Suzie Sheehy -- an accelerator physicist, delivers a passionate TED talk on research that highlights the importance of being curious. Her keynote is accompanied by a small demo of cathode rays. The speaker briefly explains what they are and how they were discovered. Suzie Sheehy shares that this phenomenon was extensively explored by J.J. Thompson who was endlessly curious about it. In his experiments, he used magnets and electricity to manipulate the behavior of the rays. This led the scientists to a groundbreaking discovery that would change the world of science and technology forever. He found that the rays were composed of particles with a negative charge and ones that were 2,000 times lighter than the smallest thing they knew at that time -- the hydrogen atom. J.J. Thompson had stumbled upon the electron. Thus, his curiosity allowed him to truly gain a deeper understanding of the world, as well as contribute to the field of science. The speaker is immensely excited as "curiosity-driven research and technology with real-world applications" intersect at her occupation.
Sheehy's talk on research goes on to briefly explain the historical emergence of X-Ray machines, Paul Dirac's concept of the antimatter, as well as the first ever particle accelerator. These inventions were all made possible thanks to J.J. Thompson's and other investors' curiosity.
The talk on research truly highlights how important passion is in the quest for knowledge. Moreover, it goes to show how accidental groundbreaking discoveries can fuel the tech revolution of today. Suzie Sheehy's keynote proves to be highly informative, as well as largely inspirational.