Notices
Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Epiphany Stories

  1. #1 Epiphany Stories 
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2
    Dear Forum,

    I'm looking for some great first hand experiences (through letters, books, etc.) of scientists in history that describe their personal epiphanal moment to show to my class. Any suggestions?

    Regards,

    James


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2 Re: Epiphany Stories 
    . DrRocket's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    5,486
    Quote Originally Posted by renard777
    Dear Forum,

    I'm looking for some great first hand experiences (through letters, books, etc.) of scientists in history that describe their personal epiphanal moment to show to my class. Any suggestions?

    Regards,

    James
    Archimedes --- Eureka !

    The last 5 minutes of any episode of House.

    Beyond that I have not seen anythng in writing. Research papers tend to obscure the discovery process and only present final results, well polished with all traces of dead end paths obliterated.

    Once upon a time, and maybe still, there was the myth and the facade of being "effortlessy deep". It is all hogwash. Even the very best and most brilliant researchers work very hard to produce their results. An "epiphany" is the result of a lot of sweat. I don't know of anyone who can really describe the process, except that it ia lot like solving a "diabolical" Sudoku, only not so trivial.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    New Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    2
    Dear DrRocket,

    Thank you for the response.

    I understand that a lot of work comes before the moment. I'm not as interested in the process as much as a description of the moment, however it arrives, what kind of effect it had on whomever had it.

    I can understand them being obscured in the literature, though, and perhaps that's why I've had so much trouble finding them. I'm sure there's something out there, though, it's hard for me to believe that in a few hundred years there hasn't been any documentation of such occurrences, which is why I was hoping someone around here may have stumbled across one at some point! And perhaps a little more recent than Archimedes.

    Thanks again,

    James
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Forum Professor sunshinewarrior's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    London
    Posts
    1,525
    Common stories, some alas apocryphal, that should be easy to find include:

    Newton and his apple (apparently he tells the apple story, but not in quite the way we lean in school)

    Kekule's dream of the benzene ring as a snake eating its tail (and he definitely recorded this)

    Einstein imagining riding on a beam of light (Special Relativity the result)

    What about Fleming and the petri-dish of penicillin?

    Crick and Watson certainly wrote about (I can't remember which) the coming together of their crystallography etc and the notion of the double-helix.

    These are probably old hat for you, but just in case....
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    2,590
    Perhaps Hubble's realization that there are other galaxies located outside of the Milky Way could be be considered an epiphany.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •