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Greatest physicist of all time?

  1. Isaac Newton

  2. Albert Einstein

  3. Richard P. Feynman

  4. James Clerk Maxwell

  5. Michael Faraday

  6. Max Planck

    0 vote(s)
  7. Paul Dirac

  8. Galileo Galilei

  9. Niels Bohr

  10. Ernest Rutherford

    0 vote(s)
  1. Dec 16, 2005 #1
    Who do you think was/is the greatest physicist who ever lived and why?
    In my opinion #1 has to go to Newton, with Einstein and Feynman coming joint second. Newton started it all off, while Einstein and Feynman created a public face for science.
    If the physicist you want is not in the poll, then say who it is and why in a post.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 16, 2005 #2


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    Hmm..I'm not much in favour of rankings like this, but if I must choose, I'd say Archimedes.
  4. Dec 16, 2005 #3


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    I think Newton is the 'nerdiest' you can go for a physicist. One man show, let's invent the math when it doesn't exist just can't be beat in my opinion.
  5. Dec 16, 2005 #4
    Exactly, this is why it is very hard to see past Newton as the greatest physicist ever.
  6. Dec 17, 2005 #5
    newton is no physicist, he is more a mathematican. whatever he proved of physics has been of significance only to the earths atmosphere, to this surrounding. and never proved anyhting that accounts to the true property of matter. but his mathematical theories sounds quite universal. his theories of motion are all based on practical materials and not on thoerotical basis so he only proved right what occurs in our surrounding and not beyond it. physics is more a theorotical science, isnt it? i account einstien's theorotical expanadings should be given some credit. he is the best. :approve:
  7. Dec 17, 2005 #6
    NO! A gazillion experimental physicists disagree with you and quite a few theorists too. Including Einstein himself.
  8. Dec 17, 2005 #7
    i never said it is not a practical one?

    i apologize for the direct way of saying it. but yet everything has a philosophical approach, and i believe exploring physics has its too. i think mathemtics is just another side of language. we have created mathematics the same way we have created language. they are the means we explore everything in science and our minds. but we never create physics for it exist on its own.
  9. Dec 17, 2005 #8
    I used to think Newton, but I've changed my mind since I learned a bit about Galileo. I think Galileo was up against a world where there were more outrageously erroneous notions firmly in place than there have ever been since. It's amazing how much he did discover given that most of his energy had to be diverted to tedious arguments about extremely fundamental, obvious points, like the rate of fall of objects of dissimilar weight.
  10. Dec 17, 2005 #9


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    .... one hybrid of Newton & Einstein with a shake of Galileo please.
  11. Dec 17, 2005 #10
    einstein was so revolutionary in his way of thinking. people still do not really understand the observations of that man. newton was a simple physicist, with great ingenuity, but not so much creative thought as einstein, it appears.

    it is very difficult for me to think of newton as a genius... more of a technician.

    einstein on the other hand, was creative genius... absolutely unequaled by newton.

    then again, einstein couldn't have done it without newton, so it's fair that newton takes the cake, and that einstein "follow in his steps" so to speak.
  12. Dec 18, 2005 #11


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    An omniscient being...
  13. Dec 18, 2005 #12
    I think physics itself is too diverse in its subjects to choose a single 'greatest' physicist. Having said that, i'll try to answer it, but in a more specific way.
    Experimental physics: Bardeen
    Theoretical: Einstein
    General: Newton
  14. Dec 18, 2005 #13


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    ... think Einstein could have taken a lesson from Newton about methods of working (a snip of Newton's "somewhat" bizarre work ethics .... or mania is probably a better word).
  15. Dec 18, 2005 #14
    Bohr, Dirac or Planck... In short, the QM-buddies

    QM is far more usefull to us (and far more beautiful and elegant a theory than GR ever will be). After QM, classical physics comes second on the list of important, ingenious and usefull physics and GR closes the list.


    EDIT : the only thing Einstein ever did was formulating the equivalence principle, that is all.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2005
  16. Dec 18, 2005 #15
    Huh :confused:

    How's that ?

  17. Dec 18, 2005 #16


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    Einstein! I just feel more comfortable with him than the others! :biggrin:
  18. Dec 18, 2005 #17
    What about Santa Claus? He modified GR to accomodate for FTL travel. Einstein never thought of that!

  19. Dec 18, 2005 #18
    I checked the poll and yes, you actually voted for Einstein. Can you please tell me why ?

  20. Dec 18, 2005 #19


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    i would have to say, that if god exists then he would have to be the greatest physicist of all time.
    :surprised :rofl:
  21. Dec 18, 2005 #20
    why is heisenberg not on the list and we also cannot ignore ancient scientists like Aristotle whose theories remained supreme for thousands of yrs
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