The reason why experts ask us to keep putting efforts regardless of results, is that, even if we fail in a mission, in one or other way, we would be rewarded for the efforts we have already put in. Here are such interesting incidents in scientific world which seem to have proven this theory time and again. These are incidents I have heard, read, researched, inspired – and then collated with the pure intention of sharing the same excitement with each one of you. Here we go.
Man of Principles:
Hiero, the king of Syracuse, decides to honour the god by offering a golden crown. Hiero weighed out a precise amount of gold, appoints a goldsmith, and commanded him to fashion out of the gold a wreath worthy of the gods. The goldsmith obliged the king’s order, and with in few days, comes up with a beautiful looking crown.
The happiness didn’t last longer for the King after hearing the rumours that the goldsmith has mixed some amount of silver while making the crown. To resolve the mystery, the king now appoints a scientist to find out if any silver has been mixed in the crown, and what is the proportion!
Our scientist gave it a long and hard thought but could not find a method for proving that the crown was not solid gold. He gets sad, sickened, but still keeps the thought process ON, while enjoying the warmth of water in a bath tub. And suddenly some level of joy, some sudden excitement – The scientist jumps out of the bath tub and starts running naked through the streets of Syracuse shouting “Eureka!” — or “I have it!” in Greek.
Why was he excited? What did he find out? I will tell you. While getting in to the bath tub, the scientist notices that some amount of water spills out of the tub. With that, he realises that the ‘Volume of water spills out is equal to the volume of the object (himself) immersed in water’. With this concept, he later analyses the crown by immersing in water and finds out that the volume of water coming out is not equal to that of the volume of complete quantity of gold. It means, some amount of other metal, say silver, has been mixed in it while making the crown. Thus, he resolves the king’s mystery and later becomes one of the greatest scientists of classical age. He is none other than ‘Archimedes’, and the concept he derived is known as ‘Archimedes Principle’
No sweet without sugar:
In 1889, two doctors at the University of Strasbourg, Oscar Minkowski and Josef von Mering, were trying to understand how the pancreas affected digestion. For that, they took the help of man’s own friend – A Dog! They took a healthy dog and removed pancreas from him for the purpose of testing.
A few days later, they noticed that flies were swarming around the dog’s urine – something abnormal, and unexpected. They tested the urine, and found sugar in it. They realised that by removing the pancreas, they had given the dog ‘Diabetes’.
Those two never figured out what the pancreas produced that regulated blood sugar. But during a series of experiments that occurred between 1920 and 1922, researchers at the University of Toronto were able to isolate a pancreatic secretion, and that is called ‘Insulin’.
Their team was awarded the Nobel prize, and within a year, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly was making and selling insulin.
Ray of hope:
In 1895, a German physicist named ‘Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen’ was working with a cathode ray tube in his lab. He was testing whether cathode rays could pass through glass, where he observed a fluorescent glow of crystals on a table near his tube. The air in the tube was evacuated, and when a high voltage was applied, the tube produced a fluorescent glow. Roentgen shielded the tube with heavy black paper, and discovered a green colored fluorescent light generated by a material located a few feet away from the tube.
He soon realised that some significant, and an extremely capable ray is coming out of the tube as it is able to penetrate the heavy paper. He calls his wife and asks to place her hand in front of the ray, which then generates the image of bones in her hand.
Well, roentgen has discovered a sensation in medical history which seem to be benefiting millions of people around the world even today. Being an unknown ray, Roentgen names it as ‘X-Ray’. News of his discovery spread worldwide, and within a year, doctors in Europe and the United States were using X-rays to locate gun shots, bone fractures, kidney stones and swallowed objects. Honors for his work poured in–including the first Nobel Prize in physics in 1901.
Almost in every profession, the strongest motivational factor for putting efforts is the end result. The recognition, the joy and the fame that the end result brings in. One wants to see that as sooner as possible – And that motivates the person to do a good job, and also achieve the end result.
But unfortunately, that’s not the case always with the scientists. Many of the scientists have spent years of time, and even the entire life to research and find out something. It is definitely a chain reaction when it comes to science. One has to do some findings by spending his entire life. Later someone else picks it from where he has left, and continues the journey. It goes on and on. And finally, one day, we get to see the end result. It could be after 10 years, 100 years, or even 1000 years. Who knows! The actual creator of an idea might not even get the final reward, but, but my friends, we all are benefited by the final reward because of his idea.
So what stands out for me between all these excellent inventions is that the selflessness of those scientists who have spent their entire life with the pure intention of helping out the mankind, without expecting anything in return for them. And that’s what has trigged me to take up this article, and that is the reason I dedicate this write-up to all the scientists across the world.