Most Influential Scientist

Who is the most influential scientist of all time?

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24 Total Votes
1

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-born and later naturalized American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system.Tes... la gained experience in telephony and electrical engineering before emigrating to the United States in 1884 to work for Thomas Edison. He soon struck out on his own with financial backers, setting up laboratories and companies to develop a range of electrical devices. His patented AC induction motor and transformer were licensed by George Westinghouse, who also hired Tesla as a consultant to help develop a power system using alternating current. Tesla is also known for his high-voltage, high-frequency power experiments in New York and Colorado Springs which included patented devices and theoretical work used in the invention of radio communication, for his X-ray experiments, and for his ill-fated attempt at intercontinental wireless transmission in his unfinished Wardenclyffe Tower project.Tesla's achievements and his abilities as a showman demonstrating his seemingly miraculous inventions made him world-famous. Although he made a great deal of money from his patents, he spent a lot on numerous experiments. He lived for most of his life in a series of New York hotels although the end of his patent income and eventual bankruptcy led him to live in diminished circumstances. Tesla still continued to invite the press to parties he held on his birthday to announce new inventions he was working and make statements. Because of his pronouncements and the nature of his work over the years, Tesla gained a reputation in popular culture as the archetypal "mad scientist". He died in room 3327 of the New Yorker Hotel on 7 January 1943   more
6 votes
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2

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. While best known for his mass–energy equivalence formula E = mc², he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in P... hysics "for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect". The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of his special theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended to gravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the large-scale structure of the universe   more
6 votes
1 comment
3

Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin, FRS was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he...  called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.Darwin published his theory of evolution with compelling evidence in his 1859 book On the Origin of Species, overcoming scientific rejection of earlier concepts of transmutation of species. By the 1870s the scientific community and much of the general public had accepted evolution as a fact. However, many favoured competing explanations and it was not until the emergence of the modern evolutionary synthesis from the 1930s to the 1950s that a broad consensus developed in which natural selection was the basic mechanism of evolution. In modified form, Darwin's scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, explaining the diversity of life.Darwin's early interest in nature led him to neglect his medical education at the University of Edinburgh; instead, he helped to investigate marine invertebrates. Studies at the University of Cambridge encouraged his passion for natural science. His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell's uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author   more
4 votes
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4

Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci, April 15, 1452 – May 2, 1519) was an Italian polymath, being a scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, painter, sculptor, architect, botanist, musician and writer. Leonardo has often been described as...  the archetype of the "Renaissance man", a man whose "unquenchable curiosity" was equalled only by his powers of invention. He is widely considered to be one of the greatest painters of all time and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. Helen Gardner says "The scope and depth of his interests were without precedent...His mind and personality seem to us superhuman, the man himself mysterious and remote".     Born as the illegitimate son of a notary, Piero da Vinci, and a peasant woman, Caterina, at Vinci in the region of Florence, Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice and spent his last years in France, at the home awarded him by King François I.     Leonardo was and is renowned primarily as a painter. Two of his works, the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are the most famous, most reproduced and most parodied portrait and religious painting of all time, their fame approached only by Michelangelo's Creation of Adam   more
4 votes
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5

Galileo Galilei

Galileo Galilei, was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations and support f... or Copernicanism. Galileo has been called the "father of modern observational astronomy", the "father of modern physics", the "father of science", and "the Father of Modern Science".His contributions to observational astronomy include the telescopic confirmation of the phases of Venus, the discovery of the four largest satellites of Jupiter, and the observation and analysis of sunspots. Galileo also worked in applied science and technology, inventing an improved military compass and other instruments.Galileo's championing of heliocentrism was controversial within his lifetime, when most subscribed to either geocentrism or the Tychonic system. He met with opposition from astronomers, who doubted heliocentrism due to the absence of an observed stellar parallax. The matter was investigated by the Roman Inquisition in 1615, and they concluded that it could be supported as only a possibility, not an established fact. Galileo later defended his views in Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which appeared to attack Pope Urban VIII and thus alienated him and the Jesuits, who had both supported Galileo up until this point. He was tried by the Inquisition, found "vehemently suspect of heresy", forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest. It was while Galileo was under house arrest that he wrote one of his finest works, Two New Sciences, in which he summarised the work he had done some forty years earlier, on the two sciences now called kinematics and strength of materials   more
2 votes
1 comment
6

Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton PRS MP was an English physicist and mathematician who is widely regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time and as a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica, f... irst published in 1687, laid the foundations for most of classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics and shares credit with Gottfried Leibniz for the invention of the infinitesimal calculus.Newton's Principia formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that dominated scientists' view of the physical universe for the next three centuries. It also demonstrated that the motion of objects on the Earth and that of celestial bodies could be described by the same principles. By deriving Kepler's laws of planetary motion from his mathematical description of gravity, Newton removed the last doubts about the validity of the heliocentric model of the cosmos.Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a theory of colour based on the observation that a prism decomposes white light into the many colours of the visible spectrum. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling and studied the speed of sound. In addition to his work on the calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, and developed Newton's method for approximating the roots of a function   more
1 vote
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7

Alan Turing

1 vote
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8

Niels Henrik David Bohr

Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scien... tific research. In 1943, having a Jewish mother, he fled to Sweden to escape nazi-persecution and pleaded with the Swedish king to allow all 8.000 Danish Jews refuge in the neutral kingdom. The escape succeeded.Bohr developed the Bohr model of the atom with the atomic nucleus at the centre and electrons in orbit around it, which he compared to the planets orbiting the Sun. He helped develop quantum mechanics, in which electrons move from one energy level to another in discrete steps, instead of continuously. He founded the Institute of Theoretical Physics at the University of Copenhagen, now known as the Niels Bohr Institute, which opened in 1920. Bohr mentored and collaborated with physicists including Hans Kramers, Oskar Klein, George de Hevesy and Werner Heisenberg. He predicted the existence of a new zirconium-like element, which was named hafnium, after Copenhagen, when it was discovered. Later, the element bohrium was named after him. He conceived the principle of complementarity: that items could be separately analysed as having contradictory properties, like behaving as a wave or a stream of particles. The notion of complementarity dominated his thinking on both science and philosophy   more
0 votes
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9

Max Planck

Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, FRS was a German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame rests primarily on his role as o... riginator of the quantum theory. This theory revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, just as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized the understanding of space and time. Together they constitute the fundamental theories of 20th-century physics   more
0 votes
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10

Stephen hawking

Stephen Peter "Steve" Marriott was an English musician, songwriter and frontman of two notable rock and roll bands, spanning over two decades. Marriott is remembered for his powerful singing voice which belied his small stature, and for his aggressi... ve approach as a guitarist in mod Rock bands Small Faces and Humble Pie. Marriott was inducted posthumously into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 as a member of Small Faces.In Britain, Marriott became a popular, often-photographed mod style icon through his role as lead singer and guitarist with the Small Faces in the mid to late 1960s. Marriott was influenced from an early age by his heroes including Buddy Holly, Booker T & the MG's, Ray Charles, Otis Redding, Muddy Waters and Bobby Bland. In later life Marriott became disillusioned with the music industry and turned his back on the big record companies, remaining in relative obscurity. He returned to his music roots playing the pubs and clubs around London and Essex.Marriott died on 20 April 1991 when a fire, thought to have been caused by a cigarette, swept through his 16th century home in Arkesden, Essex   more
0 votes
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11

Marie Curie

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