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“Aha!” Experience

An “Aha!” experience is a moment of sublime clarity that brings an intuitive awareness of the answer to a problem with which one has been struggling. In other words, it is an effective experience that yields an insight into a hitherto unsolvable problem. “Aha!” experiences are widely reported in the literature on general creativity and mathematical creativity, as well as problem solving. They are also well documented in the historical literature of momentous discoveries in science and mathematics. A well-known example is that of Archimedes running through the streets of Syracuse exclaiming “Eureka!” at having discovered the principle of water displacement that related weight, volume, and density to determine the purity of the gold in King Heron's crown. Other well-known stories include that of ...

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