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- Thread starter Loren Booda
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selfAdjoint

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Newton had to deal with competitors: Hooke had the idea for the inverse square law, and Leibniz developed Calculus independently.

Similarly Einstein was ghosted by Poincare on special relativity and by Hilbert on general relativity.

Quantum mechanics was invented independently by Heisenberg and Schroedinger. QED was invented FOUR times: by Schwinger, Tomonaga, Feynmann, and Stueckelberg! Three men got the Nobel for the electroweak theory.

Then you get into influences. Maxwell couldn't (it seems) have developed his theory without the prior work of Faraday. But everyone including Faraday agreed that he could never have done it.

Since about 1930, the rapid growth of science and mathematics have made it harder for a single individual to turn a whole field around.