What are the psychological characteristics of the best physicist of the history

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¿What are the psychological characteristics of the best physicist of the history?

I would like to talk with you about the psychology of their minds, it does not matter if we talk about newton, maxwell, arquimedes or einstein, I think that they had something in common and I would like to know what it is.

¿What were their abilities?.

-capacity of understanding abstract concepts

-capacity to express new ideas in their appropiate mathematical formalism

-to be able to analyse profoundly old theories and to perceive internal errors

-good inductive reasoning

-good deductive reasoning

-they did not have prejudices

...

¿What do you think?¿What would you add to this list? ¿If you could improve dramatically one of this abbilities which one would you choose?
 

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...
¿What do you think?¿What would you add to this list?
Without minimizing the significance of the above factors, I wonder if there isn't another ingredient that was absolutely indispensable in the case of Einstein, for example. It is perhaps rather abstract--or maybe a psychologist could identify the factor--but something that induces a passionate curiosity to understand the fundamental aspects about our world. He seemed to have had some unique and difficult-to-define passionate desire to understand the nature of the stuff of reality.

Not many would have had the kind of mix of curiosity and intensely driving desire to reveal the nature of things to the extent that he did in pursuing the study of Brownian motion, having the intuition that it could lead to enlightenment of the world of molecules. Ernst Mach, physicist and philosopher, near death--still rejected the concept of the existence of particles too small for direct observation, but Einstein presented his analysis of Brownian motion to Mach, confident that it proved the existence of molecules (for which he received the Nobel Prize). The same with the theory exlplaining the Photo Electric Effect (the quantum aspect of light--later tagging the particle of light with the label "photon").

While the list of attributes above play an important role, the uniqueness of Einstein I think is found in his passion, his curiosity, his almost Asperger-like drive to know the mind of God. This was so critical to his Special Relativity theory, and even more so to his General theory.

There are many gifted straight-A PhD students of physics who will not discover new fundamental concepts of nature just because they really do not have that same level of burning desire to know nature. Many physicists really don't even care. Their research is often motivated more our of competition among researchers, the practical need to publish, career goals, etc.

Robert Oppenheimer headed up physics at the Princeton Institute for Advanced Study for a period of time during Einstein's tenure there. His assessment of Einstein was that he wasted his years at Princeton by pursuing the mysteries of the fundamental fields of nature. Something within Einstein would not let him give up his passionate pursuit of a Unified Field Theory. Only in fairly recent years have theoretical physicists marveled at the validity of Einsteins's pursuit. His legacy inspires String Theory.

People like Oppenheimer may have underestimated the importance of that abstract undefined characteristic of Einstein that did not have to do with IQ, etc.
 
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Beautiful post bobc2, I agree with you 100%.
 

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