Marie Curie Radioactivity
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15 Less known Facts About Famous Inventors That You Don’t Know!

Everyday life is constantly changing and improving, thanks to the ingenious ideas of famous inventors of past and present. The world we live in today would have been a different place if it weren’t for the amazing discoveries of these scientists. These Scientists have pushed the world of science forward, allowing the human race to answer impossible questions and mysteries, and opening the door to new fields of research and discovery. There are lots of less known facts about these inventors you might not be aware of and you should know. Following is a list of 15 less known facts inventors.


1. Isaac Newton described the movement of water from roots to leaves in his college notes in 1660 before it was first widely proposed in 1895.

Isaac Newton Transpiration Notes
Image courtesy: THE CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY(taken from)

The process of water moving from the roots to the leaves (transpiration) was first widely proposed in 1895 and similar process was penned by Isaac Newton during his undergraduate years in 1660’s. This has been assessed by Professor David Beerling (University of Sheffield), and published in the journal “Nature Plants”. Beerling thinks that Newton’s use of the word “pores” might actually refer to water-conducting tissues inside stems, rather than the underside of leaves. Beerling writes “We have no idea how long Newton spent thinking about the workings of plants or what prompted these thoughts”. (source)

2. Thomas Edison electrocuted an elephant in 1903 to demonstrate the dangers of Alternating Current.

In January 1903, Thomas Edison proved the dangers of alternating current by electrocuting an elephant named Topsy at Luna Park Zoo on Coney Island. To demonstrate that his DC system was better and “safer,” Edison noted that AC had a lethal potential and could be used to electrocute. Topsy was fed carrots laced with cyanide and then electrocuted with 6,000-volts AC. Topsy’s execution was a public spectacle, approximately 1,500 people attended and Edison even filmed the event. Wooden sandals with copper electrodes were attached to Topsy’s feet and a copper wire run to Edison’s electric light plant. (source)


3. Stephen Hawking can only speak one word per minute. He does this by twitching his cheek to control a cursor on a screen. Intel hopes to boost Stephen Hawking’s speech to ten words per minute.

Stephen Hawking
Image source

Stephen Hawking has continued to work throughout his disease, publishing books such as 2010’s “The Grand Design”. He can only speak one word per minute. He does this by twitching his cheek to control a cursor on screen. Despite his influential body of work, Hawking hasn’t yet been awarded the Nobel Prize. Intel has built a new character-driven interface that can bring Hawking’s speech up to five or even ten words per minute. (source)

4. James Watson, who discovered the helical structure of DNA, believes that stupidity is a disease and stupid people should be “cured”, people from Africa are inherently less intelligent, and that he would never hire a fat person.

James Watson and Francis Crick
Image source: imgur

James Watson is one of the scientists who discovered the helical structure of DNA. He has often expressed provoking concepts and disparaging opinions of others within the realm of genetic research. He believes that stupidity is a disease and stupid people should be “cured”, and he says that people from Africa are inherently less intelligent and that he would never hire a fat person due to issue of obesity. The wording on the DNA sculpture was donated by Watson. (source)

5. Marie Curie was a pioneer in the study of radiation and her research papers are still radioactive. To access them you must need protective clothing and must sign a waiver of liability.

Marie Curie Radioactivity
Image source

Marie Curie discovered the elements polonium and radium. Her papers, furniture, even cookbooks – are still radioactive. To open the lead-lined boxes containing her manuscripts, you must sign a waiver of liability and wear protective clothes. Marie decided to research on uranium rays discovered by Henri Becquerel as a possible field of research for her thesis. She used an innovative technique to investigate samples. Further radioactivity phenomenon demonstrated the atoms, smallest possible constituent of matter which could originate from even smaller particles. It was their first discovery of the new science of particle physics. She is the only person who has ever won Nobel Prizes in both physics and chemistry. (source)


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