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Greatest Scientist

  1. Albert Einstein

    12 vote(s)
  2. Galileo Galilei

    3 vote(s)
  3. Isaac Newton

    8 vote(s)
  4. Von Neumann

    1 vote(s)
  5. Blaise Pascal

    0 vote(s)
  6. Aristotle

    2 vote(s)
  7. Isambard Kingdom Brunel

    1 vote(s)
  8. Benjamin Franklin

    0 vote(s)
  9. Julius Robert von Mayer

    0 vote(s)
  10. Jean Bernard Leon Foucalt

    0 vote(s)
  1. Jul 31, 2003 #1
    In my opinion, I would say the greatest and my favorite scientist was Galileo Galilei. The guy was one of the first to pioneer proven science and write down his findings. Galileo stood-up against the Church in which at that time, could be fatal

    He wrote books, which offended the Church but he wrote another book just to offend the church with a nice clandestined meaning.

    His findings later helped other Scientists like Newton move on and use them as a stepping stone.

    The year Galileo died under house arrest was a death of a great Scientists, yet in that same year another scientist was born: Sir Isaac Newton.

    So, who do you think is the best Scientist (contributed most to science) of all time?

    There is no "other" choice, so please ad who you think is the best if your Scientist is not on the list in a post, and tell why.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2003
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 3, 2003 #2
    I voted for brunel, but only because Brunel was a revolutionary engineer that built stuff that was very very advanced, such as his bridges and boats. All of the others are great aswell though.
  4. Aug 4, 2003 #3
    I voted for Einstein, because he was the first to describe spacetime as it actually is, and he was not afraid to suggest a theory that seemed ridiculous...

    I think Hawking wrote that he still get several letters a week the authors of which "prove" Einstein was wrong...
  5. Aug 4, 2003 #4


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    This is ridculous, you've included Benjamin Franklin, Von Neumann and Von Mayer, but left out Niels Bohr, Charles Darwin, Lord Kelvin, JJ THompson???????I'd say Isaac Newton as most of physics is either derived from his laws or inducted with the help of his laws.
  6. Aug 4, 2003 #5


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    I'm not quite sure; but my vote would go to either Einstein or Newton. Both of them brought revolutions to the world of physics, which was never the same after they died. They also contributed to multiple fields of physics, instead of just a few.
  7. Aug 7, 2003 #6
    You forgot Richard Feynman...
  8. Aug 7, 2003 #7
    Yes, I was about to mention Feynman.

    Among the list, I would go with Einstein.

    I don't want to sound trite and go on about "contributions." All the scientists mentioned have contributed important ideas to humanity.

    What draws me to Einstein is that everlasting quality of abstraction in his eyes...
  9. Aug 8, 2003 #8
    Einstein gets my vote...
    Tha...tha...that's all folks !
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2003
  10. Aug 10, 2003 #9
    I chose Newton because without his apple and his boiled watch nobody would get into physics in the first place.

    P.S. Not only Hawking gets such letters. My dean showed me manuscripts of one guy who "proved" electro-dynamics is badly wrote. The man actually came to show us an experiment which I ruined for him by telling him not to move the table.
  11. Aug 10, 2003 #10
    Einstein and Newton run close...
  12. Aug 11, 2003 #11
    yes if feynman were up there i would probably vote for him as my favorite scientist. he was the last man to fully understand both experimental and theoretical particle physics
  13. Aug 25, 2003 #12
    All of these were great scientists but, (and this is only my opinion) I think Copernicus should be up there. He changed how we view space and his discoveries were extremely important. I also think Archemedes should be up there but I do know that there is only limited space...anyways I voted Einstein for all obvious and not so obvious reasons-the obvious being stated above and the not so obvious...well it's late and I had a 9 hour trip today so I can always post them in the morning.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2003
  14. Aug 31, 2003 #13
    Hate to ruin the mood but wasn't the whole apple thing a myth?
  15. Aug 31, 2003 #14
    Probably but who knows, it happened too long ago to know for sure. Some day people might think "They only had 100 TV channels back then? must be a myth!"
  16. Aug 31, 2003 #15
    I couldn't include ALL of the scientists. There is a limit to how many I can add, or I would've. Besides, none of you would even voted for the scientists you suggested if they were up there.

    Einstein and Newton? Lets not forget that Newton used some of Galileo's findings to help him along.

    Galileo is the master of science.
  17. Sep 13, 2003 #16
    The apple hitting Newton on the head is a myth, but he did see one fall and that (apparently) started the thinking process.

    This is actually a very debated question among scientists, and two people always, always come out on top, Einstein and Newton. It ends up being a matter of personal opinion in the end, as they've btoh contributed so much.

    And I, personally, can't choose between the two.
  18. Oct 23, 2003 #17
    Galileo got my vote, although in reality I am torn between Einstein, Newton, and Galileo.

    As Shadow pointed out Archemides deserves some mention. After all, if not for his mathematical discoveries the theoretical approach to physics would probably be farther behind its current state.

    Also I'd like to give an honorable mention to many other
    scientists / philosophers / mathematicians:

    Socrates, Plato, Aristotle
    Euclid, Archimedes
    Riemann, Fermat, Fourier
    Lovelace (Lady Ada Augusta)
    Kurtz & Kemeny
    Von Neumann
    Michelson & Morley
    Watson & Crick
    Yang & Mills
    Gamow & Alpher
    Penzias & Wilson

    Sorry, got a little carried away there!
    I just felt that I should take the time to honor some of the world's greatest minds. Feel free to add to the list. I'm curious to see all the name's I left out.:wink:
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2003
  19. Oct 23, 2003 #18


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    You missed out, as far as I can tell...


    and many others I can't think of right now...

    But really thow, if we accept science as a culmilative effort, we can't really follow the criteria of looking for the fundamentals, since that will take us all the way back to caveman Ogg and his rounded square, and his friend Igg of the strange hot thingie.
  20. Oct 24, 2003 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    I vote for Igg.

    Ok. Albert.
  21. Oct 24, 2003 #20


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    I always thought of Newton as a giant who stood on the shoulders of dwarves.

  22. Oct 24, 2003 #21
    I have other favorite men of science, but with the way you worded your question (the best scientist of all time), I have to also go with Galileo. I think that Newton's and Einstein's contributions were greater, however, Galileo overcame 2000 years of incorrect science paving the way for acceptance of Copernicus's theory on the motion of the planets and clearing the path for Newton and Einstein to refine and build on his base.

    I also think he was a pretty good scientific technician considering the day and age in which he lived.
  23. Oct 24, 2003 #22
    I'm joining the Feynman crew in this thread. Feynman kicks ass.
  24. Oct 25, 2003 #23
    Faraday is the man! He figured out everything important about electromagnetism including the fact that light is an electromagnetic effect.
  25. Oct 26, 2003 #24
    He certainly stood on people - he was a pretty horrible guy by all accounts and he tried to obliterate from the records rivals and people he disliked (Such as Hooke). A pretty foul guy, but yes, one of the best Physicists ever.

    Incidentally, his quote about 'standing on the shouldes of giants' was one of the ONLY nice things he had to say about his predecessors. As these included Copernicus, Gallileo, Kepler and Tycho, he couldn't really say anything else could he?
  26. Oct 26, 2003 #25
    Its a bit like asking who makes the best french fires, Mc Donalds or Hungry Jacks. Its Ok if you want to know who makes the best crud, but if you want Gourmet, then you go for the real players, someone with a bit of sophistication and class. Enzo Ferrari
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