Scientists, Inventors, Engineers, Alchemists, Pioneers

Nikola Tesla
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Thomas Edison
Alexander graham bell
Henry Ford
Archimedes
Aristotle
Niels Bohr
Nicolaus Copernicus
Marie Curie
Charles Darwin
Leonardo Da Vinci
Rene Descartes
Thomas Alva Edison
Albert Einstein
Benjamin Franklin
Galileo Galilei
Isaac Newton
Max Planck
Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen
Carl Sagan
Nikola Tesla

A
luis alvarezLuis Alvarez 1911 – 1988.
The iridium layer, dinosaur death by meteorite impact, and subatomic particle discoveries.
andre-marie ampereAndré-Marie Ampère 1775 – 1836.
Discovered that wires carrying electric current can attract and repel magnetically; founded electromagnetic theory.
anaximanderAnaximander c. 610 BC – c 546 BC.
An ancient scientific revolution: the first person in history to recognize that our planet is free in space and does not need to sit on something.
Mary AnningMary Anning 1799 – 1847. 
Ancient animals, fossils, and paleontology: discovered the first complete specimen of a plesiosaur; deduced the diets of dinosaurs.
archimedesArchimedes c. 287 BC – 212 BC.
Founded the sciences of mechanics and hydrostatics, calculated pi precisely, devised the law of exponents, created new geometrical proofs, invented numerous ingenious mechanical devices, and more.
AristarchusAristarchus c. 310 BC – c. 230 BC.
Promoted the idea that the earth follows a circular orbit around the sun eighteen centuries before Nicolaus Copernicus resurrected the idea.
AristotleAristotle 384 BC – 322 BC.
A genius whose philosophical ideas are still taught, but his contributions to science retarded progress for almost two millennia.
Amedeo AvogadroAmedeo Avogadro 1776 – 1856.
The first scientist to realize that elements can exist in the form of molecules rather than as individual atoms; originator of Avogadro’s law.
B
francis-baconFrancis Bacon 1561 – 1626.
Shook the foundations of Aristotle’s scientific influence popularizing the scientific method, grounding science in experiments and observations rather than logic-based arguments.
alexander-graham-bellAlexander Graham Bell 1847 – 1922.
Inventor of the metal detector, the telephone, and the photophone – the first device to carry the human voice using light.
daniel-bernoulliDaniel Bernoulli 1700 – 1782.
Discovered the Bernoulli Effect explaining how aircraft wings generate lift; formulated a kinetic theory relating particle speeds in gases to temperature; made major discoveries in the theory of risk.
Elizabeth BlackwellElizabeth Blackwell 1821 – 1910.
The first woman to qualify as a physician in America; founder of America’s first medical school for women.
niels-bohrNiels Bohr 1885 – 1962.
Founded quantum mechanics when he remodeled the atom so electrons occupied ‘allowed’ orbits around the nucleus while all other orbits were forbidden; architect of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics.
satyendra nath boseS. N. Bose 1894 – 1974.
Founded quantum statistics with an alternative derivation of Planck’s radiation law based on the idea that light photons of the same color are indistinguishable from one another – particles such as this are known as bosons.
robert-boyleRobert Boyle 1627 – 1691. 
Transformed chemistry from a field bogged down in alchemy and mysticism into one based on measurement. He defined elements, compounds, and mixtures; and he discovered the first gas law – Boyle’s Law.
tycho-braheTycho Brahe 1546 – 1601. 
Produced the best star catalog that had ever been compiled and measured the orbit of Mars with unprecedented accuracy, paving the way for Kepler’s laws of planetary motion and Newton’s law of gravity.
brahmaguptaBrahmagupta 597 – 668. 
Established zero as a number and defined its mathematical properties; discovered the formula for solving quadratic equations.
robert-bunsenRobert Bunsen 1811 – 1899.
Discovered cesium and rubidium; discovered the antidote to arsenic poisoning; invented the zinc-carbon battery and flash photography; discovered how geysers operate.
C
santiago ramon-y-cajalSantiago Ramón y Cajal 1852 – 1934.
Founder of modern neuroscience: proved the neuron doctrine, which says that neurons behave as biochemically distinct cells rather than a network of interlinked cells.
Rachel CarsonRachel Carson 1907 – 1964.
A founder of 20th century environmentalism, her book Silent Spring led to a reappraisal of the effect of chemicals such as DDT on the environment, leading to bans and heavy restrictions.
james chadwickJames Chadwick 1891 – 1974.
Discovered the neutron and led the British scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project.
subrahmanyan chandrasekharSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar 1910 – 1995.
Discovered that massive stars can collapse under their own gravity to reach infinite density. Today we call these collapsed stars black holes.
erwin chargaffErwin Chargaff 1905 – 2002.
Chargaff’s rules paved the way to the discovery of DNA’s structure.
nicolaus copernicusNicolaus Copernicus 1473 to 1543.
Started the scientific revolution with his book The Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres, explaining his belief that the solar system is centered on the sun, not on the earth.
jacques cousteauJacques Cousteau 1910 – 1997.
Oscar winning marine pioneer; coinvented the breathe-on-demand valve for SCUBA diving; popularized marine biology with several dramatic television series.
francis crickFrancis Crick 1916 – 2004.
Codiscovered DNA’s structure and replication mechanism; established the Sequence Hypothesis and the Central Dogma; discovered that DNA uses a triplet code to control the formation of proteins from amino acids.
marie curieMarie Curie 1867 – 1934.
Codiscovered the chemical elements radium and polonium; made numerous pioneering contributions to the study of radioactive elements; carried out the first research into the treatment of tumors with radiation.
D
john daltonJohn Dalton 1766 – 1844.
Dalton’s Atomic Theory is the basis of chemistry; discovered Gay-Lussac’s Law relating gases’ temperature, volume, and pressure; discovered the law of partial gas pressures.
charles darwinCharles Darwin 1809 – 1882.
Authored one of the most famous books in history, On the Origin of Species, in which he described and provided evidence for the theory of evolution by natural selection.
rene descartesRené Descartes 1596 – 1650.
One of the greatest philosophers of all time; advocate of skepticism in the scientific method; creator of new mathematical ideas including the independent founding of analytical geometry. Cartesian coordinates are named in his honor.
paul diracPaul Dirac 1902 – 1984.
Unified quantum mechanics and special relativity explaining the origin of particle spin; discovered the concept of antimatter; founded quantum electrodynamics.
E
albert einsteinAlbert Einstein 1879 – 1955.
Einstein’s theories of special & general relativity delivered a remarkable transformation in our understanding of light, gravity, and time, while special relativity yielded the most famous equation in history, E = mc2. Einstein explained the photoelectric effect and provided powerful evidence that atoms and molecules actually exist.
empedoclesEmpedocles c. 490 BC – c 430 BC.
An ancient theory of natural selection; mass conservation; and the theory of four elements now often misattributed to Aristotle.
eratosthenesEratosthenes c. 276 BC – c. 194 BC.
Accurately calculated Earth’s size 2,500 years ago; founded the science of geography; and devised the famous prime number sieve.
F
michael faradayMichael Faraday 1791 – 1867.
Discovered electromagnetic induction; devised Faraday’s laws of electrolysis; discovered the first experimental link between light and magnetism; carried out the first room-temperature liquefaction of a gas; discovered benzene.
pierre de fermatPierre de Fermat 1607 – 1665.
One of the greatest mathematicians of all time: co-founded the disciplines of analytic geometry and probability theory and was a key player in the invention of calculus. There’s more to Fermat than his famous last theorem.
fibonacci leonardo-of-pisaFibonacci c. 1170 – c. 1245.
The rebirth of Western mathematics: Fibonacci’s Book of Calculation introduced the Indian number system, now used worldwide, to Europe.
ronald fisherRonald Fisher 1890 – 1962.
Invented experimental design; devised the statistical concept of variance; unified evolution by natural selection with Mendel’s rules of inheritance defining the new field of population genetics.
alexander flemingAlexander Fleming 1881 – 1955.
Discovered that treating wounds and infections with antiseptic agents caused more deaths than if no action was taken. Discovered penicillin and predicted the rise of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
benjamin franklinBenjamin Franklin 1881 – 1955.
A founding father of the USA, Franklin shaped our understanding of electricity, coined the electrical terms positive and negative, and invented the lightning rod and bifocal spectacles.
rosalind franklinRosalind Franklin 1920 – 1958.
Provided much of the experimental data used to establish the structure of DNA. Discovered that DNA can exist in two forms. Established that coal acts as a molecular sieve.
G
galenGalen 129 – c. 216
Began his practice as a physician to gladiators and established a link between diet and health. Galen created a flawed doctrine that dominated Western and Arab medicine for 1,500 years.
galileo galileiGalileo Galilei 1564 – 1642.
The father of modern science, Galileo discovered the first moons ever known to orbit another planet and that the Milky Way is made of stars. He rationalized how objects are affected by gravity, stated the principle of inertia, and proposed the first theory of relativity.
carl friedrich gaussCarl Friedrich Gauss 1777 – 1855.
The last master of all mathematics, Gauss revolutionized number theory and invented the method of least squares and the fast Fourier transform. His profound contributions to the physical sciences include Gauss’s Law & Gauss’s Law for Magnetism.
j. willard gibbsWillard Gibbs 1839 – 1903.
Gibbs invented vector analysis and founded the sciences of modern statistical mechanics and chemical thermodynamics.
jane goodallJane Goodall Born 1934.
Ground breaking discoveries in chimpanzee behavior; established that chimpanzees have similar social behavior to humans and also that they make tools, and eat and hunt for meat.
H
william harveyWilliam Harvey 1578 to 1657.
Explained blood circulation for the first time, showing there is a complete circuit beginning and ending in the heart.
joseph henryJoseph Henry 1797 – 1878.
Built the world’s most powerful electromagnets; discovered electromagnetic induction independently of Faraday; made scientific breakthroughs that allowed Samuel Morse to invent the telegraph. The unit of electrical inductance is named in his honor.
heinrich hertzHeinrich Hertz 1857 – 1894.
Discovered radio waves, proving James Clerk Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism; discovered the photoelectric effect, providing a clue to the existence of the quantum world. The unit of frequency is named in his honor.
david hilbertDavid Hilbert 1862 – 1943.
Famed for his 23 problems, Hilbert propelled mathematics to new heights. He replaced Euclid’s axioms dating from 2,000 years earlier, allowing the unification of 2D and 3D geometry; he created Hilbert Space, now essential in advanced physical science.
HipparchusHipparchus c. 190 BC – c. 120 BC.
One of antiquity’s greatest scientists: founded the mathematical discipline of trigonometry; measured the earth-moon distance accurately; discovered the precession of the equinoxes; documented the positions and magnitudes of over 850 stars; his combinatorics work was unequalled until 1870.
robert hookeRobert Hooke 1635 – 1703.
Discovered cells and wrote one of the most significant books in scientific history, Micrographia, revealing the microscopic world for the first time; discovered Hooke’s Law in physics; invented the balance spring enabling pocket watches to be made.
Grace HopperGrace Hopper 1906 – 1992.
Pioneer of electronic computers. Invented the first compiler and was the principal architect of COBOL, the most widely used computer language of the twentieth century.
jack hornerJack Horner Born 1946.
Popularizer of science: discovered that dinosaurs cared for their young and some nested in colonies. Working on reactivating dormant dinosaur DNA to hatch a modern-day dinosaur.
james huttonJames Hutton 1726 – 1797.
Founded modern geology when he discovered how to interpret rocks. Found our planet is very much older than previously believed and devised the principle of uniformitarianism, which says that our world was shaped by natural processes such as erosion and deposition.
I
J
irene joliot-curieIrene Joliot-Curie 1897 – 1956.
Codiscovered how to convert stable chemical elements into ‘designer’ radioactive elements; these have saved millions of lives and are used in tens of millions of medical procedures every year.
K
michio kakuMichio Kaku Born 1947.
Popularizer of science, futurist, and a founder of string field theory.
omar khayyamOmar Khayyam 1048 – 1131.
A poet, philosopher and scientist, Khayyam calculated the length of a year to the most accurate value ever, and showed how the intersections of conic sections can be utilized to yield geometric solutions of cubic equations.
johannes keplerJohannes Kepler 1571 to 1630.
Discovered the solar system’s planets follow elliptical paths; showed that tides on the earth are caused mainly by the moon; proved how logarithms work; discovered the inverse square law of light intensity; his laws of planetary motion led Newton to his law of gravitation.
stephanie kwolekStephanie Kwolek 1923 – 2014.
Invented kevlar, the incredibly strong plastic used in applications ranging from body armor to tennis racquet strings.
L
antoine lavoisierAntoine Lavoisier 1743 – 1794.
A founder of modern chemistry; discovered oxygen’s role in combustion and respiration; discovered that water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen; proved that diamond and charcoal are different forms of the same element, which he named carbon.
antonie van leeuwenhoekAntonie van Leeuwenhoek 1632 – 1723.
The father of microbiology, he used remarkable self-made lenses to discover single-celled animals and plants, bacteria, and spermatozoa.
inge lehmannInge Lehmann 1888 – 1993.
Analyzed earthquake waves to discovered that within our planet’s liquid core, at the very center of the earth, there is a solid core whose diameter is greater than 1,000 km.
carolus linnaeusCarolus Linnaeus 1707 – 1778.
Organized our view of the natural world with the two-part naming system we use to classify all lifeforms; named and classified about 13,000 lifeforms; broke with tradition by classifying humans in the same way as other lifeforms.
ada lovelaceAda Lovelace 1815 – 1852.
The mother of computing science; contributed to the first published computer program; was the first person to see that computers could do more than mathematical calculations, recognizing that musical notes and letters of the alphabet could be turned into numbers for manipulation by computers.
M
jane marcetJane Marcet 1769 – 1858.
Author of Conversations on Chemistry, a unique textbook for its time written for people with little formal education, such as girls and the poor. The book inspired Michael Faraday to overcome his poor origins to become a great scientist.
james clerk-maxwellJames Clerk Maxwell 1831 – 1879.
Transformed our understanding of nature: his famous equations unified the forces of electricity and magnetism, indicating that light is an electromagnetic wave. His kinetic theory established that temperature is entirely dependent on the movement of particles.
barbara mcclintockBarbara McClintock 1902 – 1992.
Groundbreaking genetics: showed that genes switch the physical traits of an organism on or off; discovered chromosomal crossover, which increases genetic variation in species; discovered transposition – that genes can move about within chromosomes.
lise meitnerLise Meitner 1878 – 1968.
Discovered that nuclear fission can produce enormous amounts of energy; codiscovered the phenomenon of radioactive recoil.
gregor mendelGregor Mendel 1822 – 1884.
Founded the science of genetics; identified many of the rules of heredity; identified recessive and dominant traits, and that traits are passed from parents to offspring in a mathematically predictable way.
dmitri mendeleevDmitri Mendeleev 1834 – 1907.
Discovered the periodic table in a dream. Utilized the organizing principles of the periodic table to correctly predict the existence and properties of six new chemical elements.
henry moseleyHenry Moseley 1887 – 1915.
Proved that every element’s identity is uniquely determined by its number of protons establishing the true organizing principle of the periodic table; correctly predicted the existence of four new chemical elements; invented the atomic battery.
N
isaac newtonIsaac Newton 1643 to 1727.
Profoundly changed our understanding of nature with his law of universal gravitation and his laws of motion; invented calculus, the field of mathematics that dominates the physical sciences; generalized the binomial theorem; built the first ever reflecting telescope; showed sunlight is made of all the colors of the rainbow.
florence nightingaleFlorence Nightingale 1820 – 1910.
A health pioneer who transformed nursing into a respected, highly trained profession; used statistics to analyze wider health outcomes; advocated sanitary reforms largely credited with adding 20 years to life expectancy between 1871 and 1935.
alfred nobelAlfred Nobel 1833 – 1896.
Invented dynamite, the blasting cap, gelignite, and ballistite; grew enormously wealthy by patenting and manufacturing explosives; used his wealth to bequeath annual prizes in science, literature, and peace.
emmy noetherEmmy Noether 1882 – 1935.
Probably the greatest female mathematician in history, Noether’s theorem revealed a fundamental property of our universe – that for every conservation law there is an invariant. Her founding work in abstract algebra revolutionized mathematics.
O
hans christian oerstedHans Christian Oersted 1777 – 1851.
Discovered electromagnetism when he found that electric current caused a nearby magnetic needle to move; discovered piperine and achieved the first isolation of the element aluminum.
P
louis pasteurLouis Pasteur 1822 – 1895.
The father of modern microbiology; transformed chemistry and biology with his discovery of mirror-image molecules; discovered anaerobic bacteria; established the germ theory of disease; invented food preservation by pasteurization.
linus paulingLinus Pauling 1901 – 1994.
Maverick giant of chemistry; formulated valence bond theory and electronegativity; founded the fields of quantum chemistry, molecular biology, and molecular genetics. Discovered the alpha-helix structure of proteins; proved that sickle-cell anemia is a molecular disease.
marguerite pereyMarguerite Perey 1909 – 1975.
Discovered francium, the last ever chemical element found naturally. All elements since have been produced artificially.
max planckMax Planck 1858 – 1947.
Founded quantum theory with his proposal that hot objects radiate only certain allowed values of energy, all of which are multiples of a number now called the Planck constant – all other values of energy are forbidden.
Karl PopperKarl Popper 1902 – 1994.
Karl Popper changed the way we think about science, showing that scientific theories could only be tested by falsification. His hypothetico-deductive model of the scientific method has largely replaced the older deductive and inductive models.
pythagorasPythagoras c. 570 BC – 497 BC.
The Pythagoreans believed the universe was constructed using mathematics and everything can be described with numbers; established a link between mathematics and music; proved Pythagoras’s theorem; discovered irrational numbers; discovered the Platonic Solids.
Q
R
c-v ramanC. V. Raman 1888 – 1970.
Discovered that light can donate a small amount of energy to a molecule, changing the light’s color and causing the molecule to vibrate. The color change acts as a ‘fingerprint’ for the molecule that can be used to identify molecules and detect diseases such as cancer.
srinivasa ramanujanSrinivasa Ramanujan 1887 – 1920.
A largely self-taught pure mathematician, he enriched number theory with thousands of new identities, equations and theorems.
ernest rutherfordErnest Rutherford 1871 – 1937.
The father of nuclear chemistry and nuclear physics; discovered and named the atomic nucleus, the proton, the alpha particle, and the beta particle; discovered the concept of nuclear half-lives; achieved the first laboratory transformation of one element into another.
S
theodor schwannTheodor Schwann 1810 – 1882.
Established that the cell is the basic unit of all living things; his classification of cells is the foundation of modern histology; discovered the enzyme pepsin; identified the role microorganisms play in alcohol fermentation.
glenn seaborgGlenn Seaborg 1912 to 1999.
Took part in the discovery of ten of the periodic table’s chemical elements. His work on the electronic structure of elements led to the periodic table being rewritten.
gene shoemakerGene Shoemaker 1928 to 1997.
The first astrogeologist and a founder of planetary impact science; proved large craters on Earth were caused by collisions with asteroids and comets rather than volcanic activity; proposed microscopic life could travel between planets on rocks blasted into space by asteroid impacts.
B. F. SkinnerB. F. Skinner 1904 – 1990.
The 20th century’s most influential psychologist; pioneered the science of behaviorism; discovered the power of positive reinforcement in learning; designed the first psychological experiments producing quantitatively repeatable results.
nettie stevensNettie Stevens 1861 – 1912.
Discovered that an organism’s sex is determined by its chromosomes, now known as the XY sex-determination system – the discovery was the first time a link was demonstrated between a physical characteristic and chromosome differences.
T
thalesThales of Miletus c. 624 BC – c. 546 BC
The first scientist in history, Thales looked for patterns in nature to explain the way the world worked. He replaced superstitions with science. He was the first person to use deductive logic to find new results in geometry.
j-j thomsonJ. J. Thomson 1856 – 1940.
Discovered the electron; invented one of the most powerful tools in analytical chemistry – the mass spectrometer; obtained the first evidence for isotopes of stable elements.
U
harold ureyHarold Urey 1893 – 1981.
Discovered deuterium; showed how isotope ratios in rocks reveal past Earth climates; founded modern planetary science; the Miller-Urey experiment demonstrated that electrically sparking simple gases produces amino acids – the building blocks of life.
V
andreas vesaliusAndreas Vesalius 1514 – 1564.
Founded modern anatomy, overthrowing misconceptions about the body that had persisted for over a thousand years.
rudolf virchowRudolf Virchow 1821 – 1902.
A founder of both pathology and social medicine, Virchow correctly identified that diseases are caused by malfunctioning cells. He named leukemia and was the first to catalog and name conditions such embolism, thrombosis, chordoma, and ochronosis.
alessandro voltaAlessandro Volta 1745 – 1827.
Pioneer of electrical science; invented the electric battery; wrote the first electromotive series; isolated methane for the first time; discovered a methane-air mixture could be exploded using an electric spark – the basis of the internal combustion engine.
W
alfred russel wallaceAlfred R. Wallace 1823 – 1913.
Independently formulated the theory of evolution by natural selection; was one of the first biologists to express concern about the effects human activities were having on the natural world.
james wattJames Watt 1736 – 1819.
Father of the industrial revolution; radically improved the steam engine; invented high pressure steam engines; independently discovered latent heat; invented the world’s first copying machine.
alfred wegenerAlfred Wegener 1880 – 1930.
Discovered continental drift, proposing that our planet once consisted of ocean surrounding a single great continent he called Pangea that had split apart over many millions of years to form the continents we see today.
sergei winogradskySergei Winogradsky 1856 – 1953.
Founded microbial ecology; discovered chemosynthetic life forms which obtain energy from chemical reactions rather than from sunlight; discovered nitrogen-fixing bacteria in soil that make nitrates available to green plants.
X
Y
chen ning yangChen-Ning Yang Born 1922.
Thought the unthinkable, discovering that parity is not conserved; Yang-Mills theory is at the heart of the Standard Model in physics.
Z

 

 

Scientist of the Week

Recent Scientists of the Week

Top 100 Scientists

Famous Scientists

A

Louis Agassiz
Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Al-Battani
Abu Nasr Al-Farabi
Jim Al-Khalili
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
Mihailo Petrovic Alas
Angel Alcala
Salim Ali
Luis Alvarez
Andre Marie Ampère
Anaximander
Mary Anning
Virginia Apgar
Archimedes
Agnes Arber
Aristarchus
Aristotle
Svante Arrhenius
Oswald Avery
Amedeo Avogadro
Avicenna

B

Charles Babbage
Francis Bacon
Alexander Bain
John Logie Baird
Joseph Banks
Ramon Barba
John Bardeen
Ibn Battuta
William Bayliss
George Beadle
Arnold Orville Beckman
Henri Becquerel
Emil Adolf Behring
Alexander Graham Bell
Emile Berliner
Claude Bernard
Timothy John Berners-Lee
Daniel Bernoulli
Jacob Berzelius
Henry Bessemer
Hans Bethe
Homi Jehangir Bhabha
Alfred Binet
Clarence Birdseye
Kristian Birkeland
Elizabeth Blackwell
Alfred Blalock
Katharine Burr Blodgett
Franz Boas
David Bohm
Aage Bohr
Niels Bohr
Ludwig Boltzmann
Max Born
Carl Bosch
Robert Bosch
Jagadish Chandra Bose
Satyendra Nath Bose
Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe
Robert Boyle
Lawrence Bragg
Tycho Brahe
Brahmagupta
Georg Brandt
Wernher Von Braun
Louis de Broglie
Alexander Brongniart
Robert Brown
Michael E. Brown
Lester R. Brown
Eduard Buchner
William Buckland
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
Robert Bunsen
Luther Burbank
Jocelyn Bell Burnell
Thomas Burnet

C

Benjamin Cabrera
Santiago Ramon y Cajal
Rachel Carson
George Washington Carver
Henry Cavendish
Anders Celsius
James Chadwick
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
Erwin Chargaff
Noam Chomsky
Steven Chu
Leland Clark
Arthur Compton
Nicolaus Copernicus
Gerty Theresa Cori
Charles-Augustin de Coulomb
Jacques Cousteau
Brian Cox
Francis Crick
Nicholas Culpeper
Marie Curie
Pierre Curie
Georges Cuvier
Adalbert Czerny

D

Gottlieb Daimler
John Dalton
James Dwight Dana
Charles Darwin
Humphry Davy
Peter Debye
Max Delbruck
Jean Andre Deluc
René Descartes
Rudolf Christian Karl Diesel
Paul Dirac
Prokop Divis
Theodosius Dobzhansky
Frank Drake
K. Eric Drexler

E

Arthur Eddington
Thomas Edison
Paul Ehrlich
Albert Einstein
Gertrude Elion
Empedocles
Eratosthenes
Euclid
Leonhard Euler

F

Michael Faraday
Pierre de Fermat
Enrico Fermi
Richard Feynman
Fibonacci – Leonardo of Pisa
Emil Fischer
Ronald Fisher
Alexander Fleming
Henry Ford
Lee De Forest
Dian Fossey
Leon Foucault
Benjamin Franklin
Rosalind Franklin
Sigmund Freud

G

Galen
Galileo Galilei
Francis Galton
Luigi Galvani
George Gamow
Carl Friedrich Gauss
Murray Gell-Mann
Sophie Germain
Willard Gibbs
William Gilbert
Sheldon Lee Glashow
Robert Goddard
Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Jane Goodall
Stephen Jay Gould

H

Fritz Haber
Ernst Haeckel
Otto Hahn
Albrecht von Haller
Edmund Halley
Thomas Harriot
William Harvey
Stephen Hawking
Otto Haxel
Werner Heisenberg
Hermann von Helmholtz
Jan Baptist von Helmont
Joseph Henry
William Herschel
Gustav Ludwig Hertz
Heinrich Hertz
Karl F. Herzfeld
Antony Hewish
David Hilbert
Maurice Hilleman
Hipparchus
Hippocrates
Shintaro Hirase
Dorothy Hodgkin
Robert Hooke
Frederick Gowland Hopkins
William Hopkins
Grace Murray Hopper
Frank Hornby
Jack Horner
Bernardo Houssay
Fred Hoyle
Edwin Hubble
Alexander von Humboldt
Zora Neale Hurston
James Hutton
Christiaan Huygens

I

Ernesto Illy
Ernst Ising
Keisuke Ito

J

Mae Carol Jemison
Edward Jenner
J. Hans D. Jensen
Irene Joliot-Curie
James Prescott Joule
Percy Lavon Julian

K

Michio Kaku
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes
Friedrich August Kekulé
Frances Kelsey
Pearl Kendrick
Johannes Kepler
Abdul Qadeer Khan
Omar Khayyam
Alfred Kinsey
Gustav Kirchoff
Robert Koch
Emil Kraepelin
Thomas Kuhn
Stephanie Kwolek

L

Jean-Baptiste Lamarck
Hedy Lamarr
Edwin Herbert Land
Karl Landsteiner
Pierre-Simon Laplace
Max von Laue
Antoine Lavoisier
Ernest Lawrence
Henrietta Leavitt
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek
Inge Lehmann
Gottfried Leibniz
Georges Lemaître
Leonardo da Vinci
Niccolo Leoniceno
Aldo Leopold
Rita Levi-Montalcini
Claude Levi-Strauss
Willard Frank Libby
Justus von Liebig
Carolus Linnaeus
Joseph Lister
John Locke
Hendrik Antoon Lorentz
Konrad Lorenz
Ada Lovelace
Lucretius
Charles Lyell
Trofim Lysenko

M

Ernst Mach
Marcello Malpighi
Jane Marcet
Guglielmo Marconi
Lynn Margulis
James Clerk Maxwell
Ernst Mayr
Barbara McClintock
Lise Meitner
Gregor Mendel
Dmitri Mendeleev
Franz Mesmer
Antonio Meucci
Albert Abraham Michelson
Thomas Midgeley Jr.
Maria Mitchell
Mario Molina
Thomas Hunt Morgan
Henry Moseley

N

Ukichiro Nakaya
John Napier
John Needham
John von Neumann
Thomas Newcomen
Isaac Newton
Florence Nightingale
Tim Noakes
Alfred Nobel
Emmy Noether
Christiane Nusslein-Volhard
Bill Nye

O

Hans Christian Oersted
Georg Ohm
J. Robert Oppenheimer
Wilhelm Ostwald

P

Blaise Pascal
Louis Pasteur
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli
Linus Pauling
Randy Pausch
Ivan Pavlov
Marguerite Perey
Jean Piaget
Philippe Pinel
Max Planck
Pliny the Elder
Karl Popper
Beatrix Potter
Joseph Priestley
Claudius Ptolemy
Pythagoras

Q

Harriet Quimby
Thabit ibn Qurra

R

C. V. Raman
Srinivasa Ramanujan
William Ramsay
John Ray
Prafulla Chandra Ray
Francesco Redi
Sally Ride
Bernhard Riemann
Wilhelm Röntgen
Hermann Rorschach
Ronald Ross
Ibn Rushd
Ernest Rutherford

S

Carl Sagan
Mohammad Abdus Salam
Jonas Salk
Frederick Sanger
Alberto Santos-Dumont
Walter Schottky
Erwin Schrödinger
Theodor Schwann
Glenn Seaborg
Hans Selye
Charles Sherrington
Gene Shoemaker
Ernst Werner von Siemens
George Gaylord Simpson
B. F. Skinner
William Smith
Frederick Soddy
Arnold Sommerfeld
Nettie Stevens
William John Swainson
Leo Szilard

T

Niccolo Tartaglia
Edward Teller
Nikola Tesla
Thales of Miletus
Benjamin Thompson
J. J. Thomson
William Thomson
Henry David Thoreau
Kip S. Thorne
Clyde Tombaugh
Evangelista Torricelli
Charles Townes
Alan Turing
Neil deGrasse Tyson

U

Harold Urey

V

Craig Venter
Vladimir Vernadsky
Andreas Vesalius
Rudolf Virchow
Artturi Virtanen
Alessandro Volta

W

George Wald
Alfred Russel Wallace
James Watson
James Watt
Alfred Wegener
John Archibald Wheeler
Maurice Wilkins
Thomas Willis
E. O. Wilson
Sven Wingqvist
Sergei Winogradsky
Friedrich Wöhler
Wilbur and Orville Wright
Wilhelm Wundt

Y

Chen-Ning Yang

Z

Ahmed Zewail

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12 scientists and their brilliant inventions

Top 20 Greatest Scientists and Their Inventions That Changed the World

Famous Researchers


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Explorers A to Z

Famous Explorers

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10 Modern Explorers Who Pushed The Limits

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10. Aristotle (384-322 BC)

Student of Plato and a tutor to Alexander the Great, Aristotle was a genius Greek philosopher and scientist of the ancient age. Born on 384 BC Aristotle was a biologist, a zoologist, ethicist, a political scientist and the master of rhetoric and logic. He also gave theories in physics and meta physics.

Aristotle gained knowledge in different fields with his expansive mind and prodigious writings. However, only a fraction of his writings are preserved at present. Aristotle made collections to the plant and animal specimens and classified them according to their characteristics which made an standard for future work. He further gave theories on the philosophy of science.

Aristotle also elaborated and estimated the size of earth which Plato assumed to be globe. Aristotle explained the chain of life through his study in flora and fauna where it turned from simple to more complex.

9. Archimedes (287-212 BC)

Regarded as the greatest mathematician ever, Archimedes developed profound and influential knowledge on mathematical physics and engineering that are widely used in machines as well as in constructions. Born on 287 BC, Archimedes is one of the finest scientist who broke through in both theories and practice.

He introduced infinitesimals and laid the foundation for calculus. He gave descriptions on the first finite geometric progression, computed areas and volumes of sphere and parabolic segments.

He also discovered the laws of lever, density, fluid equilibrium, buoyancy in different fields statics and hydrostatics. He is regarded as the prophet to the formal science that was started in Ancient Greece.

“Give me a place to stand and I can move the whole world”, he said and we can still fill the impact of his generosity even today. All other scientists after him stand on his shoulders. Even though most of his work were burned in the museum of Alexandria, the remnants gave enough ideas for modern day science and technology.

 8. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642 AD)

Born in Pisa, Italy in 1564, Galileo is called as the father of modern science because of his discoveries in astronomy and physics.

He was sent to study medicine by his father, but he chose his career in science and mathematics and made the first telescope to observe stars and planets.

He also discovered the law of pendulum as he watched a chandelier swing in the cathedral of Pisa. He also discovered that the surface of moon was not smooth but contained burrows and holes to what he called crater.

Galileo discovered 4 revolving moons around Jupiter which are named after him. He proved what Copernicus said about sun being the center of the solar system. Galileo became blind in his old days and died in the year 1642.

 7. Michael Faraday (1791-1867 AD)

Born on 1791, British citizen Michael Faraday was a son of a blacksmith who had to leave school in the fourth grade.It started working as a bookbinder and taught himself to read and writer. He developed a fascination with science and particularly in electricity after he studied lot of serious academic works during his days.

Faraday is specially known for his discoveries of electromagnetic inductions and rotations, field theory, dia-magnetization and the magneto-optical effect. This humble genius invented the electric motor and Faraday’s ring.

Faraday’s inquisitive and curious nature made him take chemistry lectures and taught at the Royal Institution as a lecturer later when Humphry Davy retired.

Faraday also published research papers optical deceptions, condensation of gases and isolation of benzene from gas oils. He also wrote books on ”Experimental Researches in Electricity” and the “Chemical history of the Candle”. Faraday died on 1867.

 6. Thomas Alva Edison (1847-1931 AD)

“The Wizard of the Menlo Park” nicknamed Thomas Alva Edison was born in 1847. Excelled as both scientist and inventor, Edison patented a whopping total of 1,093 inventions in his life time. Most of the inventions that came from Edison are batteries, phonographs, cement, mining, telegraphs, lights and powers.

He also improved the telephone made by Graham Bell and invented the kinetoscope that was used for viewing moving films. He was seen working almost more than 20 hours a day.

Edison masterminded the digital voting system with his electro-graphic vote recorder for the legislative of the parliament. He also proposed ideas on preserving fruits by keeping it in vacuum. Edison pioneered the idea for storage batteries that was later used by Henry ford in his automobile.

“Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration” is one of the most famous quote by this genius. He died in the year 1931.

 5. Marie Curie Sklodowska (1867-1934 AD)

 Marie Curie holds record for the first female to be awarded with a Nobel Prize. Inventor and scientist Curie was born as the youngest of five children in the year 1867 in Warsaw, Poland.

Marie Curie has always remained a source of inspiration and motivation for different female scientists because of her determination to work. She invented the first mobile X-ray machine which helped to check the injured soldiers in the battlefield.

Radium is another great invention from her. Curie experimented different elements to check their radio activity and found thorium. She also invented the pitch-blend which was the source of radiation in a mixture more powerful than uranium or thorium. She is also called ”the mother of atom bomb” with her invention of the radio active materials.

However, with all her brilliance, hard work and patience in careful experiments she performed, her own invention killed her because of radiation poisoning in 1934.

 4. Louis Pasteur (1822-1895 AD)

Louis Pasteur made astounding contributions in the field of science, technology and medicine. This genius was born on 1822 and spent his life working in chemistry and microbiology.

Pasteur was the first ever scientist to study about fermentation in food elements that was caused by microbes. He also explained about biogenesis and proposed a theory named as the “Germ Theory”. He also created a process of toning and treating milk free from the damage causing microbes to what he called ”Pasteurization”.

Pasteur is also regarded as the first man on earth to ever discover cure for puerperal fever and make the vaccines for rabies and anthrax. He also explained the asymmetry in various crystals on a molecular basis.

His breadth of accomplishment and approaches in different fields of discoveries and inventions makes him a giant genius. He died in 1895.

3. Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727 AD)

Born on 1643 in Woolsthrope, England, Sir Issac Newton is best known for his law on gravitation. He was a poor student at school or at running the family estate. However, he loved making mechanical toys and models of windmills.

Newton explained the theory of gravity and gravitation by inventing calculus as no other principles could explain it. The new revolution in mathematics, calculus was derived from his binomial theorem to infinite series which accurately could measure the area inside the curve or rate of change of it.

He also explained the theory on tides which occurred due to the gravitation pull from the sun, moon and earth.

He also invented the reflecting telescope. Newtons laws can be found in different areas of mechanics, optics and chemistry. He was knighted with the title Sir by Queen Anne in 1705. Newton died at the age of 84, in 1727.

2. Albert Einstein (1879-1955 AD)

Born on 1879 in Ulm, Einstein is considered as one of the greatest revolutionary scientist the world has ever known.

The “Man of Century” has some spectacular works in physics which even makes him the father of modern physics for his contribution in developing the general theory of relativity. The world’s most famous equation E=mc2 on which the bomb is based comes from his theory.

One of the greatest scientist of the 20th century, Einstein’s Special theory of relativity revolutionized physics which even challenged the scientists at CERN. Albert Einstein’s genius mind for the scientific advancement cause immeasurable change to the world. Together with his intellect, he was also a celebrity with his flirtatious behavior that could impress any women.

This rare genius was awarded Nobel Prize in 1921 ”For his work on theortical physics, and for his discovery of the photoelectric effect”. Greatest physicist ever voted Einstein died on 1955 in Princeton.

1. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943 AD)

 This Serbian born scientist atop the list because of his immense knowledge in different fields of science and technology.

Without a question, this 1856 born guy was a cool geek. He could speak 8 languages, recite a whole book completely just with one reading, make a device just by seeing it once and not writing down anything. A funny fact about him was that he was a celibate his whole life.

Tesla had developed almost everything by himself and did not expose any of it which later was invented by other scientists in his time. Tesla had generated ac current before Edison knew about charges. Markoni who got Nobel prize for inventing radio used all the ideas of Tesla. X-rays by Roentgen, RADAR by Watson-watt were all devised by Nikola Tesla.

There was almost nothing that Tesla did not do. First hydro electricity plant in Niagara falls, experiments with cryogenic engineering, transistors, radio wave recorder from outer space were all built by Tesla. Remote control, neon lightening, modern electric motor, earthquake machine are finest inventions from Tesla. He was a true genius.

However, most of his ideas and inventions were either copied, stolen or taken by somebody else. Tesla made a way to charge a house with electric lightening for electricity purpose but did not share it thinking somebody else will take it.

This incredible mind created revolution with his inventions. He was a future-thinker and his minds would run on any wavelengths. However, he died tragically in a hotel room and was found dead only after two days of his death in 1943.

SOURCES:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_scientists
http://www.crystalinks.com/scientists.html

Our Most Popular Scientists – Top 100


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