Does pressure produce science?

Isn't pressure part of Physics, which is a part of Science? How then can pressure produce Science?

However, we're talking about psychological pressure - as in a challenge, a deadline or a threat - and not physical pressure. Mental pressure varies - learning environments differ from country to country and culture to culture. The pressure to perform academically, more intrusive in the East, is milder in the West and is overshadowed by an indulgent empowerment of students. How does this affect learning outcomes, how much pressure is right, and how to apply it without losing our humanity? These are not simple questions, but we think that debate is a good way forward.

There is a famous story of learning under pressure from antiquity. It culminates with a man so overtaken by the thrill of scientific discovery that he ran down the road, naked, shouting "Eureka!". Greek for "I Found It!".

The story begins with Hiero II, the King of Syracuse (the original Syracuse in ancient Greece, not upstate New York) commissioning a wreath of gold to be used as a holy object. Upon receiving the commissioned object, he suspected that silver was mixed in with the gold. This would make it unfit to be used as a holy artifact.

Merely weighing the wreath would not help, since it was already weighed and found to be correct. If indeed silver had been used as a mix-in, its volume would be different from a wreath made of pure gold. The King issued an order to find out, but to do so without altering, damaging or melting the artifact in any way

Now that's pressure!

A genius named Archimedes was given this job. Some day as Archimedes prepared his bath, he pondered the challenge, possibly slightly afraid of the consequences of failure. As he entered the water, it rose and overflowed as usual. But this time his heightened senses saw new meaning in this behavior. In a flash of insight, he saw that simply by measuring displaced fluid, he could find the volume of the wreath - then compare it to the volume displaced by pure gold. The result was that Archimedes found the wreath to have an impurity, did his King proud, and became a legend.

Did being in a state of stress help Archimedes formulate the famous principle of buoyancy that we know, love, and take for granted? Was it science born under pressure?

Feel free to reply with similar anecdotes - or the opposite, where people choked under pressure and produced "unscience".

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