Humans have shown great inquisitiveness when it comes to exploring the mysteries of the universe. Besides, the need for advancement has been the core of science for centuries. Among all the people, there were some who took it upon themselves to answer the questions that have intrigued the world for centuries and have led to unimaginable discoveries and inventions. Had it not been for scientists, we would still be living in a dark age and thinking that the earth is flat. Scientists are the people who conduct exhaustive research to advance knowledge in the field of their interest. From computers, and printing press to high-precision surgical procedures, science has bestowed humanity with countless gifts. Answering the question of who is the greatest scientist of all times can be complex because choosing a single name for the title would be to undermine the groundbreaking work of others. In this blog, we will try to answer the question by reading about the scientists who are fit for the title.
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“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.”
Probably the most famous scientist, Albert Einstein is the first name that comes to our mind when we think of the word ‘Scientist’. Born in the city of Ulm (Germany) in the year 1879, Einstien’s adventures were unique right from his childhood. He didn’t perform well at school where he found cramming up chapters and exam patterns quite boring. After graduating from ETH Zurich Institute, Einstein had a tough time finding a job. After facing many rejections, he found a steady job as a clerk which allowed him to focus on his scientific research. Not only is he considered the greatest scientist of all times but also a great humanitarian as he was among the only four signatories who opposed the idea of Germany being a part of the world war-II. Einstein’s contribution to physics includes his much-lauded ‘Theory of Relativity’ and ‘Quantum Theory’. Besides, he was among the very few scientists who explained light, wormholes, time travel and other fascinating scientific theories. He was also awarded a Nobel Prize in 1921 for his law on the photoelectric effect.
“If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.”
Born in the year 1642 in Lincolnshire, Sir Isaac Newton is considered one of the greatest science intellects. Newton had mastery over various subjects which included Mathematics, Chemistry, and History. His work has been phenomenal in various fields. During his years at Cambridge University in 1664, he studied the nature of light and did experiments which led him to make a groundbreaking discovery in the field of Optics. He established that the white light is a combination of seven colours and this discovery of his has become the backbone of the modern age optical technology. In Mathematics, Newton pioneered the concept of ‘Calculus’ which is used in almost every technology. Apart from the aforementioned accomplishments, giving theories on ‘Gravitation’ and ‘Motion’ is considered his greatest achievement. The famous Newton’s Laws of Motion and Gravitation are among the greatest discoveries of mankind. Owing to the tremendous contribution he made in various disciplines, it would not be a mistake to call him one of the greatest scientist of all times.
“The present is theirs; the future, for which I really worked, is mine.”
Born in 1856 in Croatia, Nikola Tesla did not have a formal scientific pedagogy but his passion outperformed his need for education. A scientist and an engineer, Nikola Tesla moved to the United States where he worked with Thomas Edison for some months but after that, they parted their ways due to differences. Tesla received his education in Germany and later from the University of Prague (now Charles University). He pioneered the concept of Dynamos and Induction Motor and he was among the first to explore X-ray technology. Besides having patented the Tesla Coil which is the heart of wireless technology like Radio, he is known for contributing significantly to the development of the AC electric system. In 1895, Tesla also designed one of the first AC hydroelectric power plants in the US at Niagra Falls. The technology would not have modernized had it not been for the painstaking efforts by Tesla and this is why he is counted amongst the greatest scientist of all times.
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“In science, we must be interested in things, not in persons.”
Inspiring millions of women in the world, Marie Curie is an epitome of intelligence and hard work. Born in the year 1867 in Poland, she was fascinated by the mysteries of Physics and Chemistry. As a fact, did you know that Marie Curie could not secure admission to the then men only Warsaw University despite being a topper of her class in higher secondary school? With utter dedication, she took secret classes in the university and devoted her life to studying Physics and Chemistry. Finally, with little resources at her disposal, she moved to Paris in 1891 where she earned a formal Masters in Physics degree and another in Mathematics. Despite her struggles, her contribution to the scientific community is unmatched. Apart from discovering ‘Radioactivity’ and radioactive metals( Polonium and Radium), she also furthered research in X-rays whose foundation was laid by Wilhelm Rontgen. Marie Curie won Nobel Prize in Physics making her the first woman to win the prestigious prize. Later, in 1911, she won another in Chemistry making her the first person to win two Nobel Prizes. A woman who braved all the odds coming in her way to emerge as the greatest scientist of all times surely deserves the title.
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“A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.”
Known as the father of evolutionary biology, Charles Darwin was passionate about geology as he was studying at the University of Edinburgh Medical School and skipped many classes to roam around the countryside and collect beetles. He hopped on a 5-year crusade to explore the world on the HMS Beagle which was actually a chance invitation extended to him and on this voyage, he explored and documented geological formations and flora and fauna habitats across the Southern Hemisphere. Amidst many bouts of seasickness, he continued his studies during this expedition which led him to work on his theories that he published later in his landmark text, “On the Origin of Species”. Amongst the greatest scientists of all times, Darwin brought forward the theory of evolution and the process of natural selection which are an integral part of the study of Biology!
“The more I study, the more insatiable do I feel my genius for it to be.“
As one of the forgotten names amongst the greatest scientists of all times, Ada Lovelace was the first computer programmer even before the computers we use today were invented. A true tech visionary and the daughter of the Romantic poet Lord Byron, Ada’s parents encouraged their daughter to pursue higher education and inculcate a rational discourse unlike the women of that time. With a mother that emphasised on analytical and rational thinking while a father who believed in the power of imagination, Ada reconciled both these traits as she contributed extensively to the field of Computer Programming as she worked with the British Mathematician and engineer Charles Babbage right from when she was 17. Babbage was tirelessly working on the Difference Engine, which was a giant mechanical calculator and developed a close relationship with Lovelace as he dropped the idea of the engine and started brainstorming for an analytical engine for number crunching. It was Lovelace who was magnetised with the potential of this analytical engine and even jotted down instructions for it to solve complex math problems but the engine was never fully designed. Decades later, many historians analysed with the instructions she had written down for the first computer program and recognised the true potential this mathematical prodigy had.
All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
Referred to as the father of modern science, Galilei made prominent contributions to astronomy, physics, cosmology, mathematics and philosophy. Modern astronomy as we know today has been conceptualized by him as he pointed his telescope at the sky and observed many exciting things we study in Cosmology and Astronomy. But this greatest scientist lived in a time of the Roman Catholic doctrine which believed in Aristotle’s views and thus ordered an inquisition in the year 1616 asking him to stop promoting his views about Earth circling the sun’s orbit. It is believed that he was put under house arrest until his death which happened the same year as Isaac Newton’s birth, i.e. 1642.
“Science and everyday life cannot and should not be separated.”
Amongst the forgotten women in Science, Rosalind Franklin integrally carried out research on DNA’s structure for which Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins won a Nobel Prize in 1962. She worked in isolation and was a chemist who dedicated her life to the development of X-ray Crystallography. While she was conducting research on defining the structure of DNA, Wilkins, Watson and Crick who were her colleagues took a look at her work and then published a paper on their own with loosely citing Franklin and her discoveries as a supporting study. A perfectionist and one of the greatest women scientists you should know, Franklin was appreciated amongst her colleagues and those she worked with but ironically remained forgotten for her most remarkable discovery.
“Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so that each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry.“
Renowned as one of the iconoclastic theoretical physicists, Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1965 for remaking the theory of quantum electrodynamics. His works were some of the eminent inventions of the 20th century and massively contributed to the development of Modern Physics. Getting the most notable mention in our list of greatest scientists of all times, Feynman started working on the Manhattan Project in 1941 and also played an instrumental role in solving the Columbia Space Shuttle disaster. A jovial and beloved physicist endeared for his jokes and lively perspective of life, Feynman was never one to accept things as they are but rather curiously and exhaustively explored them which led him to his greatest inventions!
We hope that this blog has helped you know about the personalities who are revered as the greatest scientist of all times. Their contribution to the world is unbeatable and their legacy indelible. We at Leverage Edu respect the enthusiasm with which the students come and seek our services. From selecting the university to completing admission formalities, our experts help you take the right direction towards your career so that you become the leaders and influencers of the future.