"Greatest Theorist"??? Alright, so I was reading through Ed Witten's wikipedia page since I knew he was big in String Theory, but I'm not really all that into Strings and didn't know to what extent. I'm reading the article and there's a quote out of an article in time [ http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,994019,00.html ] about him being (generally) considered the greatest theorist in the world. Now, I'm not trying to start any sort of flame against string theory or any sort of controversy like that, but I would think it kind of silly to talk about a "greatest" theorist in any context. From what I have heard (and I'll admit it is very little!) one could maybe discuss the most important theorist within a given field, but even that is going to be up for debate. While I know that the article says generally, I'd like to know if anyone has any strong opinions about this. I personally believe that it's unlikely for any one person to have that title, though people may have personal favorites, and that it was (probably) wrong to put that in Time. Though, I cannot say for sure since as I mentioned before, I'm not all that familiar with him. In general though, it would be nice an undergraduate looking at graduate school to know who the "big names" are in my field (probably HEP) so if anyone knows anyone else worth looking into who is considered a big name and is still publishing, I'd like to look into them. I've seen estimates that the HEP community is anywhere from 1000-3000 people depending on how you count graduate students, postdocs, emeritus etc. Out of curiosity, does anyone have any favorites in terms of prolific scientific contribution?