleton remains on the photographic plate. This discovery served as the basis for the method of medical imaging. Before this, it was not possible to investigate internal organs and tissues during human life. In 1894, Roentgen was engaged in experimental work, exploring the electrical discharge in glass vacuum tubes. In 1895, on November 8, he studied the properties of cathode rays. It was already dark, he began to gather home, turned off the light. And I saw that the screen of the synerodic barium, behind which the cathode tube was located, was shining. It was strange, because the electric light could not make it glow, the cathode tube was covered with a cardboard cover, but, as it turned out, it was not turned off. He turned off the receiver – the glow had disappeared.
In this case, neither a cardboard cover, nor a meter layer of air between them was not a barrier to radiation. This phenomenon could not but interest the scientist. He began to check the ability of this radiation to pass through various objects and materials. Some missed them, others did not. That is, some substances reflected these rays, others partially, while others did not reflect at all. He called these rays X-rays. After that another 50 days the scientist worked, exploring these rays. He proved that it is the cathode tube that emits such rays. Accidentally or not, he framed his arm under the rays and saw an image of the bone structure of the brush. It turned out that the soft tissues of the brush well passed the light of the new radiation, and the bone structures, on the contrary, like the metal, were completely impermeable to the rays.
Source – vestifinance.ru