Greatest Physicist Ever

  • Thread starter Izzhov
  • Start date

Who was the greatest physicist ever?

  • Isaac Newton

    Votes: 27 44.3%
  • Albert Einstein

    Votes: 12 19.7%
  • James Clerk Maxwell

    Votes: 7 11.5%
  • Niels Bohr

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Werner Heisenberg

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Galileo Galilei

    Votes: 4 6.6%
  • Richard Feynman

    Votes: 6 9.8%
  • Paul Dirac

    Votes: 1 1.6%
  • Erwin Schroedinger

    Votes: 2 3.3%
  • Ernest Rutherford

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    61
  • #26
2,425
6
Not that I know of. Anyone know of any?
I thought Witten might become one. In any case, that would be tremendous an achievement.
 
  • #27
2,425
6
If only I could list more than 10 options, I would include all of the physicists talked about so far!

Even if I could, I still think Newton would win though...
You are missing the point. Newton would not be who he is without Galileo. And Einstein also sits on the shoulders of giants.
 
  • #28
fuzzyfelt
Gold Member
751
4
Ah, Brian David Josephson wins my heart.
I don't know much about physicists, why do you say that?
 
  • #29
117
0
You are missing the point. Newton would not be who he is without Galileo. And Einstein also sits on the shoulders of giants.
Well, now I see why other threads like this usually specify a century.
 
  • #30
2,425
6
OK let me make a little metaphor. :-)

Knowledge is a huge mountain. Everybody brings something, from a grain of sand to a solid rock. But you must bring it on the top. Many things make it complicated to evaluate someone's contribution. For instance, is it more important to bring a little grain all the way to the top, achieving a major step, or to be one of the first to roll a big block when there is not much to climb ?
 
  • #31
17
0
You are missing the point. Newton would not be who he is without Galileo. And Einstein also sits on the shoulders of giants.
If you go by that rationale, you would also have to say Galileo sat on Aristotle or Plato.


Its the fact that Einstein revolutionized Physics with the unification of space and time(among other vast achievements) that puts him ahead of the game in most peoples book.
 
  • #32
2,425
6
I don't know much about physicists, why do you say that?
I was mainly having fun :biggrin: Josephson was a very young fellow when he won the Nobel prize (actually, a 22 years old graduate student). But today, he is occupied in remotly disconnected activities from fundamental physics, namely paranormal phenomena. How to judge this phenomenon ? Important physicist no doubt. Crackpot as well ?
 
  • #33
fuzzyfelt
Gold Member
751
4
o.k.:smile: , thanks humanino
 
  • #34
2,425
6
If you go by that rationale, you would also have to say Galileo sat on Aristotle or Plato.
On the shoulders yes :biggrin:
I never knew them personnaly, and considering philosopher's occupations in greek antiquity, maybe you are right :tongue2:
 
  • #35
17
0
On the shoulders yes :biggrin:
:devil: :rofl:
I never knew them personnaly,
Really? Now there was me thinking you were 3000 years old and all.:blushing: :smile:
and considering philosopher's occupations in greek antiquity, maybe you are right :tongue2:
:[/QUOTE]

I dont know, but I sounded pretty knowledgeable dont you think?:biggrin:
 
  • #36
1,104
25
Ummm TESLA?????




Q: Does Newton get too much credit????? I mean calculus wasn't even really rigorously proven until the likes of Riemann, Cauchy, etc. came around. The Greeks, Egyptians, and Indians all used some principles of calculus way before Newton was ever around.
 
  • #37
740
13
I thought Witten might become one. In any case, that would be tremendous an achievement.
i doubt that would ever happen. nobel prizes as far as i know are given for stuff that has practical applications, which is probably why hawking hasn't won one.
 
  • #38
ranger
Gold Member
1,676
1
OK. So you have the first idea that no list will satisfy everyone. But you still dont get the second point as there no answer to the "greatest physicists ever".
 
  • #39
118
0
kepler

Without Kepler there would have been no quantitative understanding for Newton to work on.
 
  • #40
336
1
I think God must have been the greatest physicist, but since it wasn't an option ill vote Maxwell. o:)

Newton was allways my hero when i was growing up, unfortunately i don't consider myself qualified to comment on anyone else's greatness because of the level of my physics understanding :)
 
  • #41
ranger
Gold Member
1,676
1
I think God must have been the greatest physicist, but since it wasn't an option ill vote Maxwell. o:)

Newton was allways my hero when i was growing up, unfortunately i don't consider myself qualified to comment on anyone else's greatness because of the level of my physics understanding :)
Its funny how you're calling God a physicist.
 
  • #42
336
1
Its funny how you're calling God a physicist.
Why is that?
 
  • #43
marcusl
Science Advisor
Gold Member
2,737
395
I was mainly having fun :biggrin: Josephson was a very young fellow when he won the Nobel prize (actually, a 22 years old graduate student). But today, he is occupied in remotly disconnected activities from fundamental physics, namely paranormal phenomena. How to judge this phenomenon ? Important physicist no doubt. Crackpot as well ?
My thesis advisor came back from an APS meeting one year and told me that Brian Josephson pulled him aside and started writing equations on a blackboard that he said described the ESP communications channel. My advisor said he didn't know what to think--it looked like the ramblings of a nutcase, but on the other hand Josephson was very bright and had won a Nobel at a young age...
 
  • #44
905
4
Its funny how you're calling God a physicist.
He's right, because God is most certainly not an engineer!
 
  • #45
740
13
He's right, because God is most certainly not an engineer!
i think it was john littlewood who said he was a pure mathematician who decided to do some applied for a change.
 
  • #46
905
4
i think it was john littlewood who said he was a pure mathematician who decided to do some applied for a change.
Lol. I guess that works too. Of course it is more than ego that motivates me to postulate that the Divinity is a physicist. Physics is, after all, the most fundamental of all natural scientists. Many of the great discoveries in chemistry, and even in biological areas like genetics, were made by physicists (that's actually why so many terms in genetics end with -on). Clearly it would be a divestment of glory for God to be anything but a physicist.
 
  • #47
2,985
15
......................:rolleyes:


Maybe hes just sitting around twiddling his thumbs.
 
Last edited:
  • #48
905
4
......................:rolleyes:


Maybe hes just sitting around twiddling his thumbs.
...and thinking about physics, of course.
 
  • #49
2,985
15
:rofl: Gotta give you that one, it was clever.
 
  • #50
117
0
Lol. I guess that works too. Of course it is more than ego that motivates me to postulate that the Divinity is a physicist. Physics is, after all, the most fundamental of all natural scientists. Many of the great discoveries in chemistry, and even in biological areas like genetics, were made by physicists (that's actually why so many terms in genetics end with -on). Clearly it would be a divestment of glory for God to be anything but a physicist.
Physics may not be the most fundamental of all natural sciences. It is just the most fundamental that we know about (or possibly can know about). If a God exists (which I have my doubts about), I'd tend to think he/she/it would be more of a metaphysicist.
 

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