10 Greatest Physicist Of All Time
From the cosmos to the tiny subatomic particles, physics is all around us. We have seen numerous great scientists who came and influenced the world with their revolutionary work on physics. These people provided us with a better understanding of our world and the universe through their work. Many lists are ranking the greatest physicist of all time. But no matter whom we include in our list or don’t include, all of these people from Anaximander to Stephen Hawking will always play a significant role in the history of humanity and science. Iconic physicist like Archimedes, Pythagoras, Michael Faraday, Marie Curie, Max Planck, Johannes Kepler, Carl Linnaeus, and Nikola Tesla will always be remembered for their revolutionary work. Now, here are the 10 Greatest and influential Physicist Of All Time.
1. Isaac Newton (1643-1727):
One of the most influential scientists of all time, Isaac Newton played one of the key roles in the revolution of science. His book Principia Mathematica laid the foundations of classical mechanics and it is one of the most important scientific books ever. From formulating the laws of motion to universal gravitation to inventing calculus to developing the first practical reflecting telescope, Newton will always be held as one of the greatest and influential physicists of all time. Newton’s Laws of motion lies at the heart of the science of movement. He also developed the theory of color based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colors of the visible spectrum.
2. Albert Einstein (1879-1955):
Albert Einstein’s revolutionary work has become the pillars of modern physics. Einstein changed everything, from the way we used to think about the things surrounding to the cosmos. He developed the theory of relativity which became the base of many revolutions in the coming years. His work on quantum mechanics, his mass-energy equivalence formula, his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect and much more have made the word “Einstein” synonymous with “genius”.
3. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642):
The “father of modern science”, Galileo Galilei was way ahead of his time. By championing of heliocentrism and Copernicanism, Galileo attracted a lot of controversy at that time. He even spent much of his life under house arrest and while there he wrote ‘Two New Sciences’. He studied speed and velocity, gravity and free fall, the principle of relativity, inertia and projectile motion. His work also includes science and technology, describing the properties of pendulums and “hydrostatic balances”. He invented the thermoscope and various military compasses and he was one of the few who used the telescope for scientific observations of celestial objects.
4. James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879):
Maxwell’s most famous discovery was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation. Which brought together electricity, magnetism, and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon for the first time. His equations for electromagnetism have been called the “second great unification in physics”. He predicted the existence of radio waves and he is also regarded as a founder of the modern field of electrical engineering. He is also noted for presenting the first durable color photograph in 1861. James Clerk Maxwell built the foundation for such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics and inspired many upcoming legends including Einstein.
5. Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937):
The father of nuclear physics, Ernest Rutherford is often regarded as the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday. Rutherford differentiated and named alpha and beta radiation and proton. He discovered the concept of radioactive half-life, the radioactive element radon. Rutherford along with Thomas Royds proved that alpha radiation is helium nuclei. He also theorized that atoms have their charge concentrated in a very small nucleus, and the Rutherford model of the atom came to light. He was first to perform the artificially induced nuclear reaction.
6. Niels Bohr (1885-1962):
Niels Bohr is best known for his contributions to understanding the atomic structure and quantum theory. He developed the Bohr model of the atom, which explained the energy levels and the nature of electrons. He conceived the principle of complementarity of quantum mechanics. Niels Bohr helped to reshape our understanding of how nature operates at the atomic-scale. Bohr founded the Institute of Theoretical Physics now known as the Niels Bohr Institute, at the University of Copenhagen.
7. Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976):
One of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics, Werner Heisenberg developed the matrix mechanics formulation, establishing that the behavior of atomic-sized particles is very different from larger objects, sometimes with bizarre consequences. Heisenberg is known for the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and his contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles.
8. Erwin Schrödinger (1887-1961):
Erwin Schrödinger was the author of several works in various fields of physics, from statistical mechanics and thermodynamics to physics of dielectrics to color theory to electrodynamics and general relativity and cosmology. Schrödinger is well-known for his “Schrödinger’s cat” thought-experiment. The Schrödinger equation developed by him provides a way to calculate the wave function of a system and how it changes dynamically in time. Erwin Schrödinger uncovered a number of significant results in the field of quantum theory.
9. Paul Dirac (1902-1984):
One of the most significant physicists of the 20th century, Paul Dirac is best known for his contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. His Dirac equation describes the behavior of fermions and predicts the existence of antimatter. Dirac along with Erwin Schrödinger discovered new productive forms of atomic theory. His contributions to the reconciliation of general relativity with quantum mechanics also have been greatly appreciated.
10. Richard Feynman (1918-1988):
Richard Feynman is best known for his work in the field of the development of quantum electrodynamics. In the Feynman diagrams, he described the behavior of subatomic particles. Feynman made many contributions in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics and the theory of quantum electrodynamics. He also took interest in physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium and in particle physics which he explained in the parton model. Feynman pioneered the field of quantum computing and introduced the concept of nanotechnology.