General Question

longtresses's avatar

Name great thinkers/inventors/etc who had "breakthrough" during movements?

Asked by longtresses (1319 points ) June 12th, 2011

Which thinkers, inventors, creators, etc. had their eureka moments—when they were struck by breakthroughs—while they were engaged in some kind of movement?

Were they walking in the woods?
Were they showering?
Were they cooking?

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12 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

The original “Eureka!” man—Archimedes—was stepping into a bath.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

It’s late, and I don’t wish to do any more googling and searching than I’ve just done. However, I believe that Einstein had his breakthrough on the theory of relativity when he saw 2 street cars pass each other in opposite directions.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Isaac Newton: Newton himself often told the story that he was inspired to formulate his theory of gravitation by watching the fall of an apple from a tree. Source

Hibernate's avatar

I believe that cooking and showering are not movements .. one only moves his arms and bend a bit.

And I believe the round wheel was invented while °trying° to move after a square one ^^

fundevogel's avatar

Doc Brown first conceptualized the flux capacitor when he slipped and fell off a toilet. I think he had been standing on it. The details are fuzzy.

thorninmud's avatar

The French mathematician Henri Poincaré had a pivotal insight into a thorny mathematical problem at the moment he stepped onto a bus:

“I entered an omnibus to go to some place or other. At that moment when I put my foot on the step the idea came to me, without anything in my former thoughts seeming to have paved the way for it, that the transformations I had used to define the Fuchsian functions were identical with non-Euclidean geometry.”

LostInParadise's avatar

The mathematician William Hamilton came up with the idea for quaternions while walking with his wife. He was so excited by his discovery that he wrote the equations as graffiti on a bridge that they passed. Hamilton biography , about half way down or do a search for “quaternion”

Einstein was asked by a reporter where his best ideas came from, and Einstein answered, “while shaving.”

mazingerz88's avatar

There was also a story on Einstein coming up with a theory on space time continuum/ time travel while on a bus ride away from the city clock tower. He figured as he goes farther away from the clock, time slows down for him in relation to the movement of that clock.

filmfann's avatar

@fundevogel While Doc Brown was standing on a toilet, I don’t think he was having a movement. (which is what I thought this question was refering to)
Mahatma Gandhi had just been physically removed from a train when he came up with his idea of passive resistance.

phaedryx's avatar

“I was standing on the edge of my toilet hanging a clock, the porcelain was wet, I slipped, hit my head on the sink, and when I came to I had a revelation! A vision! A picture in my head! A picture of this! This is what makes time travel possible: the flux capacitor!”

—Doctor Emmett Brown

krrazypassions's avatar

I will be skydiving when I discover the simple technique for time travel…

fundevogel's avatar

@filmfann “While Doc Brown was standing on a toilet, I don’t think he was having a movement. (which is what I thought this question was refering to)”

Me too! That’s what I want to know. What breakthroughs were made during movements?

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