Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Father of Modern Physics

  1. Jun 11, 2013 #1
    Hello,

    Some consider Albert Einstein, some think it was Galileo Galilei, some consider that E=mc^2 formula revolutionized the entire picture of physics, some consider James Clerk Maxwell's equations of electromagnetism. I consider it was Sir Isaac Newton.

    Newton can be well considered as the father of modern physics. The gravitational laws based on which Einstein later founded the General theory of relativity came from Newton. Also 'Optiks' the first theory of light related to reflections, refractions came from Newton. The basic building block of the way Nature behaves, GRAVITY was first explained by Newton and then taken forward by others.

    What do you think?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 11, 2013 #2

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    It depends on what you mean by "modern" physics. But as far as proper physics goes (i.e. describing physical phenomena using mathematics and then using the mathematical formulation to predict experimental results), Newton reigns supreme.
     
  4. Jun 11, 2013 #3
    Hello,

    It is a general discussion. I am expecting some more views. Definitely, modern physics means which is not old. Well, I mean to say, not too much into jargon.......But when physics took a new turn. Moving away from Ptolemic and Aristotelian view of the world and discovering new areas into physics.
     
  5. Jun 11, 2013 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Define "old".
     
  6. Jun 11, 2013 #5
    Thoughts and ideas change with time. Old are those based on which new progress happens.
     
  7. Jun 11, 2013 #6

    kith

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    I think Heisenberg and the Copenhagen people deserve to be mentioned, because they based QM on observable quantities instead of an unobservable underlying reality. Conceptionally, there are parallels to what Newton did with mechanics and Einstein and others did with relativity. Newton surely made the biggest step in the development of physics but I would argue that Copenhagen made the most radical.

    Also I think that we tend to overestimate the importance of single persons and underestimate the zeitgeist which makes scientific revolutions possible.
     
  8. Jun 11, 2013 #7

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Ok this isn't really any more specific...but heck Newton. Newton is easily the king. I would personally hold Faraday and Maxwell at the top as well, especially Faraday. I don't care much for the early 20th century physicists in the face of people like Maxwell, Faraday, and Newton.
     
  9. Jun 11, 2013 #8
    Great point kith !!
     
  10. Jun 11, 2013 #9

    phinds

    User Avatar
    Gold Member
    2016 Award

    I think you are doing a pointless exercise in labeling.
     
  11. Jun 11, 2013 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Let me put a finer point on it: unless you make the definition objective (a number), the discussion is pretty much pointless.
     
  12. Jun 11, 2013 #11

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    This obviously settles it:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zn7-fVtT16k
     
  13. Jun 11, 2013 #12
    C'mon, we all know who daddy is...
     

    Attached Files:

  14. Jun 11, 2013 #13

    WannabeNewton

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    He's like a less attractive Jimmy Page...so dreamy
     
  15. Jun 11, 2013 #14
    Maybe not the father of modern physics per se, but you have to give this guy a lot a credit for getting the approximate size of the Earth from looking down a few wells.

    "Eratosthenes of Cyrene (Ancient Greek: Ἐρατοσθένης, IPA: [eratostʰénɛːs]; English /ɛrəˈtɒsθəniːz/; c. 276 BC[1] – c. 195 BC[2]) was a Greek mathematician, geographer, poet, astronomer, and music theorist.

    He was the first person to use the word "geography" in Greek and he invented the discipline of geography as we understand it.[3] He invented a system of latitude and longitude.

    He was the first person to calculate the circumference of the earth by using a measuring system using stades, or the length of stadiums during that time period (with remarkable accuracy). He was the first to calculate the tilt of the Earth's axis (also with remarkable accuracy). He may also have accurately calculated the distance from the earth to the sun and invented the leap day.[4] He also created the first map of the world incorporating parallels and meridians within his cartographic depictions based on the available geographical knowledge of the era. In addition, Eratosthenes was the founder of scientific chronology; he endeavoured to fix the dates of the chief literary and political events from the conquest of Troy.

    According to an entry[5] in the Suda (a 10th-century reference), his contemporaries nicknamed him beta, from the second letter of the Greek alphabet, because he supposedly proved himself to be the second best in the world in almost every field.[6]"

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes

    Wiki
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  16. Jun 11, 2013 #15
    If this is what you mean, then Galileo is clearly the answer.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook




Similar Discussions: Father of Modern Physics
Loading...