14 March 2012

Top 10 Most Famous Scientists

When I was at school, I have to admit that I didn't really like science. Not out of difficulty, but out of disinterest. Now I'm older, I find science a lot more interesting and can appreciate the subject more.

Here are ten of the most famous scientists in my opinion. I know there are a few others that arguably should have made the list, but I settled with these ten in the end. Hope you enjoy.

1. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein (14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955)  was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, who had a profound effect on physics and how it is perceived.

Einstein is considered by many to be the father of modern physics and one of the most respected intellects in human history.

Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His most well-known publications include: general and special relativity, photoelectric effect, mass-energy equivalence, theory of Brownian motion, the Einstein field equations, Bose-Einstein statistics, unified field theory, and EPR equation.

He has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, Matteucci Medal, Copley Medal, Max Planck Medal, and the Time Person of the Century (1999).

2. Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton (4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727) was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, alchemist, and theologian, who has been considered by many to be the greatest and most influential scientist who ever lived.

His monograph Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica is considered to be one of the most important scientific book in human history. He is most well known for Newtonian mechanics, Universal gravitation, Infinitesimal calculus, Optics, Binomial series, Newton's method, and Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica.

3. Stephen Hawkiing
Stephen William Hawking (born 8 January 1942)  is a British theoretical physicist and cosmologist, whose scientific books and public appearances have made him an international academic celebrity.

Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009. He then became research director at the university's Centre for Theoretical Cosmology.

Unfortunately, Hawking is bound to a wheelchair as he has a motor neurone disease that is related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a condition that has progressed over the years. He is now almost completely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device.

His main influences were the works published by that of Dikran Tahta and Albert Einstein. He is known for Black holes, Theoretical cosmology, Quantum gravity, and Hawking radiation.

Hawking has been awarded the Albert Einstein Award, Wolf Prize, Prince of Asturias Award, Copley Medal, and the Presidential Medal of freedom.

4. Edwin Hubble
Edwin Powell Hubble (November 20, 1889 – September 28, 1953) was an American astronomer who confirmed the existence of galaxies other than the Milky Way.

As a younger man, he was more noted for his athletic abilities than for his intellect, even though he achieved good grades in all his subjects apart from spelling. 

He's known for Hubble's law, Redshift, and the Hubble sequence.
His notable awards are: Bruce Medal, Franklin Medal, Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society, and Legion of Merit.

5. Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr (7 October 1885 – 18 November 1962 was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics.

He was part of the British team of physicists working on the Manhattan Project. Bohr married Margrethe Nørlund in 1912, and one of their sons, Aage Bohr, grew up to be a physicist who in 1975 also received the Nobel Prize.

Bohr is considered to be one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. Bohr published his model of an atomic structure in 1913. He introduced the theory of electrons travelling in orbits around the atom's nucleus, the chemical properties of each element being largely determined by the number of electrons in the outer orbits of its atoms.

Bohr also introduced the idea that an electron could drop from a higher-energy orbit to a lower one, in the process emitting a photon of discrete energy. This became a basis for quantum theory.

He's known for Copenhagen interpretation, Complementarity, Bohr model, Sommerfeld–Bohr theory, BKS theory, Bohr-Einstein debates, and the Bohr magneton.
He has been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Franklin Medal.

6. Richard Feynman
Richard Phillips Feynman (May 11, 1918–February 15, 1988) was an American physicist.

He developed a widely used pictorial representation scheme for the mathematical expressions governing the behaviour of subatomic particles, which later became known as Feynman diagrams. 
During his lifetime, Feynman became one of the best-known scientists in the world. He assisted in the development of the atomic bomb and was a member of the panel that investigated the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

He is known for the Feynman diagrams, Feynman point, Feynman–Kac formula, Wheeler–Feynman absorber theory, Bethe–Feynman formula, Feynman sprinkler, Feynman Long Division Puzzles, Hellmann–Feynman theorem, Feynman slash notation, Feynman parametrization, Sticky bead argument, One-electron universe, and Quantum cellular automata.

He has been awarded the Albert Einstein Award, E. O. Lawrence Award, Nobel Prize in Physics, Oersted Medal, and the National Medal of Science.

7. Erwin Schrödinger
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961) was an Austrian born physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is celebrated for a number of important contributions to physics.

His mother was half Austrian and half English; His father was Catholic and his mother was Lutheran. Schrödinger suffered from tuberculosis and several times in the 1920s stayed at a sanatorium in Arosa. It was there that he discovered his wave equation.

He is known for the Schrödinger equation, Schrödinger's cat, Schrödinger method, Schrödinger functional, Schrödinger picture, SchrödingerSchrödinger field, Rayleigh-Schrödinger perturbation, Schrödinger logics, and the Cat state.
He was awarded the Nobel prize in physics.

8. Ludwig Boltzmann
Ludwig Eduard Boltzmann (February 20, 1844 – September 5, 1906) was an Austrian physicist famous for his founding contributions in the fields of statistical thermodynamics and statistical mechanics.

In 1869 at age 25 he was appointed full Professor of Mathematical Physics at the University of Graz in the province of Styria.

He spent 14 happy years in Graz and it was there that he developed his statistical concept of nature. In 1885 he became a member of the Imperial Austrian Academy of Sciences and in 1887 he became the President of the University of Graz.

He is known for: Boltzmann's constant, Boltzmann equation, H-theorem, Boltzmann distribution, and the Stefan–Boltzmann law.

9. Max Planck
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck (April 23, 1858 – October 4, 1947) was a German physicist who discovered quantum physics.

Planck's great-grandfather and grandfather were both theology professors in Göttingen, his father was a law professor in Kiel and Munich; and his paternal uncle was a judge.

Planck was a gifted musician and played three instruments (piano, organ and cello), as-well as composing and taking singing lessons. Despite his musical talent, Planck decided to go into physics instead.

He became good a good friend with Albert Einstein and the two often played music together.
Planck is known for: Planck constant, Planck postulate, and Planck's law of black body radiation.
He's been awarded the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics. 

10. Werner Heisenberg
Werner Karl Heisenberg (5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist who is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory. 

Heisenberg, along with Max Born and Pascual Jordan, set forth the matrix formulation of quantum mechanics in 1925.
Heisenberg attended the Bohr Festival in June 1922 in which Bohr was a guest lecturer and gave a series of comprehensive lectures on quantum atomic physics. There, 

Heisenberg met Bohr for the first time, and it had a profound and continuing effect on him.

He is known for Uncertainty Principle, Heisenberg's microscope, Matrix mechanics, Kramers-Heisenberg formula, Heisenberg group, Isospin, and Euler-Heisenberg Lagrangian.
He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics and the Max Planck Medal.
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