serendipity

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ser·en·dip·i·ty

(ser'en-dip'i-tē),
A knack for discovery involving a combination of accident and wisdom while pursuing something else; in science, finding one thing while looking for something else, as in Fleming's discovery of penicillin.
[coined by Horace Walpole and relates to The Three Princes of Serendip, fr. alternate spelling of Serendib, ancient name for Sri Lanka]

serendipity

[ser′əndip′itē]
Etymology: Serendip, author Horace Walpole's mythic land of pleasant surprises
the act of accidental discovery. A number of important medications have been created through serendipity, such as the discovery of antidepressant activity in iproniazid, which was originally developed to treat tuberculosis.

ser·en·dip·i·ty

(ser'en-dip'i-tē)
A knack for discovery involving a combination of accident and wisdom while pursuing something else; in science, finding one thing while looking for something else.

ser·en·dip·i·ty

(ser'en-dip'i-tē)
A knack for discovery involving combined accident and wisdom while pursuing something else.

serendipity

happy finding of an unexpected object or solution while searching for something else.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Even within the field of chemistry there are various types of accidental discoveries.
Several Nobel Prize-winning accidental discoveries occurred because of impurities in one of the starting materials (A or B) or in a reaction vessel.
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He encouraged the chemists in the audience to share any of their so-called "mistakes" with the RCMP who might find unexpected way, to utilize the accidental discoveries.
Science Channel, which is also available as Science Channel HD, immerses viewers in the incredible spectrum of science, from string theory and futuristic cities to accidental discoveries and outrageous inventions.