Eureka! ... But What Is It?

Why should governments or companies fund open-ended scientific research? Because the history of innovation is filled with accidental discoveries that changed the world. Think about that next time you eat some microwave popcorn

In 1946 Percy Spencer, a Raytheon Corp. self-taught engineer studying radars, tested a vacuum tube called a magnetron, and something unusual happened: a candy bar in his pocket melted. The intrigued scientist placed popcorn kernels near the tube and then an egg, watching in amazement as the kernels popped and the yolk splattered. Spencer realized that exposure to low-density microwave...

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