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Serendipity : accidental discoveries in science

Author: Royston M Roberts
Publisher: New York : Wiley, ©1989.
Series: Wiley science editions.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Many of the things discovered by accident are important in our everyday lives: Teflon, Velcro, nylon, x-rays, penicillin, safety glass, sugar substitutes, and polyethylene and other plastics. And we owe a debt to accident for some of our deepest scientific knowledge, including Newton's theory of gravitation, the Big Bang theory of Creation, and the discovery of DNA. Even the Rosetta Stone, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Roberts, Royston M.
Serendipity.
New York : Wiley, c1989
(OCoLC)622451845
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Royston M Roberts
ISBN: 0471506583 9780471506584 0471602035 9780471602033
OCLC Number: 18834876
Notes: Includes indexes.
Description: xvii, 270 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: Archimedes--the first streaker --
Columbus discovers a new world --
A sick Indian discovers Quinine --
Sir Isaac Newton, the apple, and the law of gravitation --
The electric battery and electromagnetism--from a grog's leg and a compass --
Vaccination--Edward Jenner, a milkmaid, and smallpox --
Discoveries of chemical elements --
Nitrous oxide and ether as anesthetics --
Wöhler's synthesis of urea--organic chemistry begins to make sense --
Daguerre and the invention of photography --
Rubber--natural and unnatural --
Pasteur--"left-handed" and "right-handed" molecules make a difference --
Synthetic dyes and pigments --
Kekulé: molecular architecture from dreams --
Nobel: the man, the discoveries, and the prizes --
Celluloid and rayon--artificial ivory and silk --
Friedel and Crafts--a laboratory accident spawns new industrial chemistry --
How to succeed in archaeology without really trying --
Some astronomical serendipities --
Accidental medical discoveries --
X rays, radioactivity, and nuclear fission --
Substitute sugar: how sweet it is--and non-fattening --
Safety glass --
Antibiotics: penicillin, sulfa drugs, and magainins --
Nylon: cold-drawing does the trick --
Polyethylene: thanks to leaky and dirty equipment --
Teflon: out of the atom bomb and into the frying pan --
Gasoline technology: flowery theories and gas to gasoline --
Drugs accidentally found good for something else --
Drugs from sewage and dirt --
Brown and Wittig: boron and phosphorus in organic synthesis --
Polycarbonates: tough stuff --
Velcro and other gifts of serendipity to modern living --
DNA: the coil of life --
Conceptions, misconceptions, and accidents in organic synthesis --
Chemical crowns and crypts --
How accidents become discoveries.
Series Title: Wiley science editions.
Responsibility: Royston M. Roberts.
More information:

Abstract:

Many of the things discovered by accident are important in our everyday lives: Teflon, Velcro, nylon, x-rays, penicillin, safety glass, sugar substitutes, and polyethylene and other plastics. And we owe a debt to accident for some of our deepest scientific knowledge, including Newton's theory of gravitation, the Big Bang theory of Creation, and the discovery of DNA. Even the Rosetta Stone, the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the ruins of Pompeii came to light through chance. This book tells the fascinating stories of these and other discoveries and reveals how the inquisitive human mind turns accident into discovery. Written for the layman, yet scientifically accurate, this illuminating collection of anecdotes portrays invention and discovery as quintessentially human acts, due in part to curiosity, perserverance, and luck.

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