Top 10 World’s Greatest Scientists Ever

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The world we know of today, dwells in the teeming abode of technology and advancements in science. The world is moving at a fast pace with man realizing his scientific temper in greater depths with each passing blink of time. But it should never be forgotten that the present picture of the world was forever transformed by the contributions of great personalities who made this reality possible.  What started with simple formulations and postulates developed into complex mathematical rules and developing new methods. From the philosophers and masterminds of ancient Greece to present day scientists in every corner of the world, we have seen inexplicable intellectual abilities define the very course of human life and existence.  They have worked for the welfare of mankind with their research and made our modern lives easier.  Scientists have pursued research in various fields across the world. The following are some of the scientists commemorated all over the world for their contributions that will remain engraved in the sands of time forever.

10. Archimedes


Born in Syracuse, Greece he was a pioneer in heralding the advent of the age of reason and logic. Best known for his theory on buoyancy, he is the source of inspiration of modern day engineering while he designed a litany of mechanical systems like the screw and lever that find wide range applications in our machinery and implements, thus giving paving way to the rise of mechanical engineering.  It is believed that he helped the King to find that his crown was not pure gold but adulterated, and went out crying “Eureka” in the streets. His contributions to maths and hydro-statics were recognized years later where their applications were used in industry. He was sadly killed in a battle.

9. Galileo


Galileo was an Italian physicist, mathematicians, astronomer and philosopher. Called upon as the ‘Father of Science’, Galileo played a significant role in Scientific Revolution. His publications were mainly aimed at astronomical observations. He is widely known to have propagated ideas of inductive reasoning. Apart from observing phase shifts of Venus, he also observed Saturn and Neptune, and sunspots using his own version of the telescope.  He took up learning Mathematics and designed the military compass. He was the first to study the laws of motion and added that nature is governed by mathematical laws. However he was convicted of heresy by the Orthodox Church which led to his imprisonment until his death in 1642.

8. Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Regarded as the greatest scientist ever born, Isaac Newton is remembered for the infamous apple incident and the modern day cliche “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. Called upon as the Father of Classical Mechanics, his experiments led to the famous 3 laws of motion.  Isaac Newton was a man whose vision touched versatile levels. Be it Mechanics, Optics, or Mathematics; Newton developed each of these fields to a new dimension. Discovering calculus, the key element to all mathematical treatments of physical data, he gave birth to a new age of Science and Technology. There practically is no physics without the mention of Newton.  He framed the theory of gravitation. He was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge.  Newton’s birth in the year of death of Galileo is often termed as a mysterious coincidence.

7. Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

The ‘Father of Electromagnetism’, Faraday played a pivotal role in the development of electricity and magnetism and revealed to the world that these physical phenomena are inter-related.  Faraday was an excellent experimentalist who conveyed his ideas in the simplest of sorts. His principal discoveries are the electromagnetic induction and electrolysis. It was his efforts that were influential in bringing electricity as a key element to all modern day electric appliances and gadgets.  He was very keen on education and delivered public lectures. Even with such minimal formal education, he became one of the most renowned scientists the world has ever known of.

6. James Maxwell

James Maxwell

Known for unifying the concepts of electricity, magnetism and optics through a set of equation, now known as the Maxwell equations, he showed that they are all a fundamental concept of electromagnetism.  He was a theoretical scientist known for developing the first colour photograph and also worked on rigid body mechanics.  He laid the foundation for special relativity and quantum mechanics and paved way for the development of modern physics.

5. Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Edison was born in Ohio, USA. With more than 1000 patents to his name, he is best known for his works on phonograph and the practical electric bulb that soon caught global attention. Having faced hardships since childhood, he was educated by his mother and is referred as a pioneer of industrial technology by building the electric power house that worked on DC. He is also known for his strong opposing of AC current which Tesla found to be much more useful and efficient.  His phonograph sound recording came as a sudden surprise that people called him the “Wizard of Menlo Park”. He was one of the most prolific inventors, with patents ranging across a wide variety of fields in daily life use.

4. Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was a Serbian-American scientist and inventor. Widely remembered for his contributions to electrical engineering, chiefly the AC power supply conventions, he patented the AC induction motor and transformer. He was also involved in the invention of radio communication. Tesla’s contribution to the development of AC has the source of all major power supply has redefined industrial outputs and factory setup. He is also known for high voltage high frequency experiments and X ray experiments. The modern power supply systems owe a lot to Tesla’s brilliance in electrical engineering

3. Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein

Synonymous with the word genius, he formulated the theory of special relativity, one of the twin planks of modern physics, the other being quantum mechanics. He derived the famous equation E =mc2  This eventually led to the Manhattan Project and the working on atomic bomb. He received the Nobel Prize in 1905 for his work on photoelectric work.  He developed the concept of light being a cluster of photons, thus discarding Newton’s corpuscular theory and showed that Newton’s laws failed at the atomic level. He is also known for Brownian motion and Bose-Einstein Condensate.  He was against rote learning since childhood that led to his rustication from school.  He was exceptional at Mathematics and Physics and developed the theory of quantum mechanics and subatomic particles.

2. Neils Bohr

Neils Bohr

Neils Bohr was a Danish physicist who developed the atomic model that to this day has explained various phenomena of sub-atomic particles. His model of an atom was the best one proposed that covered all major aspects, making some important postulates. He received the Nobel Prize in the year 1922 in this regard apart from having worked on quantum mechanics. He proposed that electrons revolve in energy levels that was important in understanding various effects. He was the one to develop an analogy of electrons revolving around nucleus with the solar system.  His theory was brilliant that it could be applied to all elements in the Periodic Table and thus served as an important step in advancements in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences.

1. Marie Curie

Marie Curie

A Polish physicist and chemist, she is universally remembered for her pioneering work in radioactivity. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields and the only person to win in multiple sciences.  In 1903 she received the Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and in 1911 she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.  She discovered plutonium and radium and performed extensive research on radioactivity.  She proposed a theory of radioactivity and also a method of segregating radioactive isotopes. She is seen as a symbol of women empowerment in the field of science with her awe-inspiring achievements and breakthroughs. Sadly she died of anemia brought on by years of exposure to radiation through her work and research.


6 Responses

  1. Akash Vijay

    September 17, 2014 8:54 pm

    Horrible List. Bohr is quite possibly the most overrated scientist of all time. Answering the issue with atomic structure by postulating a few statements is not the work of a true genius. The true leap in Quantum Physics came through Planck and Borne and Heisenberg and Schrodinger and Dirac. All of them were far superior physicists. And Curie and Einstein have always been the centre of media attraction. And Tesla and Edison should by no means be ahead of Maxwell. It should’ve been –
    1) Isaac Newton (he is the undisputed father of modern science, the one who began the scientific revolution and the person who changed the way we pictured the world with his ingenious theories of Gravity, Motion, Light and also his immense contribution to Mathematics. And it’s important to know Newton had to do it all for himself. There was no one before him who contributed to mathematical physics. Newton was the one who started it all. He had to develop the mathematics first to understand the physics. In my opinion, he is the most influential human being to ever live.)
    2) Albert Einstein
    3) James Clerke Maxwell
    4) Louis Pasteur
    5) Leonardo Da Vinci
    6) Galileo Galilee
    7) Charles Darwin
    8) Nikola Tesla
    9) Charles Darwin
    10) Marie Curie

    • mrblah

      February 21, 2015 12:46 am

      Tesla should be much higher, possibly #1. His work was a lot more complex than anyone else on the list. Further, Newton is not the father of modern science (though one of the most popular by name), he was indeed a great scientists and probably should be in the top 3 however the move to science and scientific thinking was championed… like it or not… by Arabs. Their work was undone by religious extremism, initially by Christians and later by Muslims. However, they without a doubt, made the biggest impact towards modern science when they started building, what we now call, “colleges” all over Europe (at their behest). This happened because some very influential Arabs started a movement towards the modern form of the scientific method.

      Al-hazen was especially vocal and used his popularity to spearhead the movement to scientific methodology. He was a great scientist as well (easily in the top 20) given when he did his work, but his greatest accomplishment was to (successfully) spread the idea of science to people who never considered such things in their lives and depended entirely on “prophets” for decision making. He popularized science like no one before him and he did it while spiting the Islamic movement of the time (he was extremely anti-prophets including Mohammad). He believed that without testable proof, prophets were suspect and that god would not be so stupid as to assign prophets without real proof that can be tested and verified by anyone (the modern scientific method).

      I would not place Al-Hazen in the top 10, but there is another guy who definitely should be in the top 5. A less known guy, whos work influenced most of the people on your list directly; Al-Khwarizmi. His work was beyond incredible, possibly on a level of Tesla. Hell, most people in algorithm classes still cant understand the work this guy did with an instruction manual in their hand (books). Yet, if it were not for him, most of the people on your list would have had to waste their lives figuring out the stuff that he did before they could prove their own ideas. He is definitely top of the list material… but most people have no idea who he is outside of math majors.

      Note: Da Vinci does not belong on a science list, his work in biology/anatomy was empirical and his engineering work was mostly derivative and done by others before him by hundreds if not thousands of years. Remember he was 15th/16th century (not as old as many people believe)… we had levers, gears and bridges long before him and he did not really improve on any of the ideas albeit he used them in new ways. Even if you think he was a scientist, there is no possible way to place Da Vinci over Archimedes.

      My list:

      1) Nikola Tesla (possibly the smartest human in history)
      2) Isaac Newton (nuff said)
      3) Al-Khwarizmi (of which, most of the people on this list would not exist)
      4) James Clerk Maxwell
      5) Faraday
      6) Archimedes
      7) Bohr/Planck/Pauli/Heisenberg/Schrödinger/Born
      8) Albert Einstein
      9) Charles Darwin (was a nutbag but there is no denying his contribution)
      10) Al-Hazen/Galileo Galilee (for their social/political influence to scientific theory)

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