This book takes readers back and forth through achievements of 100 of the world's most inspirational and influential people (from brainy biologists and clever chemists to magnificent mathematicians and phenomenal physicists) who have shaped our society and how we see the world around us.
The book is divided into two sections:
100 Most Influential Scientists and Influential People Who Shaped World History
Their Correspondence and Conversiations
1. Sir Isaac Newton
Birth: Dec. 25, 1642 [Jan. 4, 1643, New Style], Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England
Death: March 20 [March 31], 1727, London
Known for: the Newtonian Revolution
An English physicist and mathematician and was the culminating figure of the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. In optics, his discovery of the composition of white light integrated the phenomena of colours into the science of light and laid the foundation for modern physical optics. In mechanics, his three laws of motion, the basic principles of modern physics, resulted in the formulation of the law of universal gravitation. In mathematics, he was the original discoverer of the infinitesimal calculus. Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1687) was one of the most important single works in the history of modern science.
2. Albert Einstein
Birth: March 14, 1879, Ulm, Wurttemberg, Germany
Death: April 18, 1955, Princeton, N.J., U.S.
Known for: Twentieth-Century Science
A German-born physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the photoelectric effect. Einstein is generally considered the most influential physicist of the 20th century.
3. Niels Henrik David Bohr
Birth: Oct. 7, 1885, Copenhagen, Denmark
Death: Nov. 18, 1962, Copenhagen
Known for: the Atom
A Danish physicist who is generally regarded as one of the foremost physicists of the 20th century. He was the first to apply the quantum concept, which restricts the energy of a system to certain discrete values, to the problem of atomic and molecular structure. For that work he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1922. His manifold roles in the origins and development of quantum physics may be his most-important contribution, but through his long career his involvements were substantially broader, both inside and outside the world of physics.
4. Charles Robert Darwin
Birth: Feb. 12, 1809, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
Death: April 19, 1882, Downe, Kent
Known for: Evolution
An English naturalist whose scientific theory of evolution by natural selection became the foundation of modern evolutionary studies. An affable country gentleman, Darwin at first shocked religious Victorian society by suggesting that animals and humans shared a common ancestry. However, his nonreligious biology appealed to the rising class of professional scientists, and by the time of his death evolutionary imagery had spread through all of science, literature, and politics. Darwin, himself an agnostic, was accorded the ultimate British accolade of burial in Westminster Abbey, London.
5. Louis Pasteur
Birth: Dec. 27, 1822, Dole, France
Death: Sept. 28, 1895, Saint-Cloud, near Paris
Known for: the Germ Theory of Disease
A French chemist and microbiologist who was one of the most important founders of medical microbiology. Pasteur’s contributions to science, technology, and medicine are nearly without precedent. He pioneered the study of molecular asymmetry; discovered that microorganisms cause fermentation and disease; originated the process of pasteurization; saved the beer, wine, and silk industries in France; and developed vaccines against anthrax and rabies.