**Listed In:**Physicists

**Birthdate:**March 14, 1879

**Sun Sign:**Pisces

**Birthplace:**Ulm, Germany

**Died:**April 18, 1955

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1

Albert Einstein

(One of the Greatest Physicists of All Time, Best Known for Developing the Theory of Relativity)

Deemed as the most influential physicist of the 20th century, the German-born physicist Albert Einstein was one of the greatest minds to have ever lived. Even his name is now synonymous with the term genius. The father of Modern Physics is credited with developing the theory of relativity and explaining the photoelectric effect. The latter won him the Nobel Prize.

2

Stephen Hawking

(Theoretical Physicist - First to Set Out a Theory of Cosmology)

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the **100 Greatest Britons,** in 2002.

3

Alan Turing

(English Mathematician Who is Considered as the Father of Theoretical Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence)

Regarded as the father of computer science and artificial intelligence, Alan Turing was a distinguished mathematician and logician. During WWII, he successfully broke the challenging German Enigma machine codes thereby reducing the duration of war by a couple of years. The scientist, who was convicted for being gay, has been an inspiration for numerous films, plays and novels.

4

Marie Curie

(The First Woman to Win a Nobel Prize)

Amongst the most notable scientists of her time, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the sole person to win two Nobel Prize in two different category, and the first woman professor at the University of Paris—Marie Curie’s list of achievements is incredible. She did extensive research in the field of *radioactivity* and discovered polonium and radium.

5

Srinivasa Ramanujan

(Mathematician)

A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.

6

Galileo Galilei

(Known as “Father” of Observational Astronomy who Invented the ‘Thermoscope’ and Various Military Compasses)

An Italian astronomer, engineer, and physicist, Galileo Galilei is widely regarded as the **father of observational astronomy**, the **father of the scientific method**, the **father of modern physics**, and the **father of modern science**. He is credited with popularizing the telescope, which changed the course of history.

7

Neil deGrasse Tyson

(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)

**Public Welfare Medal**-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as **NOVA ScienceNow**, **Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey**, and **Star Talk**. He is the director of **Hayden Planetarium** and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”

8

Carl Sagan

(Astronomer and Planetary Scientist Best Known for His Scientific Contribution in Research on Extraterrestrial Life)

9

Pythagoras

(Greek Philosopher, Mathematician and Founder of Pythagoreanism)

Pythagoras was an Ionian Greek philosopher. He is credited with many scientific and mathematical discoveries, including the *Sphericity of the Earth*, the *Theory of Proportions*, the* five regular solids*,* Pythagorean tuning*, and the* Pythagorean Theorem*. Pythagoras influenced other philosophers like Plato and Aristotle. His philosophy also had a major impact on personalities like Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, and Nicolaus Copernicus.

10

Aryabhata

(5th & 6th Century Indian Mathematician and Astronomer who Calculated the Value of Pi)

Indian mathematician and astronomer Aryabhata pioneered the concept of “zero” and used it in his “place value system.” He had also worked on the approximation of pi and laid down the basic concepts of trigonometry, such as sine and cosine. He also mentioned that the Earth rotates on its axis.

11

J. Robert Oppenheimer

(American Theoretical Physicist and Former Wartime Head of the ‘Los Alamos Laboratory’)

Hailed as a brilliant scientific mind, American physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, led the Manhattan Project which resulted in the development of atomic bomb during the World War II. The bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, Oppenheimer was in a constant conflict over the moral issue of the weapons of mass destruction and rallied against nuclear proliferation.

12

Archimedes

(One of the Leading Scientists in Classical Antiquity and the Greatest Mathematician of Ancient History)

Greek mathematician, physicist, and astronomer Archimedes is remembered for his contribution to mathematics, especially geometry. He laid down theorems related to the area of a circle, and the area and volume of a sphere, and reached an accurate value of pi. He also invented machines such as the screw pump.

13

C.V. Raman

(Physicist)

Indian physicist C.V. Raman earned the **Nobel Prize in Physics** after discovering the **Raman effect**. He was the first director of the **IISc** and founded the **Indian Academy of Sciences** and the **Raman Research Institute**. He destroyed his **Bharat Ratna** medal in protest against Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies on science.

14

Nicolaus Copernicus

(Polish Astronomer Who Proposed That the Earth Revolves Around the Sun)

Nicolaus Copernicus was a mathematician and astronomer. He is credited with formulating *Heliocentrism*, which led to the *Copernican Revolution*. Although Aristarchus of Samos had formulated *Heliocentrism *18 centuries earlier, Copernicus was responsible for popularizing it. Copernicus is also credited with formulating an economic principle, which was later called *Gresham's law*.

15

Steve Wozniak

(Co-Founder of Apple Inc.)

Widely recognized as one of the two important pioneers of the personal computer revolution, Steve Wozniak is credited with co-founding *Apple Inc.* along with Steve Jobs. Not surprisingly, he has been described as one of the men that changed the course of history through technology. Apart from being a programmer and technology entrepreneur, Steve Wozniak is also a well-known philanthropist.

16

Richard Feynman

(One of the Joint Winners of Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965)

Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman won the **Nobel Prize in Physics** in 1965, along with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, for his research on quantum electrodynamics. He also contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Feyman made it to **Physics World**’s list of the 10 greatest physicists of all time.

17

Louis Pasteur

(French Chemist and Microbiologist Who Discovered the Principles of Vaccination, Microbial Fermentation and Pasteurization)

Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the **Pasteur Institute** in Paris.

18

George Washington Carver

(American Agricultural Scientist and Inventor Who Promoted Alternative Crops to Cotton and Methods to Prevent Soil Depletion)

Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver is best remembered for promoting crops that were alternative to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He invented ways to prevent soil depletion and developed scores of products made from peanuts, including paints and cosmetics. He won numerous honors, such as the **Spingarn Medal**.

19

Michael Faraday

(English Scientist Who Contributed to the Study of Electromagnetism and Electrochemistry)

Michael Faraday was an English scientist known for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Considered one of the** **most influential scientists ever, Faraday's inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices established the basis for electric motor technology. His research also helped understand the concept of the electromagnetic field. Ernest Rutherford called him one of the greatest scientific discoverers** **ever.

20

René Déscartes

(French Philosopher, Mathematician and Inventor of ‘Analytic Geometry’)

René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, laid down the idea of rationalism, later followed by Spinoza and Leibniz. Descartes also contributed to the field of analytical geometry and led to the **Cartesian coordinate system** being named after him. His **Meditations on First Philosophy** is still taught at many universities.

21

John Forbes Nash Jr.

(Mathematician)

The inspiration behind the movie **A Beautiful Mind**, John F. Nash was a legendary mathematician whose work in the area of game theory earned him the **Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences**. In his later years, he was riddled with mental illness. He later died in a car crash.

22

Euclid

(Greek Mathematician Who is Considered the 'Father of Geometry')

Greek mathematician Euclid, also known as Euclid of Alexandria, is remembered as the *father of geometry*. One of his most significant works was his book on mathematics, *Elements*. He had worked extensively on conic sections, spherical geometry, and number theory.

23

Niels Bohr

(Danish Physicist Who Made Foundational Contributions to Understanding Atomic Structure and Quantum Theory)

24

Alexander Fleming

(Physician and Microbiologist Who Discovered ‘Penicillin’ World’s First Broadly Effective Antibiotic Substance)

Alexander Fleming was a Scottish microbiologist and physician. He is credited with discovering *penicillin*, the world's first effective antibiotic substance; a discovery that changed the course of history. He also discovered *lysozyme*, an antimicrobial enzyme which forms part of the innate immune system. In 1999, Fleming was named in *Time *magazine's *100 Most Important People of the 20th century* list.

25

Carl F. Gauss

(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Tim)

German mathematician and physicist Carl Friedrich Gauss is remembered for his work in math and science. Known as the *Princeps mathematicorum*, he laid down tenets such as the *Gauss's Law*. He had exhibited his talent since an early age and had completed writing *Disquisitiones Arithmeticae* by 21.

26

Carl Linnaeus

(Botanist)

Swedish botanist and lecturer Carl Linnaeus, who established the concept of binomial nomenclature, or the system of naming organisms, is also known as the father of modern taxonomy. His system of classification is known as **Linnaean taxonomy**. He was the first to include humans and apes under the header **Anthropomorpha**.

27

John von Neumann

(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)

Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the **U.S. Atomic Energy Commission**.

28

Charles Babbage

(Father of the computer)

Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the **Difference Engine**. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the **Analytical Engine**, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.

29

Werner Heisenberg

(German Theoretical Physicist and One of the Main Pioneers of the Theory of Quantum Mechanics)

German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg is best known for pioneering quantum mechanics. He received the 1932 **Nobel Prize** in Physics. He had also helped Germany plan nuclear weapon strategies during **World War II **and was the director of what is now known as the **Max Planck Institute for Physics**.

30

Avicenna

(Persian polymath the most significant physiciansand writers of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of early modern medicine.)

Renowned as *father of early modern medicine*, Avicenna was an illustrious Persian polymath. He is specifically distingusihed for his contributions in the fields of *medicine and Aristotelian philisophy.* He is best-known for his works namely, *The Canon of Medicine* and *The Book of Healing. *The corpus of his writings also include *alchemy, geology, psychology, geography, physics, poetry and Islamic theology.*

31

Leonhard Euler

(Mathematician, Physicist)

Leonhard Euler was a Swiss physicist, mathematician, logician, geographer, astronomer, and engineer. He is credited with making influential and important mathematical discoveries, such as *graph theory *and *infinitesimal calculus*. Widely regarded as one of the **greatest and most prolific mathematicians of all time**, Leonhard Euler also made pioneering contributions to* analytic number theory* and *topology*.

32

Alfred Nobel

(Swedish Chemist, Engineer, and Inventor Who Invented Dynamite)

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and inventor. A prolific inventor, he held 355 different patents. Most popular as the inventor of dynamite, he was concerned with how he would be remembered after his death and bequeathed his fortune to the Nobel Prize institution. A wide traveler, he was proficient in several languages.

33

Ada Lovelace

(Countess of Lovelace)

Ada Lovelace was a mathematician known for her work on the *Analytical Engine*, a mechanical general-purpose computer proposed by Charles Babbage. Many believe that Lovelace was the first to recognize the potential of computers. It is also believed that she published the first algorithm after realizing that the algorithm could be carried out by a machine like the *Analytical Engine*.

34

Bertrand Russell

(Philosopher)

Bertrand Russell was a British polymath and Nobel laureate. His work, which is spread across various fields, has had a considerable influence on philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, linguistics, and logic. Russell is also credited with leading the revolt against idealism in Britain and is regarded as one of the founders of analytic philosophy.

35

Dmitri Mendeleev

(Inventor of Periodic Table)

Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev created the *Periodic Law*** **and his version of the *Periodic Table of Elements* that revolutionized the field of chemistry. His table was independent of German chemist Julius Lothar Meyer’s version of the table. Mendeleev also assisted in the development of the first oil refinery in Russia.

36

Blaise Pascal

(One of the Greatest Mathematicians of All Time Who Invented the Mechanical Calculator)

Blaise Pascal was a French physicist, mathematician, philosopher, and inventor. A child prodigy, Pascal's work on *projective geometry,* at the age of 16 is commendable. He is one of the earliest** inventors of the mechanical calculator**, which he did when he was still a teenager. His work on *probability theory* influenced the development of social science and modern economics.

37

Jagadish Chandra Bose

(Physicist)

Indian physicist, biologist, and plant physiologist Jagadish Chandra Bose revolutionized science with his research on how plants and animals react to external stimuli. He founded the **Bose Institute**, made pioneering contribution to the field of radio and microwave optics, and also penned one of the first works of Bengali science fiction.

38

Erwin Schrödinger

(Austrian Physicist Who Made Important Contributions to the Development of Quantum Mechanics)

Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is best known for the "Schrödinger's cat" experiment, or the Schrodinger equation. His book **What Is Life?** explored genetics through physics. The **Nobel Prize** winner also wrote on a variety of topics, such as color theory and thermodynamics, and tried to create a unified field theory.

39

Homi Bhabha

(Indian physicist)

**Padma Bhushan**-winning physicist Homi Bhabha revolutionized the Indian nuclear program singlehandedly. Born into an affluent family, he was educated at **Cambridge**. Initially geared toward a career in mechanical engineering, he later drifted to physics, eventually contributing to the formation of **TIFR**. The **Bhabha Atomic Research Centre** is named after him.

40

Johannes Kepler

(Astronomer Best Known for his Laws of Plantery Motion)

This 17th-century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer is remembered for his pathbreaking work on optics. He invented a developed version of the refracting telescope. He also laid down *Kepler's laws of planetary motion *and wrote *Astronomia Nova, Harmonices Mundi, *and *Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae*.

41

Ernest Rutherford

(New Zealand Physicist Who is Known as the Father of Nuclear Physics)

New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford is remembered as the father of nuclear physics. His discovery of radioactive half-life and of radon, and his differentiation of alpha and beta radiation, won him the **Nobel Prize in Chemistry** in 1908. *Element 104* was named *rutherfordium* in his honor.

42

James Maxwell

(Scottish Mathematician and Scientist Who Gave the Classical Theory of Electromagnetic Radiation)

Scottish physicist James Maxwell’s contributions included the formulation of the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation and the production of the first light-fast color photograph. His *Maxwell–Boltzmann distribution* explored the kinetic theory of gases. He has also written poems and was an *Elder* of the **Church of Scotland**.

43

Rosalind Franklin

(Chemist)

Chemist and X-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin is remembered for her pathbreaking X-ray diffraction studies of DNA, which helped in the **Nobel Prize**-winning discovery of the double helix structure of DNA by Francis Crick, James Watson, and Maurice Wilkins later. She also worked on the molecular structures of viruses.

44

Claudius Ptolemy

(Astronomer, Cartographer & Mathematician)

Claudius Ptolemy was a 2nd-century mathematician, astronomer, astrologer, and geographer, who had written a number of scientific treatises, such as **The Great Treatise**, **Geography**, and the **Tetrábiblos**. He lived in Alexandria under the Roman rule in Egypt. He had also authored **Harmonics**, a book on music theory.

45

Max Planck

(German Theoretical Physicist and Originator of 'Quantum Theory')

German theoretical physicist Max Planck is remembered for originating the *quantum theory of physics*, which earned him the 1918 **Nobel Prize in Physics**. He laid down concepts such as the *Planck constant* and the *Planck postulate*. The **Kaiser Wilhelm Society** was later renamed **Max Planck Society **in his honor.

46

Hypatia

(Mathematician, Astronomer and Philosopher)

Hypatia was a Hellenistic Neoplatonist philosopher, mathematician, and astronomer who lived during the 4th and 5th centuries. She also taught and served as a counselor. She is remembered for her commentary on Diophantus's **Arithmetica**. She was later murdered and became a symbol of feminism and of opposition to Catholic ideals.

47

Robert Hooke

(Philosopher)

Scientist Robert Hooke, also called *England's Leonardo*, initially gained recognition as an architect, conducting surveys following the *Great Fire of London*. He also taught geometry and was part of the **Royal Society**. He assisted Robert Boyle and eventually developed his own microscope, thus becoming the first to visualize micro-organisms.

48

Richard Dawkins

(British Evolutionary Biologist Who Contends that a Supernatural Creator Almost Certainly Does Not Exist)

Richard Dawkins is a British ethologist, author, and evolutionary biologist. He first achieved popularity after publishing his book, *The Selfish Gene*, which is credited with popularizing the* gene selection theory*. The book is also credited with introducing the term *meme*. In 2006, he established the *Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science* to promote secularism and scientific literacy.

49

Antoine Lavoisier

(French Chemist Who Discovered the Role of Oxygen in Combustion)

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist and nobleman. He played a crucial role during the chemical revolution of the 18th-century. Widely regarded as the ** father of modern chemistry**, Lavoisier had a major influence on the history of biology as well as the history of chemistry. He also helped build the metric system.

50

John Dalton

(Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist Best Known for Developing the 'Atomic Theory')

John Dalton was an English chemist, physicist, and meteorologist most famous for introducing the atomic theory into chemistry. He also contributed a lot to the study of color blindness, sometimes referred to as Daltonism in his honor. He was the first scientist to refer to the smallest particle of matter as an “atom.” He was a Quaker and lived modestly.

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