spectroscopy, into strange paths
Again, what is known now as “group theory” was an abstract and inapplicable mathematical theory. It was developed by men who were curious and whose curiosity and puttering led them into strange paths; but “group theory” is to-day the basis of the quantum theory of spectroscopy, which is in daily use by people who have no idea as to how it came about.
had been looking for puttering Hortense’s (Flexner, in my mind : link)... nothing... Flexner, though, this... and another Hortense (Calisher) shortly.
Abraham Flexner (1866-1959)
wikipedia : link