The list below comes to mind as the most influential, and most far-thinking of the great minds who have lived.<br /><br />Each of these men has made great discoveries out of thin air. By this I mean that their discoveries were to a large extent, original creative thoughts which involved a huge leap of imagination and comprehension, as opposed to being more of a "derivative" type discovery.<br /><br />And every one of these men has had an immense influence on the development of science to the point of altering history.<br /><br />Albert Einstein<br />Linus Pauling<br />Josiah Willard Gibbs<br />Charles Darwin<br />James Clerk Maxwell<br />Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss<br />Isaac Newton<br />Abu Kamil Shuja <br />Archimedes<br /><br />+++++++++++++++<br />to answer your question,<br /><br />Einstein made the following groundbreaking discoveries, any of which individually should have merited him a Nobel prize:<br />explanation of Brownian motion<br />explanation of the photoelectric effect (Nobel for this)<br />explanation of viscosity (Stokes-Einstein equation)<br />special theory of relativity<br />general theory of relativity<br />the bending of light test for the GTR<br /><br />Hawkings list of discoveries, while very impressive, falls short of Einstein:<br />Hawking radiation<br />further development of understanding of large scale structures in space-time <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><em><font color="#0000ff">- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -</font></em> </div><div class="Discussion_UserSignature" align="center"><font color="#0000ff"><em>I really, really, really miss the "first unread post" function.</em></font> </div> </div>
<i>Who's the superior intellect, Einstein or Hawkins?</i><br /><br />I wonder what exactly this problem of vital importance has to do with missions and launches... <img src="/images/icons/rolleyes.gif" />
Einstein, hands-down. Einstein completely reformulated the way we think of space and time. Hawking's work has been more of an elaboration on relativity and quantum physics (with respect to Hawking radiation), rather than blazing a whole new trail like Einstein did.
Back in the early 1800's, there was a huge debate in Germany as to which man was the greater intellect: Schiller or Goethe. The debate raged for years until one person pointed out that people should just be happy that they lived in a time when BOTH men were alive. I feel that way in the Einstein/Hawking question here -- we should count ourselves lucky that we had the benefit of both men's intellects.
ilbasso,<br /><br />Perhaps genius is a situational-sensitive condition.<br /><br />"Free Space" is a waste of space. There is almost no way to have a discussion on that board. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> The secret to peace of mind is a short attention span. </div>
Einstein. I find a lot Steven H.'s writings more educated speculation than science.<br /><br />In most sciences (such as my field, geology) a lot of the seminal discoveries were made from the last half of the 18th century to the mid 1950s. Einstein gave us Relativity and that's hard to top. Most theoretical physicists (like most scientists) today are immersed in much narrower 'niche' fields. Their discoveries, no matter how amazing, are not understood by the larger scientific community...let alone in their own field.
Hawking<br />1. He believes his own math.<br />2. He seems to want the not so intelligent of us to be apart of it too.<br />3. He made cosmology attractive and somewhat understandable.<br /><br />When it comes to budget time, that’s smart thinking.<br />
<blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr /><p>though thousands of years had passed between, Socrates and Plato and the like were far superior to anyone of their time also<p><hr /></p></p></blockquote><br />Yeah, those Brazilian footballers were impressively skilled to be sure.<br /><br />Of the choices on offer, I'd have to plump for Einstein. His accomplishments have been far more profound and far-reaching. I do wonder how much Hawking's condition has slowed him down though. It's an obvious understatement to say it can't have been easy to give consideration to matters of science when your daily life is such a struggle. <div class="Discussion_UserSignature"> <p><em><font size="2" color="#ff0000">Who is this superhero? Henry, the mild-mannered janitor ... could be!</font></em></p><p><em><font size="2">-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------</font></em></p><p><font size="5">Bring Back The Black!</font></p> </div>