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Methodology: How and Why We Rank by Influence …Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. Einstein is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics. His mass–energy equivalence formula , which arises from relativity theory, has been dubbed "the world's most famous equation". His work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He received the 1921 Nobel Prize ...

Go to ProfileSir Isaac Newton was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, alchemist, theologian, and author widely recognised as one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists of all time and among the most influential scientists. He was a key figure in the philosophical revolution known as the Enlightenment. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica , first published in 1687, established classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with German mathematician Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing infinitesimal calculus.

Go to ProfileWerner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. He published his work in 1925 in a breakthrough paper. In the subsequent series of papers with Max Born and Pascual Jordan, during the same year, his matrix formulation of quantum mechanics was substantially elaborated. He is known for the uncertainty principle, which he published in 1927. Heisenberg was awarded the 1932 Nobel Prize in Physics "for the creation of quantum mechanics".

Go to ProfileNiels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr was also a philosopher and a promoter of scientific research.

Go to ProfilePaul Adrien Maurice Dirac was an English theoretical physicist who is regarded as one of the most significant physicists of the 20th century. Dirac made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. Among other discoveries, he formulated the Dirac equation which describes the behaviour of fermions and predicted the existence of antimatter. Dirac shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with Erwin Schrödinger "for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory". He also made significant contributions to the reconciliation of ge...

Go to ProfileEnrico Fermi was an Italian physicist and the creator of the world's first nuclear reactor, the Chicago Pile-1. He has been called the "architect of the nuclear age" and the "architect of the atomic bomb". He was one of very few physicists to excel in both theoretical physics and experimental physics. Fermi was awarded the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment and for the discovery of transuranium elements. With his colleagues, Fermi filed several patents related to the use of nuclear power, all of which were taken over by the US government....

Go to ProfileRichard Phillips Feynman was an American theoretical physicist, known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of the superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, as well as his work in particle physics for which he proposed the parton model. For contributions to the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 jointly with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga.

Go to ProfileErnest Rutherford, 1st Baron Rutherford of Nelson, was a New Zealand physicist who came to be known as the father of nuclear physics. Encyclopædia Britannica considers him to be the greatest experimentalist since Michael Faraday . Apart from his work in his homeland, he spent a substantial amount of his career abroad, in both Canada and the United Kingdom.

Go to ProfileMax Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was a German theoretical physicist whose discovery of energy quanta won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. Planck made many substantial contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame as a physicist rests primarily on his role as the originator of quantum theory, which revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes. In 1948, the German scientific institution Kaiser Wilhelm Society was renamed Max Planck Society . The MPG now includes 83 institutions representing a wide range of scientific directions.

Go to ProfileJames Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish mathematician and scientist responsible for the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, which was the first theory to describe electricity, magnetism and light as different manifestations of the same phenomenon. Maxwell's equations for electromagnetism have been called the "second great unification in physics" where the first one had been realised by Isaac Newton.

Go to ProfileGalileo di Vincenzo Bonaiuti de' Galilei , commonly referred to as Galileo, was an Italian astronomer, physicist and engineer, sometimes described as a polymath, from the city of Pisa, then part of the Duchy of Florence. Galileo has been called the "father" of observational astronomy, modern physics, the scientific method, and modern science.

Go to ProfileNicolaus Copernicus was a Renaissance polymath, active as a mathematician, astronomer, and Catholic canon, who formulated a model of the universe that placed the Sun rather than Earth at its center. In all likelihood, Copernicus developed his model independently of Aristarchus of Samos, an ancient Greek astronomer who had formulated such a model some eighteen centuries earlier.

Go to ProfileMax Born was a German physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solid-state physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 1930s. Born won the 1954 Nobel Prize in Physics for his "fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially in the statistical interpretation of the wave function".

Go to ProfileWolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after having been nominated by Albert Einstein, Pauli received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or Pauli principle". The discovery involved spin theory, which is the basis of a theory of the structure of matter.

Go to ProfileImmanuel Kant was a German philosopher and one of the central Enlightenment thinkers. Born in Königsberg, Kant's comprehensive and systematic works in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and aesthetics have made him an influential figure in modern Western philosophy.

Go to ProfileStephen Hawking was born in Oxford, England in 1942 and died in March of 2018. He attended University College, Oxford where he received a BA in physics. Within his first year as a PhD student at Trinity Hall, Cambridge, Hawking’s speech became difficult to understand and he started to have difficulty walking. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and predicted to only live another two years. Luckily his disease progressed much more slowly than anticipated. It’s a good thing, because he is widely considered one of the greatest physicists of the 20th century. Hawking was Lucasian Professo...

Go to ProfileHans Albrecht Bethe was a German-American nuclear physicist who made important contributions to astrophysics, quantum electrodynamics, and solid-state physics, and who won the 1967 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. For most of his career, Bethe was a professor at Cornell University.

Go to ProfileHendrik Antoon Lorentz was a Dutch physicist who shared the 1902 Nobel Prize in Physics with Pieter Zeeman for the discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect. He also derived the Lorentz transformation underpinning Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, as well as the Lorentz force, which describes the combined electric and magnetic forces acting on a charged particle in an electromagnetic field.

Go to ProfileErwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger , sometimes written as or , was a Nobel Prize-winning Austrian-Irish physicist who developed a number of fundamental results in quantum theory: the Schrödinger equation provides a way to calculate the wave function of a system and how it changes dynamically in time.

Go to ProfileArnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld, was a German theoretical physicist who pioneered developments in atomic and quantum physics, and also educated and mentored many students for the new era of theoretical physics. He served as doctoral supervisor for many Nobel Prize winners in physics and chemistry .

Go to ProfileJohannes Kepler was a German astronomer, mathematician, astrologer, natural philosopher and writer on music. He is a key figure in the 17th-century Scientific Revolution, best known for his laws of planetary motion, and his books Astronomia nova, Harmonice Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae. These works also provided one of the foundations for Newton's theory of universal gravitation.

Go to ProfileLev Davidovich Landau was a Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. His accomplishments include the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics , the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitionss, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, the theory of Fermi liquids, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, the two-component theory of neutrinos, and Landau's equations for S matrix singularities.

Go to ProfileSir Roger Penrose was born in Colchester, England in 1931. He is best known for his significant contributions to the mathematical physics of general relativity and cosmology. Penrose attended University College London where he earned his bachelor’s in mathematics. He received a PhD studying algebraic geometry at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1958. In his free time at Cambridge, he attended a few lectures led by Hermann Bondi and Paul Dirac, which lent some of his curiosity in the direction of physics. Penrose went on to become an innovator in the field of mathematical physics, and is now widely regarded as among the greatest living mathematical physicists.

Go to ProfileLeonhard Euler was a Swiss mathematician, physicist, astronomer, geographer, logician and engineer who founded the studies of graph theory and topology and made pioneering and influential discoveries in many other branches of mathematics such as analytic number theory, complex analysis, and infinitesimal calculus. He introduced much of modern mathematical terminology and notation, including the notion of a mathematical function. He is also known for his work in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, astronomy and music theory.

Go to ProfileMohammad Abdus Salam was a Pakistani theoretical physicist and a Nobel Prize laureate. He shared the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics with Sheldon Glashow and Steven Weinberg for his contribution to the electroweak unification theory. He was the first Pakistani and the first from an Islamic country to receive a Nobel Prize in science and the second from an Islamic country to receive any Nobel Prize, after Anwar Sadat of Egypt.

Go to ProfileEugene Paul "E. P." Wigner was a Hungarian theoretical physicist who also contributed to mathematical physics. He obtained American citizenship in 1937, and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963 "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles".

Go to ProfileSir Fred Hoyle FRS was an English astronomer who formulated the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. He also held controversial stances on other scientific matters—in particular his rejection of the "Big Bang" theory, a term coined by him on BBC radio, and his promotion of panspermia as the origin of life on Earth. He also wrote science fiction novels, short stories and radio plays, and co-authored twelve books with his son, Geoffrey Hoyle. He spent most of his working life at the Institute of Astronomy at Cambridge and served as its director for six years. He was one of the authors of the infl...

Go to ProfileSubrahmanyan Chandrasekhar was an Indian-American astrophysicist who spent his professional life in the United States. He shared the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics with William A. Fowler for "...theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars". His mathematical treatment of stellar evolution yielded many of the current theoretical models of the later evolutionary stages of massive stars and black holes. The Chandrasekhar limit is named after him.

Go to ProfileOtto Hahn was a German chemist who was a pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry and godfather of nuclear fission. Hahn and Lise Meitner discovered radioactive isotopes of radium, thorium, protactinium and uranium. He also discovered the phenomena of atomic recoil and nuclear isomerism, and pioneered rubidium–strontium dating. In 1938, Hahn, Lise Meitner and Fritz Strassmann discovered nuclear fission, for which Hahn received the 1944 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Nuclear fission was the basis for nuclear reactors and nuclea...

Go to ProfileMarie Salomea Skłodowska Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. Her husband, Pierre Curie, was a co-winner on her first Nobel Prize, making them the first ever married couple to win the Nobel Prize and launching the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was, in 1906, the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris.

Go to ProfileEdward Teller was a Hungarian-American theoretical physicist who is known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb" , although he did not care for the title, considering it to be in poor taste. Throughout his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and for his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality.

Go to ProfileMichael Faraday was an English scientist who contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry. His main discoveries include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism and electrolysis.

Go to ProfileRené Descartes was a French philosopher, mathematician, scientist and lay Catholic who invented analytic geometry, linking the previously separate fields of geometry and algebra. He spent a large portion of his working life in the Dutch Republic, initially serving the Dutch States Army of Maurice of Nassau, Prince of Orange and the Stadtholder of the United Provinces. One of the most notable intellectual figures of the Dutch Golden Age, Descartes is also widely regarded as one of the founders of modern philosophy and algebraic geometry.

Go to ProfileJules Henri Poincaré was a French mathematician, theoretical physicist, engineer, and philosopher of science. He is often described as a polymath, and in mathematics as "The Last Universalist", since he excelled in all fields of the discipline as it existed during his lifetime.

Go to ProfileDavid Hilbert was a German mathematician and one of the most influential mathematicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Hilbert discovered and developed a broad range of fundamental ideas in many areas, including invariant theory, the calculus of variations, commutative algebra, algebraic number theory, the foundations of geometry, spectral theory of operators and its application to integral equations, mathematical physics, and the foundations of mathematics .

Go to ProfileSir Joseph John Thomson was a British physicist and Nobel Laureate in Physics, credited with the discovery of the electron, the first subatomic particle to be discovered. In 1897, Thomson showed that cathode rays were composed of previously unknown negatively charged particles , which he calculated must have bodies much smaller than atoms and a very large charge-to-mass ratio. Thomson is also credited with finding the first evidence for isotopes of a stable element in 1913, as part of his exploration into the composition of canal rays . His experiments to determine the nature of positively ...

Go to ProfileJohn Archibald Wheeler was an American theoretical physicist. He was largely responsible for reviving interest in general relativity in the United States after World War II. Wheeler also worked with Niels Bohr in explaining the basic principles behind nuclear fission. Together with Gregory Breit, Wheeler developed the concept of the Breit–Wheeler process. He is best known for popularizing the term "black hole," as to objects with gravitational collapse already predicted during the early 20th century, for inventing the terms "quantum foam", "neutron moderator", "wormhole" and "it from bit", an...

Go to ProfileJohn von Neumann was a Hungarian-American mathematician, physicist, computer scientist, engineer and polymath. Von Neumann was regarded as perhaps the mathematician with the widest coverage of the subject in his time and was said to have been "the last representative of the great mathematicians who were equally at home in pure and applied mathematics". He integrated pure and applied sciences.

Go to ProfileLudwig Eduard Boltzmann was an Austrian physicist and philosopher. His greatest achievements were the development of statistical mechanics, and the statistical explanation of the second law of thermodynamics. In 1877 he provided the current definition of entropy, interpreted as a measure of statistical disorder of a system. Max Planck named the constant the Boltzmann constant.

Go to ProfileWitten is Professor of Mathematical Physics at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). He is known world-wide for his many important contributions to the mathematics of string theory and treatments of theoretical physics. Interestingly, Witten received his Bachelor of Arts degree in History, with a minor in Linguistics at Brandeis University in 1971. After graduation, Witten wrote for The New Republic and The Nation, and even worked on George McGovern’s presidential campaign! He returned to college and studied economics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before dropping out, returning to Princeton University to study applied mathematics, where he received his Ph.D.

Go to ProfileLeonard Susskind is Professor of Theoretical Physics at Stanford University, and the Founding Director for the Stanford Institute for Theoretical Physics. Among many specialties in physics, including quantum field theory, quantum statistical mechanics and quantum cosmology, Susskind is widely regarded as one of the fathers of string theory. In 1995, he was the first physicist to precisely define the string theory concept for physics. Susskind actually began working as a plumber as a teenager, and later entered the City College of New York, graduating with a B.S. in Physics in 1962. He received his Ph.D.

Go to ProfileSir Arthur Stanley Eddington was an English astronomer, physicist, and mathematician. He was also a philosopher of science and a populariser of science. The Eddington limit, the natural limit to the luminosity of stars, or the radiation generated by accretion onto a compact object, is named in his honour.

Go to ProfileJulian Seymour Schwinger was a Nobel Prize winning American theoretical physicist. He is best known for his work on quantum electrodynamics , in particular for developing a relativistically invariant perturbation theory, and for renormalizing QED to one loop order. Schwinger was a physics professor at several universities.

Go to ProfileGeorge Gamow , born Georgiy Antonovich Gamov , was a Russian-born American polymath, theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He was an early advocate and developer of Lemaître's Big Bang theory. He discovered a theoretical explanation of alpha decay by quantum tunneling, invented the liquid drop model and the first mathematical model of the atomic nucleus, and worked on radioactive decay, star formation, stellar nucleosynthesis and Big Bang nucleosynthesis , and molecular genetics.

Go to ProfileEdwin Powell Hubble was an American astronomer. He played a crucial role in establishing the fields of extragalactic astronomy and observational cosmology. Hubble proved that many objects previously thought to be clouds of dust and gas and classified as "nebulae" were actually galaxies beyond the Milky Way. He used the strong direct relationship between a classical Cepheid variable's luminosity and pulsation period for scaling galactic and extragalactic distances.

Go to ProfileSheldon Lee Glashow is a Nobel Prize-winning American theoretical physicist. He is the Metcalf Professor of Mathematics and Physics at Boston University and Eugene Higgins Professor of Physics, Emeritus, at Harvard University, and is a member of the Board of Sponsors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Go to ProfileSteven Weinberg was born in New York City in 1933. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University and his PhD from Princeton University. Weinberg holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, and is a member of both the Physics and the Astronomy departments there. In 2004 the American Philosophical Society called him one of the “preeminent theoretical physicist[s] alive in the world today.” Weinberg received a bachelor’s degree in Physics from Cornell University in 1954. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Princeton University in 1957. Weinberg’s re...

Go to ProfileJohann Carl Friedrich Gauss was a German mathematician and physicist who made significant contributions to many fields in mathematics and science. Sometimes referred to as the Princeps mathematicorum and "the greatest mathematician since antiquity", Gauss had an exceptional influence in many fields of mathematics and science, and is ranked among history's most influential mathematicians.

Go to ProfileSir James Chadwick, was a British physicist who was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the neutron in 1932. In 1941, he wrote the final draft of the MAUD Report, which inspired the U.S. government to begin serious atomic bomb research efforts. He was the head of the British team that worked on the Manhattan Project during World War II. He was knighted in Britain in 1945 for his achievements in physics.

Go to ProfileHannes Olof Gösta Alfvén was a Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist and winner of the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics . He described the class of MHD waves now known as Alfvén waves. He was originally trained as an electrical power engineer and later moved to research and teaching in the fields of plasma physics and electrical engineering. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the behavior of auroraee, the Van Allen radiation belts, the effect of magnetic storms on the Earth's magnetic field, the terrestrial...

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