Most Impressive Scientists and why:

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by paddoboy, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    In my opinion and at Numero uno, is with out doubt Pierre and Madam Curie.
    There sheer hardwork, dedication, and application in extracting Radium from the ore Pitch Blend, in primitive conditions, illustrate the passion both had for the sciences.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marie_Curie
    There work is also excellently illustrated in a 1943 movie entitled "Madam Curie" with Walter Pidgeon and Greer Garson.
    Pierre was tragically killed in an accident, and Marie went on to win two Nobel prizes in different sciences...Physics and Chemistry.

    Number two in my opinion goes to Albert Einstein for obvious reasons, not the least being his humility. The rest goes without saying and is common knowledge....

    Number 3 goes to a more recent scientist, Carl Sagan.
    Carl in my opinion was the greatest educator of our time, and probably is best remembered for his excellent series called Cosmos, released in the 70's and re made later with the permission of his wife Ann Druyan and narrated by Neil DeGrasse Tyson.
    Carl was also responsible for the actions of turning the cameras on the Voyager craft around to photograph Earth sitting like a moat of dust in a Sun beam, as well as placing a plaque on the craft in case it was discovered in the distant future by an Alien species.
    Carl also while accepting the fact that we probably are not alone, also debunked the many cases of Alien piloted UFO's.

    Some honourable mentions;
    Edwin Hubble: For his discovery of the expansion of the universe.
    Sir Issac Newton: For the first explanation of gravity.
    Stephen Hawking: Like Madam and Pierre Curie, Hawking achievements were done despite the great personal afflictions he had. A true marvel.

    All personal choices of course.
     
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  3. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    I would put Einstein first. The Curie work was important, but Einstein is the father of modern physics.
     
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  5. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Einstein certainly was the Father of modern physics. I won't argue with your choice, as it is probably what most would also agree to. My pick with the Curies was their absolute dedication and hard physical labour in extracting the Radium in primitive conditions.
     
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  7. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

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    I would put Newton first, Einstein second and James Maxwell third.

    Hey, it's an opinion.

    I was also thinking about physics only...

    But, then there's this:
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
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  8. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    Newton of course is another hard to argue against. While he still stood on the shoulders of giants, he also had far less to work with.
     
  9. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    One must I suppose than also give the Belgian Jesuit priest George LaMaitre a mention. Known as the Father of the BB, although probably for other reasons, he concluded that an expanding universe must then have had a beginning at some point in the distant past... the “primeval atom” as he called it.

    Of course since then, other observational aspects have been revealed that also support the BB concept, not the least being the CMBR discovered in the sixties.
     
  10. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    This seems to me a bit like trying to argue which is the best cheese in the world.

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    If I were forced, I would probably put Newton first, as he was working in a culture in which science was only just emerging from alchemy and other pseudoscience, and because the universal applicability of his ideas fired the Enlightenment belief that nature could be be understood, more than anyone in history. But I would class Faraday, Maxwell and Einstein as worthy challengers, in the field of physics.

    I agree there's a case for considering Einstein as the father of modern physics, in view of his critical contribution to quantum theory as well as relativity. (His Nobel prize was awarded for quantum theory, something many people are surprised to learn.)

    But this is only physics. In the field of chemistry I would probably choose Lavoisier. Chemistry was I think the hardest of all the sciences to put on a proper scientific footing, due to the difficulty in working out, from the messy mixtures all around us, what was a pure substance, isolating it and then determining what it consists of, without any previous concept of the chemical elements to refer to. A far harder problem than mechanics, which one can observe in simple and unimpeded form just by observing the motion of the heavenly bodies.

    In biology, I think it would have to be Darwin, whose ideas have been central to so many fruitful areas of modern biology, not least all the genetic stuff we are making such use of nowadays (though without chemistry none of it would get off the ground of course).

    But in the end it's a mug's game arguing whether Parmesan is better than Stilton, Camembert or Epoisses.
     
  11. Michael 345 New year. PRESENT is 71 years old Valued Senior Member

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    What did Parmesan ever do for us?

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  12. paddoboy Valued Senior Member

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    While Darwin is certainly up there, it seems to me that it was also a great deal of follow up work that eventually saw the theory of evolution become fact, Same in hindsight with Einstein.

    Again I chose the Curies for there passion, dilligence and hard yakka in primitive conditions.
    Sagan because I admired the man due to his educational prowess and skills.
    I'll make mine a top 5 and put in Darwin and Newton, and adding Maxwell and Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur to the honourable mentions list.
     
  13. gmilam Valued Senior Member

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    Johannes Kepler. He abandoned his long held cherished belief and followed the evidence.
     

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