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Sunday, 4 November 2012





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Eminent scientists

Where would humanity be today if not for the numerous valuable discoveries made by the great scientists of the world from time to time? No one can dispute the fact that scientists have made an enormous contribution to the advancement of human civilization.

When we take a peek at the history of the world, we can see how many scientists of yesteryear dedicated their lives for research and innovation. Some of them even faced the threat of torture for their theories but still they did not give up on their mission. Thanks to their valiant efforts we are now in a modern world.

In this series we journey back in time to familiarise you with some of these great personalities who have made a vast difference in our lives ...

[Albert Einstein]

Einstein is the greatert physicist of the twentieth century and notable scientist of all time.Albert Einstein was born in Ulm, in the Kingdom of Württemberg in the German Empire on March 14, 1879.His father was Hermann Einstein, a salesman and engineer. His mother was Pauline Einstein (née Koch). In 1880, the family moved to Munich, where his father and his uncle founded a company that manufactured electrical equipment based on direct current.

He attended a Catholic elementary school from the age of five for three years. Later, at the age of eight, Einstein was transferred to the Luitpold Gymnasium where he received advanced primary and secondary school education until he left Germany seven years later. It is said that he had learning disability in his childhood. He could not talk till he was three and could not read till he was eight.

Despite such problems he later became the noble prize winner for his contribution to the Physics. His theory of relativity is considered as a revolutionary development of Physics.

He got Noble Prize in Physics in 1921 for his explanation of the Photoelectric Effect and for his research in Theoretical physics.Einstein published more than 300 scientific papers along with over 150 non-scientific works. His great intellectual achievements and originality have made the word "Einstein" synonymous with genius.

In 1922, he travelled throughout Asia and later to Palestine, as part of a six-month excursion and speaking tour. His travels included Singapore, Ceylon, and Japan, where he gave a series of lectures to thousands of Japanese. His first lecture in Tokyo lasted four hours, after which he met the emperor and empress at the Imperial Palace where thousands came to watch.

Einstein became an American citizen in 1940. Throughout his life, Einstein published hundreds of books and articles. In addition to the work he did by himself he also collaborated with other scientists on additional projects including the Bose-Einstein statistics, the Einstein refrigerator and others.

On 17 April 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm.Einstein refused surgery, saying: "I want to go when I want.

It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share, it is time to go. I will do it elegantly."

He died in Princeton Hospital early the next morning at the age of 76, having continued to work until near the end.During the autopsy, the pathologist of Princeton Hospital, Thomas Stoltz Harvey, removed Einstein's brain for preservation without the permission of his family, in the hope that the neuroscience of the future would be able to discover what made Einstein so intelligent.

[Thomas Edison]

Thomas Edison is the great inventor who has over 1000 patents and his inventions are in various fields used in our daily life. In his early life he was thought to have a learning disability and he could not read till he was twelve. He was able to turn the attention of the world after inventing the phonograph. One of his most popular inventions is the electric bulb.

He also developed the telegraph system. His invention of carbon telephone transmitter developed the carbon microphone which was used in the telephone till 1980. He also became a prominent businessman and his business institution produced his inventions and marketed the products to the general people.





[Charles Robert Darwin]

It is debatable whether Charles Darwin ( 12 February 1809 - 19 April 1882 ) is the greatest scientist of all time but there is no doubt that he is the most controversial scientist of all time. On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859)- is the book that has made Darwin immortal in the world history. This book has changed the course of science radically. It is perhaps an irony that Darwin studied theology and instead of becoming a clergy, became a naturalist.

Darwin went to different parts of the world and carried out extensive research. His theory about origin of human beings caused widespread controversy. Darwin stated that human beings have evolved through many changes and survival of the fittest was in important factor in the development of animal world. Darwin 's theory still causes passionate debate among his supporters and opponents.



[Sir Isaac Newton]

A physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, and natural philosopher Isaac Newton was definitely a man of versatile quality . He was born to a farmer family on December 25, 1642 [January 4, 1643, New Style], in Woolsthorpe, Lincolnshire, England but before three months of his birth his father died and then he was brought up by his maternal grandmother as his mother remarried. He was later reunited with his mother ,who eventually pulled him out of school with the intention of making him a farmer. This was not something young Isaac liked and he failed at it.

He soon returned to King's School to finish his basic education. Perhaps sensing his innate intellectual abilities, his uncle, a graduate of Trinity College at Cambridge persuaded his mother to have him enter the university. Isaac enrolled in 1661 in a programme similar to a work study where he waited on tables and took care of wealthier students' rooms.

His talent was obvious even from his early life in The King's School in Grantham and later he joined to the Cambridge University where he took his higher degrees. When Isaac Newton arrived at Cambridge, the scientific revolution was already in full force. The heliocentric view of the universe-theorised by astronomers Nicholas Copernicus and Johannes Kepler and later refined by Galileo Galilei -was well known in most European academic circles.

His contribution to the development of science is invaluable. He is best known for his explanation of Universal Gravitation and three laws of motion, and he was able to prove that the reason of both the motion of objects on Earth and of celestial bodies are controlled by the same neutral laws. These findings could make a revolutionary change in the development of science. In mechanical science his great contribution was in optics. He could make a reflecting telescope. He also made some research on light and stars. His research on General binomial Theorem helped to be introduced today's Calculus. During his first three years at Cambridge, Isaac Newton was taught the standard curriculum but he was fascinated with the more advanced science. All his spare time was spent reading from the modern philosophers. A giant in the field of science this English physicist and mathematician, who was the culminating, figure of the scientific revolution of the 17th century died March 20 [March 31], 1727, London, England.


The great philosopher Aristotle is someone we cannot overlook when it comes to great scientists even though he belongs to a different era and is not technically a scientist by today's definitions.This laurel Greek philosopher was born in Stagira , a small town on the northern coast of Greece that was once a seaport in 384 BC. He had a vast knowledge of different disciplines. Having studied different subjects he contributed a lot in each of those subjects such as physics, poetry, zoology, logic, rhetoric, politics, government, ethics and biology.

One of Aristotle's earliest tutors was none other than his father Nicomachus who was a physician to the king Amyntas III of Macedon's court.

The medical knowledge he got from his father led him to investigate natural phenomenon later on. Little is known about his mother, Phaestis who is believed to have died when Aristotle was young.

When Aristotle turned 17, he was sent to Athens to pursue higher education. At the time, Athens was considered the academic centre of the world. In Athens, Aristotle enrolled in Plato's Academy, Greek's premier learning institution, and proved an exemplary scholar. Plato was another great Greek philosopher.

After Plato died, Aristotle's friend Hermias, king of Atarneus and Assos in Mysia, invited Aristotle to court. During his three-year stay in Mysia, Aristotle met and married his first wife, Pythias, Hermias' niece.

Together, the couple had a daughter, Pythias, named after her mother.In 338 B.C., Aristotle went home to Macedonia to start tutoring King Phillip II's son, the then 13-year-old Alexander the Great. Phillip and Alexander both held Aristotle in high esteem and ensured that the Macedonia court generously compensated him for his work. In 335 B.C., after Alexander had succeeded his father as king and conquered Athens, Aristotle went back to the city. In Athens, Plato's Academy, now run by Xenocrates, was still the leading influence on Greek thought.

With Alexander's permission, Aristotle started his own school in Athens, called the Lyceum. In the same year that Aristotle opened the Lyceum, his wife Pythias died. On and off, Aristotle spent most of the remainder of his life working as a teacher, researcher and writer at the Lyceum in Athens. Science was among the subjects that he researched at length during his time at the Lyceum.

Aristotle was in the habit of walking around the school grounds while teaching, and his students, who were forced to follow him, were nicknamed the "Peripatetics," meaning "people who travel about."

Lyceum members researched subjects ranging from science and maths to philosophy and politics, and nearly everything in between. Art was also a popular area of interest. Members of the Lyceum wrote up their findings in manuscripts. In so doing, they built the school's massive collection of written materials, which by ancient accounts was credited as one of the first great libraries.

As a scientist Aristotle made a good contribution which was very influential for the development of the science over the years. Mainly he spent most of his life researching the natural science and he did the researches without making reference to the Mathematics which was later proven as the weakness of his research by the scientists. His natural science oriented research includes botany, zoology, physics, astronomy, chemistry, and meteorology, geometry and many more.

Aristotle believed that knowledge could be obtained through interacting with physical objects.Aristotle's research in the sciences included a study of geology. He attempted, with some error, to classify animals into genera based on their similar characteristics. He further classified animals into species based on those that had red blood and those that did not. The animals with red blood were mostly vertebrates, while the "bloodless" animals were labelled cephalopods. Despite the relative inaccuracy of his hypothesis, Aristotle's classification was regarded as the standard system for hundreds of years.Marine biology was also an area of fascination for Aristotle.

In contrast to his geological classifications, his observations of marine life, as expressed in his books, are considerably more accurate.As evidenced in his treatise Meteorology, Aristotle also dabbled in the earth sciences. In Meteorology, Aristotle identified the water cycle and discussed topics ranging from natural disasters to astrological events. Although many of his views on the Earth were controversial at the time, they were re-adopted and popularised during the late Middle Ages. One of the main focuses of Aristotle's philosophy was his systematic concept of logic.After he left Athens and fled to Chalcis on the island of Euboea, this great philosopher died in 322 BC .

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