The world of physics is an interesting place, probably beyond the realm of understanding of many folks. But it is made even more so by the shenanigans of its famous contributors. These physicists were not just geniuses but also got up to some crazy hijinks that may or may not have led to some of their great discoveries.
Nikola Tesla (1856 – 1943)
Without a dime in his pocket but with an intense urge for inventing, Nikola found the shores of America where he met and started working for Thomas Edison. The two had a common interest in electricity but possessed vastly different styles of work.
So when Tesla told Edison that he could improve operations of his company by using ‘alternating current’ instead of ‘direct current’ which it was then running on, Edison was unconvinced but offered a $50,000 reward if he could produce a real invention.
Which Tesla did within a few months. But when he asked for his reward he was rebuked by Edison, who claimed that the reward was just ‘American humour that Tesla didn’t understand’.
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
The famous physicist had quite a rebellious nature. This once led to one of his seventh-grade teacher telling him he would never amount to much in life -Err…too judgemental too soon!
In another incident in 1893, when his family was forced to move to Italy, Einstein was stuck in Munich to complete his studies. But he really wanted to go. And the genius did have his way by getting a doctor to give the authorities a note stating he was suffering from ‘neurasthenic exhaustion’!
Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642)
Despite his various contributions to the field, the telescope was not one of his inventions. It was, in fact, a Dutch invention that never received a patent. And when Galileo heard about it, he set about making his own telescope with significantly improved design despite never having seen the original.
However, the discoveries he made with the device propelled him to fame and he went on to establish that the Moon’s surface was not really smooth and that the planets revolved around the Sun. The latter got him in trouble with the Catholic Church and he was sentenced to life imprisonment!
Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
Born the same year as the one in which Galileo passed away, Newton was not expected to survive due to a premature birth. He defied the odds and went on to formulate the famous Newton’s laws of motion (inertia).
We’ve all heard about the apple that fell on his head and tripped the ‘Gravity’ switch, right? Turns out it wasn’t actually so dramatic. He just happened to witness an apple falling from his window which gave him the idea about universal gravitational forces.
And there are more where those came from. So, if you are in a physics tuition group or feel like the people may be too bored in an A level physics tuition or H2 physics tuition class, these little anecdotes will surely brighten them up.