Many scientists have worked hard for years and given us some best inventions that have changed our lives and made it much easier and comfortable. Some of them have even brought revolutions in science, communication, infrastructure, etc., and have altered the perceptions of the people. But, there are some discoveries that were not made intentionally. Some of them were found when the inventors were actually discovering something else or were the byproduct of another chemical. But, these inventions have now proved to be very useful in every country, household, companies, and the respective scientists have received prizes and popularity for them.
Here are six such discoveries that happened by accident:
Pacemaker has saved around hundreds of lives in the world, and all credit goes to Dr. Wilson Greatbatch, but he never intended to find this machine. In 1956, he was working on a machine for recording heart-beat when he mistakenly installed a wrong electronic component. He realized that the device is producing a heart-beat pulse instead of just recording it which could be used to regulate the heart-beat. Later, he made the miniature version of the machine.
In 1928, professor Alexander Fleming was experimenting with the bacteria called staphylococcus and went for a holiday leaving dirty dishes there. When he returned from vacation, he noticed that a mold had destroyed all the bacteria around it and he got the first antibiotic. This lead to the most important findings in medical history which also got him the Nobel Prize in 1945.
An engineer Percy Spencer who was working in the company named Raytheon found the microwave oven. It is one of the common kitchen appliances that is found in almost every house and makes the cooking very convenient. When one day, Spencer was working near a magnetron, an active radar set, he noticed that the chocolate bar in his pocket has melted. He further experimented with other items like egg and popcorn, and invented the microwave. His company Raytheon took the rights of it and made computer-sized ovens which later changed to the compact form.
A Swiss engineer George de Mestral was once returning from woods with his dog when he found burrs sticking to his clothes and dog furs. After examining closely, he noticed tiny hooks on it which would cling to loop-shaped clothes and furs. He named the burr ‘velcro’ which is the combination of two words ‘velvet’ and ‘crochet.’ However, it gained popularity after a few years when NASA used velcro in designing spacesuits.
Dr. Roy Joseph Teflon was a scientist in DuPont company where one day he was working on refrigerants along with an assistant. He stored the tetrafluoroethylene in a cylinder at a frozen temperature. When he opened it for use, he found no gas but a white powder in it though cylinder weighed the same. The substance was heat and chemical resistant which was used in different forms but most famously known as an important appliance for cooking ‘teflon.’
A scientist named Constantin Fahlberg who was working in the lab of Ira Remsen once went home for lunch and forgot to wash his hands. When he ate the bread, it tasted sweet to him, and he immediately noticed that it was the chemical that spilled on his hand while working in the lab. He went back to his lab and investigated more about the chemical. This resulted in the first ever artificial sweetener which was low in calories and popularly known as saccharin.
If you have never believed the phrase ‘blessing in disguise,’ then we are sure that after reading this blog you would start accepting it as the above-mentioned discoveries are the perfect examples of it. Many of these have evolved over the course of time but still continue to be advantageous in our life.
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