Isaac Newton ns2Isaac Newton (1642-1727)Johann Goethe nsJohann Goethe (1749-1832) William Rankine nsWilliam Rankine (1820-1872)
Three hiatus effect geniuses: Newton (2-yrs), Goethe (1-yr), and Rankine (6-yrs), each of whom entered a period of "forced" convalescence prior to their rise to genius-stature fame; two of which, Newton and Goethe, found the idea seeds of their greatest contributions in those convalescence windows.
In genius studies, genius hiatus effect, convalescence effect, or Bueller effect, refers to the commonality among a significant number of path or groundbreaking breaking geniuses of the germination of seeds or inceptions of new, original, novel and or revolutionary theory developments, conceived, in preliminary or trajectory outline, during times of convalescence or hiatus—gaps or breaks in the interruption of space, time or continuity—reoccurring examples being: prolonged illnesses followed by periods of recovery, school closures owing to outbreaks, academic interruptions or moves due to war and or other various unusual circumstances, in which a slowed down prolonged stepping out of time, out of the normal fast paced pressurized and structured flow of normal existence occurs.

The term "Bueller effect", based on the following well-known film quote, seems to, in some sense, capture the essence of this forced hiatus phenomena:

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
— Ferris (1986), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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The prolific output of Arabic polymath Alhazen, particularly on optics and the nature of light, has been attributed to the genius hiatus effect, namely, according to legend, owing to the caliph’s anger over his supposed inability to regulate the flow of the Nile, he feigned madness and was put under house arrest from 1011 to 1021, during which time he wrote his influential seven-volume Book of Optics, along with treatises on astronomy, geometry, number theory, and natural philosopy.

English physicist Isaac Newton’s forced private studies at his home in Woolsthorpe, following the August 1665 Cambridge University temporarily closing as a precaution against the Great Plague, over the subsequent two years saw the development of his theories on calculus, optics, and the law of gravitation, the seeds of what would become his greatest work.

German polyintellect Johann Goethe’s age 18-19 forced period of convalescence at home in bed (1768-1769) is where he began his studies in chemistry, particularly the work of Paracelsus (1493-1541) and Susanne Klettenberg (1723-1744), and was conducting chemical experiments in his attic using a draught furnace, the seeds of which would result in what he would later describe as his “best book”, namely his 1809 physical chemistry based Elective Affinities, wherein he explains the human chemical theory part of his metamorphology theory of evolution.

The preeminent example of the hiatus effect genius being William Rankine who in 1830, at age 10, was forced to leave school owing to an illness, thereafter spending the next six years being taught by his father David Rankine, a respected railway engineer in the Edinburgh & Dalkeith Railway, who four years later, when he turned age 14, gave him a copy of Isaac Newton’s Principia, in Latin, which he subsequently absorbed, thus laying the foundation of his knowledge in higher mathematics, dynamics, and physics, shortly thereafter, in the next decade or so, penning out the world's earliest known equations of love, as found in his circa 1845 "The Mathematician in Love" poetry song. The same "forced" hiatus phenomena is common to equation of love theorists: Goethe (1809): two year hiatus, and Thims (1995): 10-year hiatus, discussed further below.

German physicist Albert Einstein, in 1900, after being awarded the Zurich Polytechnic teaching diploma, was unable to find a teaching post, and so while taking a digression from the normal university path, he worked as a patent clerk, during which time he notable developed the mass-energy equivalence theory, the photon theory of light, and the theory of relativity all arrived at in 1905. Einstein would latter comment the following, in reflection, on the nature of these depressurized theoretical fruits:

Science is a wonderful thing if one does not have to earn one’s living at it. One should earn one’s living by work of which one is sure one is capable. Only when we do not have to be accountable to anyone can we find joy in scientific endeavor.”
Albert Einstein (1951), reply letter to female student thinking about becoming a professional astronomer (24 Mar)

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Lawrence HendersonLawrence Henderson (1878-1942)Mehdi Bazargan ns
Mehdi Bazargan
Libb Thims (2013) 145px
Libb Thims
Three of the biggest geniuses of human thermodynamics: Henderson, Bazargan, and Thims, all produced the fruit of their work owing to, in part, the hiatus effect phenomenon.

In circa 1903 to 1907, the seed for what would become the famous Harvard Pareto circle, which blossomed in the decade 1932 to 1942, was planted into the mind of American physical chemist and physiologist Lawrence Henderson (1878-1942). American psychologist Burrhus Skinner explains this as follows: [1]

“Pareto’s influence had reached Harvard through a strange accident: Professor L.J. Henderson, who may be remembered longer for his Fitness of the Environment than for his pioneering work in the chemistry of blood, had ulcers. In the middle or late twenties he was recovering from an attack in a hospital in his beloved Paris, when his friend William Wheeler, the entomologist, brought him a copy of Pareto’s Traite. Henderson read it with complete absorption during the rest of his stay in the hospital and on the voyage back to America, and he returned to Cambridge a dedicated convert.”

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In 1920, American child prodigy William Sidis wrote his magnum opus The Animate and Inanimate, while incarcerated in his parent's insane asylum, as a stipulation of his parole for his May Day protests.

In 1925, Werner Heisenberg, to alleviate his suffering from hay fever, took a vacation in the lonely North Sea island of Helgoland, to get away from the flowering fields near Gottingen. This "moment", according to Steven Weinberg, marks the birth of quantum mechanics. [3]

In 1943, American third year economics undergraduate William Warntz, at Penn University, enlisted in the US Army Air Force, amid the interruption of WWII, and the following year, following a crash landing from a mission, was sent to Cambridge to recuperate, during which time he read Isaac Newton's papers, from among the library that contains the largest single deposit of such papers in the world. After the war ended, Warntz remained in the Army Air Force and was posted to Gander at the Newfoundland Base Command for sea search and rescue missions, wherein, in base’s small library he found John Q. Stewart's Coasts, Waves and Weather for Navigators (1945), with its appendix, or “exotic chapter”, as Warntz called it, in which Stewart described “population potentials”, likening equipotential lines to isobars within a cyclonic system. Warntz later said that was his “Ah-ha” moment, when “social science and the things I learned about meteorology and navigation” came together. This was the seed or glue for the eventual formation of the Princeton social physics school, one of the four modern quantitative schools of geography.

Iranian mechanical engineer and thermodynamicist Mehdi Bazargan, who in 1979 became 75th prime minister of Iran, wrote his Thermodynamics of Humans, something nobody has yet accomplished even into the 21st century, i.e. publish a book entitled "human thermodynamics", American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims unpublished 2002-2004 draft manuscripts aside, from Spring to Autumn of 1955 during a 5-month incarceration resulting from his political views, a precipitate of the 1953 Iranian coup and its subsequent political restrictions. The book was first published in 1957, according to private documents in possession of Bazargan's biographer Saeed Barzin. [2]

American electrochemical engineer Libb Thims, likewise, developed the seeds of the work he is best known for after taking a forced step out of the main flow of the typical top-of the class engineer jump to high-paying working engineer, when in circa 1997 nearing the final year of finishing two of the highest paying degrees available—chemical engineer and electrical engineer, finishing in the top 10 percent of his class at one of the world’s top engineering schools, and being very sought after, company recruit wise—abruptively called and cancelled all of his scheduled company recruitment paid for flights out to New York and California, with companies including big five financial corporation, a silicon valley computer chip producing company, among others, sensing, owing to a number of other compounding factors, that something was not right, and that he needed to step out of the hoop-jumping fast lane, until the sense of flow correctness returns. The following quote by Einstein captures some aspects of this:

“I, too, was originally supposed to become an engineer. But I found the idea intolerable of having to apply the inventive faculty to matters that make everyday life more elaborate—and all, just for dreary money-making. Thinking for its own sake, as in music! … When I have no special problem to occupy my mind, I love to reconstruct proofs of mathematical and physical theorems that have long been known to me. There is no goal in this, merely an opportunity to indulge in the pleasant occupation of thinking.”
Albert Einstein (1918), Letter to Heinrich Zangger

It was in this period of detachment, outside of the high-paying six-figure salary engineering fastlane, when on 15 Nov 2001, at 3:00 AM, Thims began to see through the so-called "reverse engineering problem", namely of how one can reverse engineer the equations of chemical thermodynamics to explain human movement and human spontaneity, something he had been puzzled about since 1995 (see: history), which is the same problem worked on by both Goethe and Henderson, in their forced convalescence periods, the resultant finished product (Elective Affinities, 1809) about which Goethe claimed was his greatest work (see: best book), completed 40-years after his convalescence period of introspective thought (1769).

Another noted precipitate of Thims forced hiatus was the 2009 arrival of solution to the great problem of natural philosophy (1836), the explanation of how life came from non-life, a subject in most cases broached, partially, only by a few discerning minds, well into the near retirement years, in passing, and hence not deep enough to see solution. Had Thims chosen the path "more traveled", the road of the well-paid, but typically unrewarded intellectually, engineer, over the path "less traveled", he would, no doubt, never have had the so-called "hiatus time" to arrive at solution.

Plane flights
In modern terms, where time moves pretty fast, as Ferris says, both American economist Thomas Schelling and Romanian-born American mechanical engineer Adrian Bejan conceived the work they are best known for while stuck on a plane, thus having “hiatus time”, so to speak, to think.

1. Skinner, Burrhus F. (1977). “Preface: George C. Homans at Harvard”, in: Behavioral Theory in Sociology: Essays in Honor of George C. Homans (pgs. 7-8). Transactions Publishers.
2. Taqavi, Sehed M. (2004). The Flourishing of Islamic Reformism in Iran: Political Islamic Groups in Iran (1941-61) (section: Mehdi Bazargan, pgs. 62-; section: Scientific Approach to Religions (thermodynamics), pgs. 82-96; W=U-TS, pg. 88). Routledge.
3. Weinberg, Steven. (1992). Weinberg, Steven. (1992). Dreams of a Final Theory: the Scientist’s Search for the Ultimate Laws of Nature (pg. 66). Random House.

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