Now reading: Oops… Eureka! Eight accidental discoveries in physics

Take a self-guided tour from quantum to cosmos!

Oops… Eureka! Eight accidental discoveries in physics

A touch of luck sometimes nudges the scientific process in interesting directions.

Scientific progress is usually made through meticulous calculations, experiments, tests, and analysis. Occasionally, however, a happy accident comes in handy.

Here’s a look at eight times the scientific method got a little help from sweet, sweet serendipity.





CMB discovery





Help us crown the all-time greatest physics equation with a March Madness-style showdown for the ages!

/Mar 14, 2022

In the late 19th and early 20th century, a team of scholars at the Harvard College Observatory analyzed nearly half a million  photographs of the stars.  These astronomers discovered the types of stars, created the first modern catalog of stars, and ultimately even discovered what stars are made of. They were all women.

/Feb 08, 2022

The same laws of physics apply to every Olympic athlete. Those who reach the podium have found the perfect equation for their sport.

/Jul 23, 2021