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A discovery is a novel observation, usually of a natural phenomenon.

Contrast with: invention, technique, theory

Table of contents
1 Historical discoveries
2 Law
3 Space Shuttle
4 Music album

Historical discoveries

The discovery that the Earth was not flat

[to be written; "discover" = rediscover]

Age of Exploration

The term has also been used for the beginning of contact between Europe and an area of the world such as the Columbus's discovery of America. Some find the latter use of the term objectionable as it ignores the existence of indigineous peoples of an area who knew about it before the Europeans.

Modern discoveries

The discovery of the structure of DNA. The discovery of quasars. and so on... please add to this list... please compare the invention article for a similar structure

See also: resource discovery


In law, the term discovery is used during pre-trial phase in a lawsuit in which each party through the law of civil procedure can request documents and other evidence from other parties or can compel the production of evidence by using a subpoena or through other discovery devices, such as requests for production and depositionss. In American law, discovery is wide ranging and can involve any material which is relevant to the case excepting information which is privileged or information which is the work product of the lawyers other side.

In practice, most civil cases in the United States are settled after discovery. After discovery, both sides usually are in agreement about the strength of each side's case and this produces a settlement which eliminates the expense and risks of a trial. The use of discovery has been criticized as favoring the wealthier side as one tactic is to make requests of information which are expensive and time consuming for the other side to fulfil.

Space Shuttle

The third operational Space Shuttle is named Discovery.

Music album

Discovery is an album by Electric Light Orchestra which was released in 1978.