Who's your favorite Physicist and why?
I like Einstein but...
I would have to go with Richard Feynman. His sense of humor and charisma are so unique in a field where seriousness and competition dominate.
Wow, that's a toughy. I'd have to say there is a many-way tie. Anton Zeilinger, Erwin Schrodinger, Heisinberg, Plank, and that one dude with the wicked hair..... something like Albertos Instine?!?.....Whatever he's known for.
Alive or dead?
Alive: Ed Witten
Dead: Probably Einstein or Bohr.
Just to be different....
Walter Kohn and Axel Becke (who's in a chemistry department, but such the faculty hiring world goes).
As for why....DFT. Why else? An elegantly simple idea, which, when taken to various levels of application, yields all sorts of interesting results across physics, chemistry, biology, and engineering.
I missed the "why" part, in my previous post.
Ed Witten is my favorite living physicist, because I am a huge fan of M-Theory, and it wouldn't exist without him. Of course, Michio Kaku, and many others have made significant contributions as well, but the parts that particularly fascinate me - such as Duality and the unification of all of the string theories into the M-Theory - were most strongly influenced by Witten's work (IIRC, Witten invented Duality practically single-handedly, and he was the one that made some of the first mathematical applications of Duality to the unification of the string theories).
<----------The guy on the left and Sir Isaac Newton, both for their extraordinary work on the field of physics, which turned the world upside down
Albert Einstein, his work in physics, his philosophy, and the way he changed it.
Sure all of the above are great physicist but your forgetting the greatest of them all ! The GREATEST physicist was Paul Dirac. Some of his many achievements are listed below
1) Formalised the mathematics of quantum mechanics
2) Joined special relativity and quantum mechanics together
3) Gave birth to quantum field theory
4) First to predict that positrons existed even before their experimental discovery
5) Gave a symmetrical form to electromagnetism to take into account the possibility of magnetic charges
These are only a few of his achievements. Indeed Paul Dirac was the greatest physicist ever!
1. Einstein: The father of both QM and Relativity, and the confirmer of atomic theory.
2. Newton: Created mathematical physics.
3. Dirac... or someone else if I think of him.
Benjamin Franklin, because he
made an important contribution
without actually being a physicist
strictly speaking, and:
Michael Faraday, because he made
what I consider the important
discoveries about electromagnetism
the first transducer for turning
work into electricity, and the
first transducer for turning
electricity into work.
Feynmann & Fermi -- There need be no explanation
Dirac, that is a good one - his contributions are often overlooked outside of the Physics community - the ket-bra formalism is one of the most beautiful I know of. I like its liquidity, the way it can be chenged from an abstract algebra to a discrete rep, then to a continuous rep, then back - very nice. Personally I like them all, even all the little known researchers and people who wrote practical how-to books that did little to change the history of physics but did a lot to sharpen people's abilities. The only one I don't like is Heisenberg - because he was a Nazi.
Ah.... but does one's social status take away from one's contributions?
It doesn't, but it does change whether I like him or not. I'm not denying Heisenberg's greatness at all.
Einstein, I love his genious, humility and wit.
Newton, it's just amazing what he did.
Tesla, underrated genious.
Dr Abdus Salam [ Pakistan ]
My favorate Physicist is Late Dr Abdus Salam. He did alot for Pakistan but was always treated badly because he was an Ahmadi Muslim by faith and Ahmadi Sect has been declared non-Muslim in Pakistan in 1974 by the then National Assembly. He is the first Muslim and the only Pakistani Nobel Laureate
He got his Nobel Prize in 1979. Members can visit the following links:
( 1 ) The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
Presentation Speech by Professor Bengt Nagel of the Royal Academy of Sciences
( 2 ) The Nobel Prize in Physics 1979
( 3 ) Abdus Salam – Banquet Speech
( 4 ) Abdus Salam – Nobel Lecture [ You need to download Adobe Acrobat ]
( 5 ) Abdus Salam – Curriculum Vitae
( 6 ) His Picture Gallery on the official site of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam
Link: http://www2.alislam.org/gallery/salam [Broken]
( 7 ) His details/some of his writings on the official site of Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam
Dunno if he was actually a physicist but i personally think that Ernest Rutherford was a pretty cool guy! He experimented and explained the basic structure of the atoms we know today which i think is groovy.. however i like Tesla too cos of his outrageous claims...what a pro!
Einstein, Feynman, Newton, Weinberg, Schwinger, Wigner, Dirac,...
Some physicists who were "near-misses" for that level of greatness, but have influenced me through their books are Sakurai, Bjorken and Drell, Taylor and Wheeler.
I'll have to stick up for my main man, who is most commonly over looked: Tesla
for me its probably a three a way tie among Newton, Maxwell, and Einstein. Einstein will always be a little ahead of both them in opinion though.
The three phyicists that I find myself admiring the most would be Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, and Richard Feynman.
Now, I know he is not a physicist, but Charles Darwin certainly deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as the great physicists. The Thoery of Evolution is one of the most profound theories ever devised by man.
As for physicists, Galileo is my pick, not so much because of what he discovered, but the social environment in which he discovered it.
Einstein comes a close second because of the sheer breadth of his influence over the whole of physics.
He wrote the BEST physics book I've ever read. His book is the main reason I got interested in physics. "Black Holes and Time Warps" It's not as technical as something by Greene or Kaku, but still very informative. I also think that some of his work on gravity wave detectors like LIGO is going to change the way we view the Universe. Plus he actually returned an email I sent him. I'm sort of suprised no one said Hawking, 5 years ago he would have gotten votes. Hawking radiation and black holes evaporating is a pretty cool theory you got to admit.
edit- whoops sorry just saw someone did say Hawking, my bad.
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