Difference between discovery and invention

Difference between discovery and invention

Everyone and everything around us and what we are using in our daily life is discovered or invented by experts. Most people have a misconception about the words discovery and invention, which leads to the assumption that these two are the same thing. But this is not true, because discovery it means to discover something, which already existed, but not recognized by anyone else before, ie to find something unexpected.

On the other hand, the invention yes refers to the creation of something new and useful, with one's own ideas and experiments. In short, it means creating or designing something. So check out this article to learn about the difference between discovery and invention in detail.

Comparative graph

Basis for comparison DiscoveryInvention
Sense The discovery refers to the act of finding or exploring something that already existed but had not been perceived before. The invention of creating or designing an object or a process that never existed before, with its own ideas and developments.
What is it? Coming up on something, which is not yet recognized. Develop something original and advanced.
represents Natural events Artifacts, devices, scientific processes or man-made processes
involves Exploration experimentation
Subject Discovered on purpose or accidentally. Designed on purpose.
Existence preexisting Inexistent
Patent No, it cannot be patented. It can be patented

Definition of discovery

The term discovery indicates the act of detecting or discovering something for the first time, which is already present in the world, but was not previously recognized as relevant. the scrutiny of new events, actions, phenomena or reasoning. The discovery is based on ideas, collaborations or even ex-discoveries.

Interrogation and curiosity have an important role to play in the discovery, as they lead to the discovery of things that had not been recognized before, which in turn leads to the invention of processes, products and methods. There are some important discoveries that have emerged as a profound development of knowledge and technology.

Definition of invention

An invention can be understood as a new, non-obvious method, device, process, improvement or technique. An idea to create something new or advanced, in order to make people's work easier and faster, when it turns into an invention. In a nutshell, the invention is something that has not prevailed before and recognized as the result of some unique intellect.

Sometimes an individual only works on an idea for his or her incarnation, while sometimes a group of scientists work together to invent something useful. It can also be developed by a person, on whom other people add or improve further. It plays a crucial role in transforming the way people do their work.

Key differences between discovery and invention

The following points are substantial, as regards the difference between discovery and invention:

  1. The act of searching and exploring something that already existed but was never recognized as a discovery. On the other hand, the creation or design of an object or a process that never existed before, with its own ideas and developments known as an invention.
  2. The discovery connotes something that is not yet recognized. On the contrary, invention involves the development of something original and advanced.
  3. The discovery is a result of natural events. On the contrary, an invention artifacts, devices, scientific processes or man-made.
  4. While the discovery involves exploration, the invention includes experimentation.
  5. The discovery of the subject is performed on purpose or accidentally, while, in the case of the invention, the subject conceived on purpose.
  6. The discovery applies to those that have existed for a long time. On the contrary, the invention applies to things that never existed.
  7. The patent applies only to inventions, but not to discoveries.



  • Discovery of Columbus's America.
  • Discovery of Isaac Newton's gravity.
  • Discovery of Robert Hooke's plant cell.


  • Invention of Graham Bell's telephone
  • Invention of the light bulb by Thomas Alva Edison.
  • Invention of Charles Babbage's computer


In the end, discoveries and inventions are the leading cause of change in the world as they transform the way people live, work, eat, connect, etc. These are closely associated with each other, in essence, the invention can be a result of the integration of things that have been previously discovered, in the same way, inventions can be useful to discover the unexplored.