Great scientists are great because of their discoveries that changed the world; however, they were not so much different from us. When Richard Feynman was a little boy, he was pulling a wagon with a ball in it. He saw the ball rolled back, so he asked his father the question of “why it did?”. Feynman’s father answered: “Inertia.” Then Feynman asked again: “What is inertia?” This was the question that led Richard Feynman to attend M.I.T. and Princeton, then finally became a Nobel Prize winning physicist with Feynman diagrams describing the movements of subatomic particles. Feynman credits that question for all of his achievements. Eratosthenes was a librarian back in 200 B.C.; however, he was credited as one of the most influential scientists for his calculation of the Earth’s circumference. How did he calculate such an amazing measurement? It was a fact back then that the earth is a sphere; however, nobody knew how big it was until Eratosthenes’ calculation. One day during his duty at the Great Library, he received a letter about a known fact that the shadow of this stick is the same as the shadow of a person’s head. So Eratosthenes realized that if he calculates the distance between that person’s head and the stick along with the angle of the shadow off the stick, he could come up with the circumference of the earth. It is a sphere therefore it has 360 degrees, and the angle of the shadow was approximately 7.2 degrees. So all he needed to do was 360 degrees divided by 7.2 degrees, which is around 50. Then he multiplied the distance between those two points and 50, which gave him the circumference of the earth. Eratosthenes did not calculate with the knowledge that nobody knew, but with a known fact 2200 years ago without any advanced technology. Furthermore, Hippolyte Fizeau calculated the speed of light with the simplest tool, a tooth wheel. His final calculation was only approximately two percent off from the actual value, and he did it in 1849 once again without any advanced technology.
After learning and going over these three great scientists, it is lucid that they were not so much different from us. They discovered all this great physical principles not because of their super advanced technology, but with their eyes, brains, and their curiosities. They thought harder and had more curiosity than we did. I truly believed that they were amazingly ingenious; however, if we look at the things around us with more details and curiosity like they did, we could be great. This video also depicted a warning that- technology is like a double-edged sword, which benefits and hurts us at the same time.
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