As the world evolves, more and more scientists take the stage and become famous for their work. Be it in mathematics, physics, chemistry, astronomy or any other science, evolution is what brought us where we are today. As centuries pass and events are etched in history, some facts tend to be distorted or even changed completely. Discover three legends about famous scientists that some could have sworn were true.
1. “And yet it moves.”
Everyone knows this famous phrase. It was attributed to Galileo Galilei, the famous astronomer who supported the theory, later proven true, that the Earth revolves around the Sun. Unfortunately, his controversial theories and his difficult relationship with the Church led to his works being burned. He was put under house arrest after he was forced to recant his claims. It is believed that, as he signed the renouncement of his theories, he muttered the above mentioned phrase.
It appears that the fact is not true. The phrase appeared for the first time, a hundred years after Galileo’s death and had no historical background to claim it. However, the story became so popular it is now believed to be a historical truth.
2. Alfred Nobel hated mathematicians
Alfred Nobel is famous for creating dynamite, which he hoped would be a safe mining material and inventing the prize which bears his name. It is believed that Nobel wanted the prize to be awarded to “physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and peace,” thus excluding mathematics. The legend says this was because a mathematician had an affair with his wife. We have no way of knowing why this famous scientist had something against mathematicians, but the reason above was certainly not it. Alfred Nobel was never married!
3. Benjamin Franklin flied a kite
Last on our short list of famous scientists is Benjamin Franklin. We’ve all heard the story in which the scientists went out in a thunderstorm. It is said that he held a kite that was attached to a key. In turn, that key was attached to a jar. When lightning struck the kite, electricity traveled into the jar and proved Franklin’s theory that lightning was made of electricity.
Is this true? Some say yes, others say no. For some, Franklin never provided enough information about his experiment in order to back it up. It is unknown when the experiment took place, what type of string was used and how long it was. Some historians believe that the scientist may have made the whole thing up.
History is full of legends that have never been proven true. Have you stumbled across such legends about famous scientists?
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