The most strange scientific experiments

In order for natural science to acquire all its knowledge, a lot of experiments had to be done, some of which turned out to be rather strange. Some did not bring any result, and others led to the emergence of whole new scientific branches. There are even experiments that began a long time ago, but are not over yet. Often the experiments did not end even with the death of the scientist himself.

Jumping Newton.

When the future scientist was still a small boy, he grew up sickly and sickly. When everyone was playing in the open air, Isaac usually lost to his peers. One day, on September 3, 1658, when, when Newton was 15 years old, strong winds were waving over England. People then said that the devil himself came for the soul of Oliver Cromwell, the actual ruler of the country at that time. On this day he died. Despite the bad weather in Grantham, the teenagers together with Isaac decided to compete in long jumps. Newton noticed that it is better to jump in the wind than against him and with the help of such a trick could defeat his friends. This result was so encouraging to the teenager that he decided to analyze it. Newton began to write down – how far you can jump in the wind, how many – against, and how far – without any wind at all. Thus, the boy was able to calculate the strength of the wind, expressed in feet. Even when Newton already became a famous scientist, he noted the importance of his jumps, which became his first experiments. Subsequently, the scientist realized himself mostly in physics, but experiments with buckles relate to meteorology.

Concert on the rails.

History of science also knew the reverse cases, when the meteorologist proved the correctness of the physical hypothesis. In 1842 the Austrian physicist Christian Dopler put forward and theoretically proved the idea that the frequency of light and sound oscillations should vary for the observer, depending on whether the light source or sound moves from the observer or to him. After 3 years of Holland, meteorologist Christopher Beyes-Ballot decided to practically test this hypothesis. To do this, he hired a locomotive with a freight car, planted two trumpeters there and asked them to keep a note of salt constantly. Two musicians were needed to ensure that the sound was permanent. While one of them was gaining air, the other continued to pull a note. On the platform of the half-station between Amsterdam and Utrecht, the scientist asked to stand up several people with the perfect musical ear. Past them, the locomotive dragged the platform with trumpets at different speeds. In this case, Beyce-Ballot noted which note is heard in this or that case. Then the observers and trumpeters exchanged seats, now they were playing on the platform. As a result of two-day experiments it became clear that Dopler was right. Base-Ballot became famous for the fact that later he founded the first meteorological service in the country. He also formulated a law, named after him, and became a foreign correspondent member of the Petersburg Academy of Sciences.

Science behind tea drinking.

One of the founders of biometrics, a mathematical science for processing the results of biological experiments, was the English botanist Robert Fisher. From 1910 to 1914, she worked at one agrobiological station near London. Then the whole team consisted of some men, but once a woman was accepted for work, whose specialization was algae. Especially for her sake it was decided to spend in the common room of tea drinking, fayf-o-cloaks. The first meeting gave rise to a traditional dispute in England – what is better, add milk to tea, or pour tea in a mug of milk? Skeptics argued that there is no difference if the proportions are the same. But they did not agree with Muriel Bristol, a new employee. The woman claimed that she could easily distinguish “wrong” tea. The correct way was also the aristocratic method of adding milk to tea. The dispute provoked biologists – in the next room, with the help of a local chemist, several cups of tea were mixed, mixed in various ways.Lady Muriel easily proved her delicate taste – the participants in the tea party recalled later that she had correctly determined all the cups. Over the course of the experiment, Fischer thought, who asked questions-how often should the experience be repeated so that the result could be considered reliable? After all, if there were only two cups, it was possible to guess the method of preparation accidentally, with a high probability. Yes, and in the case of three to four cups, the randomness remained high. Such reflections became the basis of the classic book “Statistical Methods for Scientists”, which Fisher published in 1925. The methods he proposed are used in biology and medicine to this day. It is curious, but the tradition of adding milk to tea, and not vice versa, present in the highest English light, is associated with a physical phenomenon. Then the grandees and rich men always drank tea from porcelain, which could simply burst if it was first poured cold milk, and then add a hot drink. Simple Englishmen did not ask this question, they drank tea from tin or faience mugs, which did not threaten anything.

Tame Mowgli.

In 1931, an unusual experiment was conducted by a family of American biologists. Winthrop and Liella Kellogg were very saddened by the fate of small children growing up among wild animals. The scientists decided to conduct a bold experiment. And what if we simulate the opposite situation, try to raise a baby monkey in a human family with a peer? Will the animal become closer to man? At first the scientists wanted to go with their young son to Sumatra, where they could find an appropriate sample for the experiment among the orangutans. However, it turned out that it would be too expensive. As a result, a small female chimpanzee was singled out by the Yale Center for the Study of Humanoid Monkeys. The monkey was called Gua, at the time of the beginning of the experiments she was seven months old, and the boy – 10. The couple knew that this experience was conducted 20 years ago. Then the Russian researcher Nadia Ladygina tried to raise a one-year-old chimpanzee kid as they bring up the children of a man. However, three years of experiments did not yield results. However, then in the experiments did not participate children, Kelloggs believed that living together with their son can give different results. In addition, a one-year-old age may not have been suitable for re-education. As a result, Gua was accepted into the family and began to be brought up as a child, along with Donald. Kids liked each other and quickly became friends, becoming inseparable. The experimenters wrote down everything – the boy likes perfume, the monkey does not. Experiments were carried out which were to reveal who would learn to use a stick to extract a biscuit suspended on a string. Children were blindfolded and called by name, trying to determine who would better determine the source of the sound. Surprisingly, in these tests, Gua won. But when the boy was given a pencil and paper, he began to draw something, but the monkey at all could not understand what to do with a pencil. As a result, all attempts to make a monkey close to a man in the course of the same upbringing turned out to be unsuccessful. Let Gua and began to walk more often on two legs, even learned to eat with a spoon and began to understand the words a little, but she was simply lost when the people she knew changed. The animal never learned to pronounce at least one word – “dad”. Even to master the simplest game, like “ladushke” she could not, unlike the boy. When it turned out that to his one and a half years and Donald himself mastered only three words, the parents hastily interrupted the experiment. In addition, the boy expressed his desire to eat the typical sound of monkeys, like barking. Kelloggs were frightened that the boy would eventually get on all fours and not be able to master the human language at all. The chimpanzee Gua was sent back to the nursery.

Dalton’s eyes.

This experiment is unusual in that it was conducted after the death of the experimenter himself. Many people know the English scientist John Dalton (1766-1844).He is remembered by his chemical and physical discoveries, and also by the fact that he was first described by an inherent lack of vision. This is a violation of color recognition and was named in his honor. Dalton himself for the time being did not pay attention to this his shortcoming. But in 1790 the scientist started botany, and suddenly it turned out that it was difficult for him to work with botanical books and pictures. When the text referred to white or yellow flowers, Dalton understood what was being said. But when it came to red or pink flowers, Dalton, they seemed indistinguishable from blue. In the end, when he defined the plant according to his description of the book, the scientist even asked other people what color it was – pink or blue. Others perceived this behavior of a scientist as a joke. He was understood only by his brother, who had the same hereditary deviation. Dalton himself compared his color perception with the way his friends and acquaintances see the reality. The scientist came to the conclusion that in his eyes there was some kind of blue filter. Therefore, for the sake of science, Dalton bequeathed, after his death, to extract his eyes and check whether the gelatinous mass that fills the eyeball-the vitreous body-is colored in blue. The will was exactly performed by the laboratory technicians. However, nothing unusual was found in the eyes of the scientist. Then it was suggested that Dalton had disturbances in the work of the optic nerves. As a result, Dalton’s eyes were preserved in a bank with alcohol in the Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. Not so long ago, in 1995, geneticists were able to investigate the CSN of a scientist, separating it from the retina. As expected, the genes of color blindness were discovered. But in addition to this experience with sight is worth noting and another couple of strange. So, the already mentioned Isaac Newton cut out a thin bent probe from ivory. Then the scientist ran it into his eye and pressed on the back of the eyeball. At the same time, the scientist saw circles and colored flashes, thus making the conclusion that vision is possible due to pressure of light on the retina. In 1928, Englishman John Baird, who became one of the pioneers of television, tried to use the human eye as a transmitting camera. But this experience was also unsuccessful.

Is the Earth exactly like a ball?

Although geography is not an experimental science, there were experiments sometimes. One of them is associated with the name of Alfred Russell Wallace, a prominent English biologist-evolutionist, Darwin’s companion, a fighter against pseudoscience and superstition. One day in January 1870 Wallace in a scientific publication read an announcement in which a certain person was obligated to pay 500 pounds to someone who would clearly demonstrate the spherical shape of the Earth. It was required to demonstrate in a way that is understandable to every person, a convex river, a lake or a road. The initiator of the dispute was a John Hamden, who shortly before issued an unusual book, in which he argued that our planet is really a flat disk. Wallace decided to participate in the bet. In order to prove the roundness of the Earth, a straight section of the canal was chosen six miles long. Two bridges are located at the beginning and the end of this section. On one of them, the scientist strictly horizontally arranged a powerful 50-fold telescope with the threads of the visor in the eyepiece. In the middle of the distance at a distance of 3 miles from each bridge was a tall tower with a black circle and a hole in it. On the other bridge there is a board with a horizontal black stripe. At the same time, the telescope, the black circle and the strip were located at the same height above the water. It was logical to assume that in the case of a flat Earth, as well as the water in the channel, the black bar was to fall into the hole of the black circle. But in the case of the convex surface of the planet, the black circle should have appeared above the band. In the end, it all happened. At the same time, the size of the divergence coincided well with the calculated ones, which were derived taking into account the already known radius of the Earth.But Hamden did not dare take part in the experiment, sending his secretary. And he stubbornly assured the audience that the tags are on the same level. And some minor discrepancies, if any, are associated with distortions in the telescope lenses. But Wallace was not going to give up, he sued. Hearings lasted for several years, as a result of which the authorities nevertheless obliged Hamden to pay the promised 500 pounds. Although Wallace received the award, he spent more money on court costs as a result.

The longest experiments.

It turns out that some experiments have been conducted for dozens of years! One of the longest experiments was started 130 years ago, it has not been completed so far. Began the experience of the American botanist Beal back in 1879. He buried in the ground 20 bottles with the seeds of the most popular weeds. Since then, periodically, first every 5, then 10, and then 20 years, scientists get a bottle out of the ground, checking the seeds for germination. It turned out that some of the most resistant weeds grow up to now. The next bottle will be lifted in 2020. And the longest physical experiment was started at the University of Australian Brisbane by Professor Thomas Parnell. In 1927, he placed on a tripod a glass funnel and put in it a hard resin – var. It is by its molecular properties a liquid, although very viscous. After that, Parnell heated the funnel, slightly melting the var, letting it flow into the tip of the funnel. In 1938, the first drop fell into a glass, the next one had to wait 9 years. In 1948, the professor died, and the pupils continued to watch the funnel. Since then, the drops have fallen in 1954, 1962, 1970, 1979, 1988 and 2000. Recently, the frequency of falling drops has slowed down, which is due to the installation of an air conditioner in the laboratory and cooler air. Curiously, but for all time the drop never fell in the presence of a person. Not surprisingly, before the funnel in 2000, a webcam was mounted to broadcast the image on the Internet. But even here, at the time of the fall of the eighth, and the last drop today, the camera suddenly refused. It should be noted that the experience is far from its completion, because the var is a hundred million times more viscous than water.

Another biosphere.

In their attempt to understand the truth, scientists sometimes go on large-scale experiments. One of them envisaged the creation of an operational model of the entire terrestrial biosphere. In 1985, a union of two hundred American scientists and engineers was created that decided to build a huge glass building in the desert of Sonora, in Arizona, with samples of the earthly living and plant world. The researchers wanted to hermetically isolate the structure from any intake of substances from outside, as well as energy sources. An exception was made for sunlight. This aquarium was planned for 2 years to settle a team of eight volunteer participants who received the title of bionauts. The experiment was to help to study the connections existing in the natural world, and also to check whether people can coexist for a long time in an enclosed space. These observations would be very important for space flights. Oxygen here was to be allocated by plants, and water – to be provided by a natural cycle and biological self-purification. Food would be given to plants and animals. The entire interior of the 1.3 hectare complex was divided into three zones. In the first there are samples of the five major ecosystems of the planet – a site of tropical forest, “ocean” in the form of a salt water basin, a desert, a savannah through which a river flowed, and a swamp. In accordance with each site there were settled specially selected biologists representatives of flora and fauna. The second part of the territory was given to life support systems. It housed 0.25 hectares for the cultivation of 139 species of edible plants, including tropical fruits, swimming pools, for growing fish. Tilapia was chosen as the least capricious, delicious and fast growing species. There was also a place for a compartment that cleans wastewater.The third zone was given to residential compartments. Each bionavtu was allocated 33 square meters, and the dining room and living room were shared. For computers and night lighting, electricity was generated by solar panels. The experiment was launched in September 1991. Eight people were immured in a glass greenhouse. But literally immediately there were problems. The weather at that time was cloudy, as a result of photosynthesis flowed unexpectedly slowly. In the soil, bacteria that absorbed oxygen quickly multiplied, as a result, for 16 months its content decreased from the usual 21% to the critical 14%. In this situation, we had to add oxygen from outside, using cylinders. The estimated yield of edible plants also did not take place, as a result, as early as November, emergency supplies of food had to be resorted to. The participants of the experiment were constantly starving, the average weight loss in the two years of the experiments was 13%. Insects-pollinators, specially populated, quickly died out, like 15-30% of other species. But cockroaches quickly and abundantly multiplied, although in the biosphere they were originally populated by no one. As a result, the bionavtins could hardly sit in the building for two years, but the experiment as a whole was unsuccessful. But scientists once again realized how subtle and vulnerable are the living mechanisms that provide our existence. The giant structure is still used today, where individual experiments with animals and plants are carried out.

Burning a diamond.

In our time, experiments are becoming more expensive and require complex and bulky machines. But a couple of centuries ago it was a novelty, and curious onlookers went to look at the experiences of the great chemist Antoine Lavoisier. Then crowds of people gathered in the open air in the gardens near the Louvre. The scientist publicly investigated how different substances behave at high temperatures. For this, a giant installation with two lenses collecting sunlight was built. Even today, to produce a huge collective lens with a diameter of 130 centimeters is quite difficult, what can we say about 1772. However, opticians elegantly resolved this problem. They created two round concave glasses, soldered them, first pouring in between them 130 liters of alcohol. As a result, the thickness of the lens in the widest, central part of it was 16 centimeters. Collect a more powerful beam of rays helped by a second lens. It was half as small and it could be cooked in a traditional way – by polishing glass castings. All this design was installed on a large platform. To focus the sun on the lens, a whole system of levers, wheels and cogs was developed. Participants in the experiment put on their smoked glasses. In the focus of lenses Lavoisier placed various minerals and metals. The chemist tried to heat zinc and tin, quartz and sandstone, coal, platinum, gold and even diamond. The scientist noted that if a glass vessel is sealed, creating a vacuum there, then the diamond there will become charred when heated, whereas in the sun it just completely burns up, disappearing. Such grandiose experiments cost thousands of gold.

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