Who are the Greatest Physicists in this century?

  1. :bugeye: Last century we have Max Plank, Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, Schrodingers, de Broglie, Fermi and so on (so many!) great physicisys.

    So, who do we have in this century?

    Stephen Hawking?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Me, of course.
     
  4. We had Hans Bethe. Too bad he died last year. But still, he was alive in this century.
     
  5. In terms of accomplishments in this century? Not Hawking.


    Its a bit early for asking that. Come back in 80 years.
     
  6. Curious3141

    Curious3141 2,970
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    For all you know, Zefram Cochrane would've invented warp drive before the century's out, so ask again in 90+ years.
     
  7. so, today, we have NO physicists ranked at the same height as those I listed (Max Plank ... ...)

    Am I right?

    Why not Stephen Hawking?
    People said he is today's Einstein!!!
     
  8. She hasn't necessarily done great things as far as I'm aware, but one of my favourite scientists at the moment is Kathy Sykes, a British physicist. :!!)

    As far as the greatest physicist right now, I honestly don't know.
     
  9. Ummm, no. He wrote a pop-science book and it made him famous. Granted, he is certainly a good physicist (You don't get to be Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge for nothing) but he is not in the league of say Bohr, Schrodinger, Feynman, Einstein, Fermi, or any of the major pioneers from the early part of this century.

    And as a side issue: People said? Who said? Who are these mythical 'people'?
     
  10. SpaceTiger

    SpaceTiger 2,977
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    No accomplishment in physics could possibly be judged for its greatness with only 6 years of hindsight, especially if you're comparing to the likes of Einstein and Bohr.
     
  11. I disagree. His work on black holes was very importent in physics he came up with Hawking radition which chaged the our understanding of black holes we thought nothing would come out but then Hawking found a way that somthing does come out.

    I think Einstien the greatest physicst of the 20th centrey(it's too early to say who's the greatest of the 21st centrey.)
     
  12. Mark McCutcheon is the greatest physicist evar!!! (Or so he seems to claim.)
     
  13. Not mythical, but they call themselves journalists. :tongue2:
     
  14. Btw, has anybody thought about the "fact" that all "Great Physicists" have been theorists, at least by appearance of the OP's list. Has nobody in the past century come up with an ingenious experiment to detect something?
     
  15. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    Many have...but experimental physics is a lot less sexy than theoretical physics. To set up an experiment from scratch often takes several years and costs a lot of money. And it's not fun to write about either.

    Some of the biggest experimental contributions in the last few decades :

    Cornell, Wieman, Ketterle - making BECs

    Stormer, Tsui, von Klitzing - discovering the Quantum Hall effects

    Osheroff, Lee, Richardson - discovering fermionic superfluidity

    Perl, Reines - detecting the tau lepton and neutrino

    Bednorz & Muller - discovering Superconductivity

    Ruska - inventing the electron microscope

    Cockroft & Walton - nuclear transmutation

    Lawrence - inventing the cyclotron

    ...

    ...and then there was Fermi !
     
  16. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,165
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    Not to be picky, but I think Gokul meant "Discovering high-Tc superconductivity". Superconductivity was discovered by H. Kamerlingh Onnes.

    On a separate note, I always wonder why people ask questions such as this, as in what purpose does it serve? To glorify a certain physicist? And as expected, I am not surprised by the glaring omission of the only person who was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics twice.

    Zz.
     
  17. I suppose it's just for the sake of conversation, Zz. It's also good for newcomers, such as myself, to see who are the great physicists.

    Anyway, Kathy:

    [​IMG]


    :biggrin:
     
  18. George Jones

    George Jones 6,414
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    Sorry neutrino, I have to disagree. There is one good experimentalist on the OP's list. The list also includes someone who was quite a good soccer player, although his mathematician brother was even better.

    Also, Hawking on Hawking: "Instead, almost everyone believes that the universe, and time itself had a beginning at the big bang. This is a discovery far more important than a few miscellaneous unstable particles, but not one that has been so well recognized by Nobel prizes."

    ZapperZ: Do you think your bard is the best bard?

    Regards,
    George
     
  19. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    That's still only ONE. No doubt, he was a genius of another kind altogether, possessing theoretical insight and experimental brilliance.
    And big brother was tutored by arguably the best experimentalist there was.

    There's more than one bard ? (not Sam Treiman is it ?)
     
  20. George Jones

    George Jones 6,414
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    I was just being silly, playing with words.

    For me, there is only one bard - Shakespeare.

    Regards,
    George
     
  21. ZapperZ

    ZapperZ 30,165
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    No, because that criteria on what is "best" is vague. Just like the thread on General Physics on the question "Is energy and matter the SAME thing", what criteria does one use in such a thing? Impact? Number of Nobel Prizes? Number of citations? What?

    I don't play this "best" game, because it is (i)subjective (ii)meaningless, and (iii) demeaning to others in the field who are making important contributions but the work does not have the "sexyness" to garner front-page news in popular media. Next time your loved ones require an MRI to diagnose an important disease, would you then consider those who have pioneered and made advances in MRI and NMR as the important and "best" physicists?

    I have no interest in trumpeting those household names. I will, however, point out the many men and women who have made terrific and significant contributions to the field of physics that have been glaringly overlooked.

    Zz.
     
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