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Top 10 Greatest Scientists of All Time in the World

Learn about the top 10 greatest scientists of all time. Also, explore what contribution these world’s top scientists have made to scientific development across the planet.

Top 10 scientists of all time – world’s top scientists

The world has changed a lot in the last few thousand years, especially in the last few centuries and a major contribution to this development has been done by the great minds of the finest scientists around the planet. The world’s greatest scientists’ amazing discoveries, inventions, research, experiments, and ideas have been crucial in making society’s present structure. From mobile phones to spacecraft, ceiling fans to windmills, and vehicles to the internet, everything around the world has been the brainchild of these great minds of the world.

Here, we list the top 10 greatest scientists of all time in the world, who have played critical roles in modernizing civilization.

Top 10 Scientists in the World

  1. Isaac Newton
  2. Albert Einstein
  3. Marie Curie
  4. Nikola Tesla
  5. Stephen Hawking
  6. Satyendra Nath Bose
  7. Michael Faraday
  8. Charles Darwin
  9. Galileo Galilei
  10. Rosalind Franklin

Top 10 Greatest Scientists of all Time (World’s Top Scientists)

1. Isaac Newton (1643-1727)

Isaac Newton is the world’s greatest scientist according to many.

Although famous as a mathematician, Isaac Newton’s contribution to science can never be overlooked, even by a person not interested in science. Issac Newton is arguably one of the most famous scientists around the world. He studied at Trinity College and was a professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge.

His contributions to mechanics, optics, thermodynamics, and almost every branch of physics, and that too in the 17th century, made him stand apart in science. His famous three laws of motion, the discovery of gravitation, and his book “Opticks” have been some of his many contributions as a physicist.

2. Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

Albert Einstein: world's greatest scientist
Many consider Albert Einstein the greatest scientist of all time. (@moyse/Unsplash)

Albert Einstein is one of the greatest and most popular physicists of all time. He is widely known for his famous theory of relativity and his work in quantum mechanics. He studied at the Federal Polytechnic School in Zurich and then at the University of Zurich.

Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 for his discovery of the Law of Photoelectric Effect. He published four papers in 1905 which proposed the theory of the photoelectric effect, special relativity, mass-energy equivalence, and explained Brownian Motion. He gave the idea of the gravitational field in a whole different way in his published paper on general relativity in 1916. 

3. Marie Curie (1867-1934)

Marie Curie is undoubtedly the greatest women chemists
Marie Curie is undoubtedly the greatest women chemists known for her work on radioactivity (Grunge)

Marie Solomea Sklodowska Curie was a Polish physicist and chemist who researched radioactivity. Born in Warsaw, she studied at Warsaw’s clandestine Flying University and then at the University of Paris. She was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize and the only one to win it twice. The world’s first study was conducted under her guidance to treat neoplasms using radioactive isotopes.

During WWI, she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals, establishing her position in the list of the greatest scientists of all time. Marie Curie died in 1934 in France from Aplastic Anemia from exposure to radiation while performing her radiological work at field hospitals during World War I.

4. Nikola Tesla (1856-1943)

Nikola Tesla is counted among the greatest scientists of all time
Nikola Tesla is counted among the greatest scientists of all time (BBC)

Nikola Tesla is, without any doubt, one of the greatest inventors in the world. He is famous for his contribution to the design of the modern alternating current electricity supply system. Tesla studied engineering without receiving a degree just by doing practicals, working in telephony, and at Continental Edison in the new electric power industry. His series of experiments and inventions in the early 20th century marked his place in the field of electricity, and later, he became one of the most influential figures in the field of science.

5. Stephen Hawking (1942-2018)

Stephen Hawking world's top scientist
Stephen Hawking is widely considered the world’s top scientist of the 21st century (NASA)

Stephen Hawking, one of the greatest scientists of all time, was a theoretical physicist and cosmologist who is widely accepted as one of the best scientists in the world. One of his achievements was the study of black holes; he proposed that black holes would emit subatomic particles until they eventually exploded.

Hawking wrote many best-selling books; the most famous among them was ‘A Brief History of Time: From The Big Bang to Black Holes.’ Hawking was diagnosed with an early slow-progressing form of motor neuron disease that gradually, over the decades, paralyzed him. After the loss of speech, he communicated through a speech-generating device, initially through a handheld switch and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. 

6. Satyendra Nath Bose (1894-1974)

Satyendra Nath Bose was one of India's greatest scientists of all time
Satyendra Nath Bose was one of India’s greatest scientists of all time

Satyendra Nath Bose is undoubtedly one of the best Indian mathematicians and physicists. He is best known for his work on quantum mechanics, developing the Bose condensate theory. He was awarded India’s second highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan, in 1954. Bosons, a class of elementary subatomic particles in particle physics, were named by Dirac after Satyendra Nath Bose. The fifth state of matter, bose-einstein condensate, was also named after the Indian physicist and his German counterpart Albert einstein. 

7. Michael Faraday (1791-1867)

Michael Faraday is famous for the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry
Michael Faraday, a world’s top scientist, is famous for the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry

Michael Faraday was a pioneer of the electric revolution in the 19th century. Without his extraordinary contribution to electromagnetism and electrochemistry, the world would have been a different place to live in. Although Faraday received little formal education, he was one of the most prolific scientists in history. Faraday, among the greatest scientists of all time, is known for Faraday’s Law of Induction, Faraday Cage, Faraday’s Law of Electrolysis, and many more experiments and theories. His main achievements include the principles underlying electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and electrolysis.

8. Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

Charles Darwin is considered among the greatest scientists of all time
Charles Darwin is considered among the greatest scientists of all time (NHM)

Charles Robert Darwin is one of the most famous names in the field of biology. He is most famous for his work in evolutionary biology. Darwin has been recognized as one of the most influential people in the history of humankind. His book “On the Origin of Species” showed evidence of the theory of evolution that was later accepted as fact by most biologists. The foundation of the modern ideas of evolution is built on Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.

9. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)

Galileo Galilei is one of the greatest scientists
Galileo Galilei is one of the greatest scientists in the world

Galileo was an Italian astronomer and physicist who was one of the most popular people in Europe in his time. Today, he is considered one of the greatest scientists in the world. His experiments were quite innovative and exciting, leading to the discovery of famous theories, including the principle of relativity, inertia, and projectile motion.

What makes Galileo one of the greatest scientists of all time is the fact that he was the first person to state that ‘the earth revolves around the sun’ and not otherwise. He had to face opposition from the catholic church and the astronomers at that time, which led to his punishment of life imprisonment by the Roman Catholic Church in 1633. He died at home under house arrest in 1642 after an illness.

10. Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958)

Rosalind Franklin: world's top scientists
Rosalind Franklin was one of the world’s top scientists of her era (Photo: Vittorio Luzzati)

Rosalind Elsie Franklin was one of the most outstanding female scientists worldwide for what she achieved in a brief span of her life. She graduated from Newnham College, Cambridge, with a degree in natural sciences. Franklin was best known for her work on X-ray diffraction images of DNA linked to the discovery of DNA double helix. She is also known for her work in understanding the molecular structure of RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite and the discovery of DNA density. She died at the age of just 37 years due to ovarian cancer.

Notable Mentions: James Clerk Maxwell, Henry Mosley, Dmitri Mendeleev, CV Raman, Thomas A. Edison, Archimedes, AG Bell, Max Planck, Subramanyam Chandrasekhar, Louis Pasteur.

This is our list of the greatest scientists of all time. Do let us know what you think about this. If you liked this blog on the world’s top scientists, write your opinion on social media.

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