Science experiments come at no cheap cost. The United States alone spends big bucks on research and development annually—in the hundreds of billions, according to National Science Foundation reports. Some of them will be basic research projects—driven by the curiosity of an individual scientist or an organization, perhaps part of research for post-graduate qualifications, or a pet project. Others will be more practical, perhaps driven by existing shortcomings in some process, equipment, or medication.
But a few will be something truly, truly remarkable, like the experiments of Rosalind Franklin, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charles Darwin. Every once in a while, an experiment comes along that grabs the attention and imagination of the scientific community and laypeople alike, like The Large Hadron Collider, for example. These are experiments that fundamentally change our understanding of natural order, the world we live in, and/or ourselves. Some are incredibly involved and complex, others are striking in their grace and simplicity. We’ve gathered some of the most sublime science experiments ever undertaken together for you here.