biographies of scientists


















PYTHAGORAS- c. 570-495 BC. He is known for the Pythagorean theorem, credited to him, was known to the babylonians and Indians before him. It states that the squares of each side of a right triangle add together is equal to the square of the hypotenuse of the triangle.

ZENO- c. 490-c. 430 bc. He is best known for his paradoxes, particularly zeno’s paradox.

THEAETETUS- c. 417-c. 368 BC. His principle contributions to math were on irrational lengths, which were included in Euclid’s work, and in proving that there are precisely 5 regular convex polyhedra.

EUCLID- mid-4th century BC-mid-3rd century BC. (fl. 300 BC). Greek mathematician often referred to as the father of geometry. His work, the elements, is one of the most influential works in the history of mathematics. He deduced the principles of what is now called Euclidean geometry. He wrote about perspective, conic sections, spherical geometry, number theory, and rigor. Although best known for its geometrical results, the elements also includes number theory. It considers the connection between perfect numbers and Mersenne primes (known as the Euclid-Euler theorem), the infinitude of prime numbers, Euclid’s lemma on factorization, which leads to the fundamental theorem of arithmetic on the uniqueness of prime factorizations, and the Euclidean algorithm for finding the greatest common divisor of 2 numbers. Euclid’s geometry was considered the only geometry possible, until non-euclidean geometry was discovered in the 19th century.

EUDOXUS- 355 bc. Developed the method of exhaustion, a precursor to integral calculus. He was very familiar with geometry and number theory. He used the theory of proportions to allow the possibility of irrational numbers.

ARCHIMEDES- c. 287-c. 212 BC. Regarded as one of the leading scientists in classical antiquity. He anticipated modern calculus and analysis by applying concepts of infinitesimal and the method of exhaustion, to derive and rigorously prove a range of geometric theorems, including the area of a circle, the surface area and volume of a sphere, and the area under a parabola. Other mathematical achievements include deriving an accurate approximation of pi, defining and investigating the Archimedean spiral, and creating a system using exponentiation for expressing very large numbers. He also applied the method of exhaustion similar to integral calculus to answer problems involving finding areas. He concluded that the number of grains of sand needed to fill the universe would be 8×10^63 grains.

APOLLONIUS- late 3rd century-early 2nd century. Known for his theories on the topic of conic sections.

HIPPARCHUS- c. 190-c. 120 BC. He was the first mathematician to possess trigonometric tables used to compute the eccentricity of the orbits of the Sun and Moon.

HERON- C. 10-C. 70. He described how to compute square roots iteratively, but is best known for hero’s formula, which gives the area of a triangle by requiring no arbitrary choice of side as base or vertex as origin. The formula is— area=sqrt(s(s-a)x(a-b)x(s-c)), where sides are lengths a, b, and c, and s=(a+b+c)/2.

NICOMACHUS- c. 60-c. 120. He was more interested in the mystical properties of numbers than their mathematical properties. He put significance in prime and perfect numbers.

DIOPHANTUS- 201/215-285/299. Sometimes called the father of algebra. He was the first greek mathematician to recognize fractions as numbers. Diophantine equations are named after him for usually algebraic equations with integer coefficients in which integer solutions are sought.

PAPPUS- c. 290-c. 350. One of the last great Greek mathematicians. He is known for his Pappus’s hexagon theorem in projective geometry.

HYPATIA- c. 350-415. She is known for her intense interest and reverence of mathematics.

ARYABHATA- 476-550. He is known for the sinusoidal functions, solution of the single variable quadratic equation, calculating pi to 4 decimal places, and measuring the circumference of the Earth with 99.8% accuracy.

BRAHMAGUPTA- c. 598-after 685. First to gives rules to compute zero. He solved ax^2+bx=c and came up with x=(sqrt(4ac)/2a and x=((sqrt(ac+b^2/4)-b/2)/a. He also calculated a/c+b/d*a/c=a(d+b)/cd, and a/c-b/d*a/c=a(d-b)/cd. He provided a formula for generating pythagorean triples.the formula is-a=mx is one leg of the right triangle. b=m+d is the other leg of the right triangle. M and x are rational numbers d=mx/(x+2), And c=m(1+x)-d. You can generate pythagorean triples with the previous formulas and arrive at pythagorean triples of a^2+b^2=c^2. He also went on to give a recurrence relation for generating solutions to certain instances of Diophantine equations of the 2nd degree as nx^2+1=y^2, called pell’s equation. Brahmagupta most famous result in geometry is his formula for cyclic quadrilaterals. Given the lengths for the sides of any cyclic quadrilateral, he gave an approximate and exact formula for the figure’s area.the formula is let the lengths be: p,q,r and s. The approximate area is (p+r)/2, q+s)/2, and t=(p+q+r+s)/2, and the exact formula is sqrt((t-p)(t-q)(t-r)(t-s)). Heron’s formula is a special case of this formula and it is derived by setting one of the sides equal to zero.he also provided a way to determine pi with very little margin of error. He presented a sine table using names of objects to represent the digits of place-value numerals. In 665, he devised and used a special case of the Newton-Sterling interpolation formula of the second order to interpolate new values of the sine function and other values.

BHASKARA 1- c. 600-c. 680. He was the first to write numbers in the Hindu decimal system with a circle for the zero, and he gave a remarkable and unique rational approximation of the sine function.

AL-KHWARIZMI- c. 780-c. 850. He is credited with the first systematic solution of linear and quadratic equations in Arabic. He is considered one of the fathers of algebra. He also did innovative work in trigonometry.

AL-KARAJI- c. 953-c. 1029. He was influenced by Diophantus, and be began the freeing of algebra from geometry. He systematically studied the algebra of exponent and was the first to realize that the sequence x, x^2, x^3…, and its reciprocal can be extended indefinitely. He wrote on the binomial theorem and Pascal’s triangle.

ABU A-HAYTHAM- c. 965-c. 1040. He worked on the beginning of the link between algebra and geometry. He explored Euclid’s parallel postulate, using the concept of motion into geometry using a proof by contradiction. He worked on perfect numbers, where 2^(n-1)x(2^n-1) is a perfect number where 2^n-1 is prime. He found the volume of a paraboloid.


May 18, 1048-December 4, 1131. He worked on the theory of parallels, geometric algebra, and the binomial theorem and extraction of roots. He developed general methods for solving cubic equations and equations of

higher order.

BHASKARA 2- 1114-1185. He proved the Pythagorean theorem by calculating the same area in 2 different ways and then cancelling out terms to arrive at a^2+b^2=c^2. He solved quadratic equations with more than one unknown, and found negative and irrational solutions. He arrived at preliminary concepts of mathematical analysis and infinitesimal calculus, conceived differential calculus, after discovering an approximation of the derivative and differential coefficient, stated Rolle’s theorem, developed spherical trigonometry, and found methods of solving Pell’s equation.

FIBONACCI- c. 1175-c. 1250. Considered the most talented mathematician of the Middle Ages. He popularized the Hindu-Arabic numeral system in the west. in his book, liber abaci, he introduced the sequence of fibonacci numbers and also discussed irrational and prime numbers. The golden ratio is the limit of the ratio of consecutive numbers in the fibonacci sequence.

NASIR AL-DIN AL-TUSI- February 18, 1201-June 26, 1274. He was the first to list the six distinct cases of a right triangle in spherical trigonometry. He stated the law of sines

for plane and spherical triangles and the law of tangents for spherical triangles along with proof for all of these.

QIN JIUSHAO- 1202-1261. He produced indeterminate equations and numerical solutions of certain polynomial equations up to the 10th order, a general form of the Chinese remainder theorem, and a formula for finding the area of a triangle from the given lengths of 3 sides, also known as Heron’s formula proved by Heron about 60 BC. He also found ways for finding sums of arithmetic series.

JORDANUS SE NEMORE- fl. 13th century. He wrote wonderful treatise on practical arithmetic, pure arithmetic, algebra, and geometry.

NOCOLE ORESME- c. 1320-July 11, 1382. he is known for the proof of the divergence of the harmonic series.

REGIOMONTANUS- June 6, 1436-July 6, 1476. He did work on arithmetic and symbolic algebra.

DEL FERRO- February 6, 1465-November 5, 1526. He provided a solution of the depressed cubic equation.

MICHAEL STIFEL- 1487-April 19, 1567. He was the first to use the term ‘exponent’ and give a few of the exponential laws. He was the first who used a standard model to solve quadratic equations.

NICCOLO FONTANA TARTAGLIA- 1499/1500-December 13, 1557. He is best known for his conflicts with Gerolamo Cardano, where Cardano cajoled Tartaglia into revealing his solution to the cubic equation by promising not to publish them. Cardano saw an unpublished pre-Tartaglian solution to the cubic equation by del ferro who independently came up with the same solution as Tartaglia, so cardamon broke his promise to Tartaglia and published Tartaglia’s solution. Both Tartaglia and cardano are credited with solving the cubic equation, which is now known as the Cardano-Tartaglia formula. He is also known for giving the volume of a tetrahedron.

GEROLAMO CARDANO- September 24, 1501-September 21, 1576. One of the most influential mathematicians of the renaissance, and was one of the key figures in the foundation of probability and the earliest introducer of the binomial coefficient and the binomial theorem to the western world. He made the first systematic use of negative numbers, published solutions from other mathematicians for the cubic and quartic equations, acknowledged the existence of imaginary numbers, and made the first systematic treatment of probability.

LODOVICO FERRAI- February 2, 1522-October 5, 1565. Was mainly responsible for solving quartic equations. He proved the intermediate value theorem for polynomials, using the procedure of conquer and divide by subdividing the interval into equal parts. His decimals were an inspiration to Newton.

RAPHAEL BOMBELLI- January 20, 1526-1572. He authored a treatise on algebra and is a central figure in the understanding of imaginary numbers. He gave a comprehensive account of the algebra known at the time, and was the first European to write down the way of performing computations with negative numbers. He made monumental contributions to complex numbers. He saw that imaginary numbers were crucial and necessary to solving quartic and cubic equations.

FRANCOIS VIETE- 1540-February 23, 1603. He is known for the first notation of new algebra (symbolic notation).

SIMON STEVIN- 1548-1620. Brought to the western world for the first time the general solution to the quadratic equation.

JOHN NAPIER- February 1, 1550-April 4, 1617. Best known for discovering logarithms.

HENRY BRIGGS- February 1561-January 26, 1630. He changed the original logarithms invented by Napier into common base 10 logarithms.


February 15, 1564-January 8, 1642. He made original contributions to the science of motion through an innovative combination of

experiment and mathematics. He was one of the first modern thinkers to clearly state that the laws of nature are mathematical. Galileo showed a modern appreciation of the proper relationship between mathematics, theoretical physics, and experimental physics. He understood the parabola, both in terms of conic sections, and in terms of the ordinate (y) varying as the square of the abscissa (x). He asserted that a parabola was the theoretical ideal trajectory of a uniformly accelerated projectile in the absence of air resistance.

MARIN MERSENNE- September 8, 1588-September 1, 1648. He is known for Mersenne primes of the form M(n)=2^n-1.

GIRARD DESARGUES- February 21, 1591-September 1661. He is one of the founders of projective geometry, and known for Desargues theorem and Desargues graph.

Albert Girard- 1595-December 8, 1632. He had early thoughts on the fundamental theorem of algebra and gave the inductive definition for the Fibonacci numbers. He showed that the area of a spherical triangle depends on the interior angles, a result called Gerard’s theorem.


March 31, 1596-February 11, 1650. He is mainly known in mathematics for his cartesian coordinate system.

BONAVENTURA. CAVALIERI- 1598-November 30, 1647. He is known for his work on indivisibles, the precursor to infinitesimal calculus, and the introduction of logarithms into Italy. Cavalieri’s principle in geometry partially anticipated integral calculus.

GILLES PERSONNE DE ROBERVAL- August 10, 1602-October 27, 1675. Just before the invention of calculus, he worked with problems which are soluble by some method involving limits and infinitesimals. He coined the term trochoid.


October 31 to December 6, 1607-January 12, 1665. He is given credit for the early developments that led to infinitesimal

calculus and did work analogous to that of differential calculus, then unknown. He also did research into number theory,, and made notable contributions to analytic geometry and probability. He is known for Fermat’s last theorem, proved in 1994, and Fermat’s little theorem.

JOHN PELL- March 1, 1611-December 12, 1685. He is known for the Pell number and the Pell’s equation.

JOHN WALLIS- December 3, 1616-November 8, 1703. he was given partial credit for the development of infinitesimal calculus, and is also credited with the introduction of the infinity symbol. He made significant contributions to trigonometry, calculus, geometry, and the analysis of infinite series. He introduced the term continued fraction. He published a treatise on conic sections which were defined analytically. He is also known for the Wallis product.

BLAISE PASCAL- June 19, 1623-August 19, 1662. Helped create 2 major new areas of research: projective geometry at t6 and probability theory with Fermat. He a provided convenient tabular presentation of binomial coefficients, now called pascal’s triangle. Pascal used a probabilistic argument, pascal’s wager, to justify belief in God and a virtuous life.

ISAAC BARROWS- October 1630-May 4, 1677. Generally credited for the early development of infinitesimal calculus, especially the fundamental theorem of calculus.

His work was on tangents, and he was the first to calculate the tangents of kappa curves. Newton was his student who went on to develop calculus in its modern form.

JAMES GREGORY- November 1638-October 1675. He discovered infinite series representations for several trigonometric functions and he formulated the Taylor’s series. He was influential with trigonometric series.


December 25, 1642-march 20, 1727. Known for his book Principia Mathematica, invention of infinitesimal calculus, binomial series.

SEKI TAKAKAZU- 1642-December 5, 1708. He has been described as japan’s newton. He did work on infinitesimal calculus and Diophantine equations independently of newton. He is credited with the discovery of Bernoulli numbers, and the resultant and determinant are attributed to him.

GOTTFRIED LEIBNIZ- July 1, 1646- November 14, 1716. Co-inventor of calculus.

MICHEL ROLLE- April 21, 1652-November 8, 1719. he is best known for Rolle’s theorem, which states that any real-valued differentiable function that attains equal values at 2 distinct points must have a stationary point somewhere between them.

THE BERNOULLI FAMILY OF MATHEMATICIANS- Daniel, Jacob, Jacob(2), Johann, Johann(2), Johann(3), Nicolaus, Nicolaus(2)

JACOB BERNOULLI- December 27, 1654-August 16, 1705. Sided with Leibniz against newton in the calculus inventor controversy. He made numerous contributions to calculus, including being one of the inventors of the calculus of variations. He discovered the mathematical constant ‘e’. He has numerous mathematical discoveries to his name.

DE L’HOSPITAL- 1661-February 2, 1704. He is associated with L’Hospital’s rule, a way of calculating limits involving indeterminate forms 0/0 and infinity/infinity. This rule did not originate with him.

GIOVANNI SACCHERI- September 5, 1667-October 25, 1733. His geometric work resulted in the basis of elliptic geometry and theorems of hyperbolic geometry.

ABRAHAM DE MOIVRE- May 26, 1667- November 27, 1754. He is known for de Moivre’s formula that links complex numbers and trigonometry, for his work on the normal distribution and probability theory, and for the theorem of de Moivre-Laplace..

JOHANN BERNOULLI- August 6, 1667- January 1, 1748. One of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family, he made many contributions to infinitesimal calculus, and educated Euler in his youth.he is known for the brachistochrone problem, which is a curve which has the fastest descent.

JACOPO RICCATI- May 28, 1676-April 14, 1754. He introduced the hyperbolic functions, and studied the Riccati equation, which is a first-order differential equation that is used to refer to matrix equations with an analogous quadratic term, which occurs in both continuous-time and discrete-time linear quadratic-gaussian control. Introduced hyperbolic functions.

ROGER COTES- July 10, 1682-June 5, 1716. Invented the quadrature formulas and introduced the Euler formula.

TAYLOR BROOK- August 18, 1685-December 1731. Best known for Taylor series and the Taylor’s theorem.

NICOLAUS BERNOULLI- October 21, 1687-November 29, 1759. He is one of the many prominent mathematicians of the Bernoulli family. He did work in probability, differential equations, and geometry.

JAMES STERLING- May 1692-December 5, 1770. He. Is known for sterling numbers, sterling permutations, sterling approximations, and he proved the correctness of newton’s classification of cubics.

CHRISTIAN GOLDBACH- March 18, 1690-November 20, 1764. Known for Goldbach’s conjecture.

COLIN MACLAURIN- February 1, 1698-June 14, 1746. The Maclaurin series, a special case of the Taylor series, is named after him. He was influential in trigonometric series.

DANIEL BERNOULLI- February 8, 1700-March 17, 1782. One of the prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family, he applied math to mechanics, especially fluid mechanics, and did pioneering work in probability and statistics. He is known for the Bernoulli principle, which in fluid dynamics, states that an increase in the speed of a fluid occurs simultaneously with an decrease in pressure or a decrease in the fluid’s potential energy. This principle explains why an airplane wing provides lift and enables airplane flight.

THOMAS BAYES- c. 1701-April 7, 1761. Bayes theorem is named after him, dealing with probability theory, and led to Bayesian probability.

GABRIEL CRAMER- July 31, 1704-January 4, 1752. He is known for Cramer’s rule (an explicit formula for the solution of a system of linear equations with as many equations as unknowns and is valid whenever the system has a unique solution), Cramer’s paradox, and Cramer’s theorem for algebraic curves.

LEONARD EULER- April 15, 1707-September 18, 1783. Swiss mathematician Leonard Euler is one of the most eminent mathematicians of the 18th century and it held as one of the greatest in history. He is also one of the very few that were the most prolific ones. He worked in almost all areas of mathematics, from geometry, infinitesimal calculus, trigonometry, algebra, and number theory. The number ‘e’ is named after him, being equal to 2.71828…, as is the Euler-Mascheroni constant (gamma), which is equal to approximately .57721, and it is not know whether this number is rational or irrational. The concept of a function and summations originated from him.He worked in the power series and proved the power series expansions for ‘e’ and the inverse tangent function along with the Basel function (summation of 1/n^2=pi^2/6 in 1735. He introduced the use of the exponential function and logarithms into analytic proofs. He is known for the Euler identity- e^(I*pi)+1=0. It was voted in 1988 the most beautiful formula ever. Euler is responsible for 3 to the top 5 formulas in 1988.De movire’s formula resulted directly from Euler’s formula. He elaborated on the theory of higher transcendental functions by introducing the gamma function. He used new methods to sole quartic equations. He foreshadowed the development of complex analysis and invented the calculus of variations, including its best known result, the Euler-Lagrange equation. He incorporated complex numbers into trigonometry. He did pioneering work in the use of analytic methods to solve number theory problems. He introduced analytic number theory, and created the theory of hypergeometric series, q-series, hyperbolic trigonometric functions and the analytic theory of continued fractions. He used the divergence of the harmonic series to prove the infinitude of primes, and used analytic methods to gain understanding of the way prime numbers are distributed. His work led to the development of the prime number theorem. He proved that the sum of the reciprocals of primes diverges. Doing this, he discovered the connection between the Riemann zeta function and the primes. This is

known as the Euler product formula for the Riemann zeta function. Euler proved newton’s identities, format’s little theorem, Fermat’s theory on sums of 2 squares, and made distinct contributions to lag range’s 4-square theorem. He invented the totient function, using properties of this function to generalize format’s little theory in what is now known as ruler’s theorem. He proved the relationship shown between Mersenne primes and perfect numbers earlier proved by Euclid was 1-to-1, known as Euclid-Euler theory. He conjectured about the law of quadratic reciprocity, which is fundamental to number theory. Gauss used these ideas. In 1772, Euler proved that 2^31-1-2,147,483,647 is a Mersenne prime, and remained so until 1867. In 1735, he proved that the 7 brides of Konigsberg problem in graph theory is not possible. He discovered the formula V-E+F=2 for the number of vertices, edges, and faces of a convex polyhedron, and hence a planar graph. Its constant is known as the Euler characteristic. The study and generalization of this formula, by Cauchy and l’hillier is the origin of topology. He described many applications of the Bernoulli numbers, Fourier series, Euler numbers, and the constants e and pi, continued fractions, and integrals. He integrated Leibniz’s and Newton’s differential calculus. He made great progress in improving numerical approximation of integrals, inventing Euler approximations. Some of these approximation are ruler’s method and the Euler-Maclaurin formula. He facilitated the use of differential equations, in particular introducing the Euler- Mascheroni constant. He calculated with great accuracy the orbits of comets and other celestial bodies, and calculated the parallax of the sun.he did work in set theory and logic.

THOMAS SIMPSON- August 20, 1710-May 14, 1761. He is the inventor of Simpson’s rule, used to approximate definite integrals.

ALEXIS CLAIRAUT- May 13, 1713-May 17, 1765. He is known for Clairaut’s theorem, which helped to establish Newton’s principles and results. He is also credited with Clairaut’s equation and Clairaut’s relation.

JEAN LE ROND D’ALEMBERT- November 17,1717-October 29, 1783. He is known for d’Alember’s principle concerning dynamics as related to newton’s 3rd law of motion, applying calculus to vibrating strings, and his research in integral calculus where he devised relationships of variables by means of rate of change of their numerical value.

MARIA AGNESI- May 16, 1718-January 9, 1799. first woman to write a mathematics handbook on both differential and integral calculus.

JOHANN LAMBERT- August 26, 1728-September 25, 1777. He was the first to prove that pi is an irrational number. He is also known for the Lambert w function, and he introduce hyperbolic functions.

ALEXANDRE-THEOPHILE VANRMONDE (28 February 1735 – 1 January 1796) was a French mathematician, musician and chemist who worked with Bezout and Lavoisier; his name is now principally associated with determinant theory in mathematics. He was born in Paris, and died there.

JOSEPH LOUIS LAGRANGE- January 25, 1736- April 10, 1813. He made significant contributions to the fields of analysis, number theory, and both classical and celestial mechanics. He invented Lagrange multipliers.

GASPARD MONGE- May 9, 1746-July 28, 1818. Inventor of descriptive geometry, the mathematical basis of technical drawing. (father of descriptive geometry.)

PIERRE SIMON DE LAPLACE- March 23, 1749-March 5, 1827. He wrote a 5 volume Mechanique Celeste (1799-1825).it translates the geometric study of celestial mechanics to one based on calculus. In statistics, bayesian interpretation of probability was developed by him. He is known for Laplace’s equation, Laplacian, Laplace transform, block holes, and the nebular hypothesis of the solar system’s formation.

ADRIEN-MARIE LEGENDRE- September 18, 1752- January 10, 1833. He is known for Legendre transformation, Legendre polynomials, Legendre transform, and elliptic functions.

PAOLO RUFFINI- September 22, 1765-May 10, 1822. He is known for an incomplete proof that quintic and higher ordered equations cannot be solved by radicals (Abel- Ruffini theorem), the Ruffini rule, and a fast method for polynomial division. He made contributions to group theory, probability, and the quadrature of a circle.

JOSEPH FOURIER- March 21, 1768- May 16, 1830. Known for initiating the investigation of Fourier series and their application to problems of heat transfer and vibrations. The Fourier transform and Fourier’s law are named in his honor.

SOPHIE GERMAIN- April 1, 1776-June 27, 1831. She did work in differential geometry, number theory, and is known for Sophie Germain prime numbers along with proving format’s last theorem for one of its exponents.

FRIEDRICH GAUSS- April 30, 1777-February 23, 1855. He contributed significantly to many fields, including number theory, algebra, statistics, analysis, differential geometry, mechanics, matrix theory, and astronomy.

MARY FAIRFAX SOMERVILLE- December 26, 1780-November 29, 1872. She studied math and astronomy and her writings influenced James Clerk Maxwell. She was a polymath.

SIMON POISSON- June 21, 1781-April 25, 1840. He is known for the Poisson distribution, poisson regression, poisson summation, poisson algebra, and much more.

BERNARD BOLZANO- October 5, 1781-December 18, 1848. He is known for Bolzano’s theory, the first purely analytical proof of the intermediate value theorem.

JEAN-VICTOR PONCELET- July 1, 1788-December 22, 1867. He is considered a reviver of projective geometry and did notable work in this area. He developed the concept of parallel lines meeting at infinity, and aided in the development of complex numbers.

AUGUSTIN LOUIS CAUCHY- August 21, 1789- May 23, 1857. He made pioneering work in analysis and was one of the first to star and prove theorems of calculus rigorously. He almost singlehandedly founded complex analysis and the study of permutation groups in abstract algebra.

AUGUST MOBIUS- November 17, 1790-September 26, 1868. He is known for the Mobius strip, Mobius transform, Mobius function, and more.

NIKOLAI LABACHEVSKY- November 20, 1792-February 12, 1856. He is known primarily for his work on hyperbolic/Labachskian geometry (non-Euclidean).

GEORGE GREEN- July 14, 1793-May 31, 1841. He is known for Green’s theorem (the idea of potential functions as currently used in physics), Green’s functions, Green’s identity, and more.

JULIUS PLUCKER- June 16, 1801-May 22, 1868. He made fundamental contributions to analytic geometry. He vastly extended the study of lame curves. He is known for the plucker formula.

MIKHAIL OSTROGRADSKY- September 24, 1801-January 1, 1862. A disciple of Euler and one of the leading mathematicians in imperial Russia. He gave the first general proof of the divergence theorem, created the Ostrogradsky equation, , and method for integrating rational functions.

JANOS BOLYAI- December 15, 1802-January 27, 1860. He is one of the founders of non-Euclidean geometry.

CARL JACOBI- December 10, 1804-February 18, 1851. He made fundamental contributions to elliptical functions, differential equations, and number theory. He is known for the Jacobean, Jacobi’s elliptical functions, Jacobi ellipsoid, Jacobi transform, Jacobi polynomials, and more.

NIELS ABEL- August 5, 1802-April 6, 1829. His most famous single result is the first complete proof demonstrating the impossibility of solving general quintic equations by radicals. He was also an innovator in the field of elliptic functions, discoverer of abelian functions.

PETER DIRICHLET- February 13, 1805- May 5, 1859. He made deep contributions to number theory, including creating analytic number theory, the theory of Fourier series, and other topics of mathematical analysis. He gave the modern formal definition of a function. He is known for much in math, such as the Dirichlet series, the Dirichlet distribution, the Dirichlet integral, the Dirichlet space, and much more.

WILLIAM HAMILTON- August 4, 1805- September 2, 1865. In pure mathematics, he is best known for the inventor of quanternions.

AUGUSTUS DE MORGAN- June 27, 1806-March 18, 1871. He formulated De Morgan’s law and introduced the term mathematical induction. He is known for De Morgan’s laws, De Moran algebra, relational algebra, and universal algebra.

Johann Benedict Listing (25 July 1808 – 24 December 1882) was a German mathematician.
J. B. Listing was born in Frankfurt and died in Göttingen. He first introduced the term “topology”, in a famous article published in 1847, although he had used the term in correspondence some years earlier. He (independently) discovered the properties of the half-twisted strip at the same time (1858) as August Ferdinand Möbius, and went further in exploring the properties of strips with higher-order twists (paradromic rings). He discovered topological invariants which came to be called Listing numbers.[1]
In ophthalmology, Listing’s law describes an essential element of extraocular eye muscle coordination.

JOSEPH LIOUVILLE- March 24, 1809-September 8, 1882. He is best remembered for Liouville’s theorem, a basic result in complex analysis, and in number theory, he was the first to prove the existence of transcendental numbers by construction using continued fractions (liouville numbers).

HERMANN GRASSMANN- April 15, 1809-September 26, 1877. He is known for multilinear algebra.

ERNST KUMMER- January 29, 1810-May 14, 1893. He is known for Bessel functions, Kummer surfaces, and Kummer theory.

EVARISTE GALOIS- October 25, 1811-May 31, 1832. While still a teen, he was able to determine the necessary and sufficient condition for a polynomial to be solved by radicals, solving a 350 year problem. His work laid the foundations of group theory and Galois theory, two major branches of abstract algebra.

Pierre Alphonse Laurent (18 July 1813 – 2 September 1854) was a French mathematician and Military Officer best known as the discoverer of the Laurent series, an expansion of a function into an infinite power series, generalizing the Taylor series expansion.
He was born in Paris, France. Pierre Laurent entered the École Polytechnique in Paris in 1830, Laurent graduated from the École Polytechnique in 1832, being one of the best students in his year, and

entered the engineering corps as second lieutenant. He then attended the École d’Application at Metz until he was sent to Algeria.
Laurent returned to France from Algeria around 1840 and spent six years directing operations for the enlargement of the port of Le Havre on the English Channel coast. Rouen had been the main French port up to the nineteenth century but the hydraulic construction projects on which Laurent worked in Le Havre turned it into France’s main seaport. It is clear that Laurent was a good engineer, putting his deep theoretical knowledge to good practical use.

It was while Laurent was working on the construction project at Le Havre that he began to write his first mathematical papers. He submitted a memoir for the Grand Prize of the Académie des Sciences of 1842. His result was contained in a memoir submitted for the Grand Prize of the Académie des Sciences in 1843, but his submission was after the due date, and the paper was not published and never considered for the prize. Laurent died at age 41 in Paris. His work was not published until after his death.

Ludwig Schläfli (15 January 1814 – 20 March 1895) was a Swiss mathematician, specializing in geometry and complex analysis (at the time called function theory) who was one of the key figures in developing the notion of higher-dimensional spaces. The concept of multidimensionality has come to play a pivotal role in physics, and is a common element in science fiction.

JAMES SYLVESTER- September 3, 1814- March 15, 1897. He made fundamental contributions to matrix theory, invariant theory, number theory, partition theory, and combinatorics. He is known for the Sylvester constant, the Sylvester sequence, the Sylvester formula, the Sylvester determinant theorem, and more.

KARL WEIERSTRASS- October 31, 1815- February 19, 1897. The father of modern analysis. He formalized the definition of the continuity of a function, proved the intermediate value theorem and the Bolzano- Weierstraus theorem, and used the properties of the latter to study the properties of continuous functions on closed bounded intervals. He brought soundness and rigor to calculus, as did caught earlier. He made significant advancements in the field of calculus of variations.he discovered a function that is continuous, but had no derivative at any point.

GEORGE BOOLE- November 2, 1815-December 8, 1864. He worked in the fields of differential equations and algebraic logic, and for Boolean logic, which laid the foundation for the Information Age.

SIR GEORGE STOKES- August 13, 1819- February 1, 1903. He made seminal contributions to fluid dynamics, including the Navier-Stokes equations. He is known for Stoke’s theorem, and contributed to the theory of asymptotic expansions.

PAFNUTY CHEBYSHEV- May 16, 1821-Decemebr 8, 1894. He worked on probability, statistics, analytical geometry, and number theory. He is known for Chebyshev’s theorem in which there is always a prime number between n and 2n.

ARTHUR CAYLEY- August 16, 1821- January 26, 1895. He helped found the modern British school of mathematics. He is known for algebraic geometry, group theory, the Cayley-Hamilton theorem, the Cayley- Dickerson construction, and Cayley algebra (octonion).

CHARLES HERMITE- December 24, 1822-January 14, 1901. He did research on number theory, quadratic forms, invariant theory, orthogonal polynomials, elliptic functions, and algebra. He is known for the proof the ‘e’ is a transcendental number.

GOTTHOLD EISENSTEIN- April 16, 1823-October 11, 1852. He specialized in number theory and analysis and proved several results in which Gauss could not solve. He provided 2 proofs of the law of quadratic reciprocity, and analogous laws of cubic and quartic reciprocity.

Enrico Betti- October 21, 1823-August 11, 1892. He wrote a paper in topology in 1871 that led to the later naming after him of the Betti numbers. He also worked on the theory of equations, giving early expositions of Galois theory, he also discovered Betti’s theory, a result in the theory of elasticity, and is known for Betti’s theorem.

LEOPOLD KRONECKER- December 7, 1823-December 29, 1891. He is known for the kronecker product, the kronecker theorem, the kronecker lemma, and other discoveries.

BERNARD RIEMANN- September 17, 1826- July 20, 1866. He made contributions to analysis, number theory, and differential geometry. He rigorously formulated the Riemann integral, worked on Fourier series, contributed to complex analysis, notably the introduction of Riemann surfaces, laid the foundation of the mathematics of general relativity, and in his famous 1859 paper on the prime-counting function, contained the Riemann hypothesis, one of the most famous unsolved problems in pure mathematics.

HENRY SMITH- November 2, 1826-February 9, 1883. He is known for the Smith- Minkowski-Siegel mass formula and Smith normal form.

JAMES CLERK MAXWELL- June 13, 1831- November 5, 1879. Did work in mathematical physics,, his most notable achievement was to formulate the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as manifestations of the same phenomenon in his 4 differential equations (Maxwell’s equations).

RICHARD DEDIKIND- October 6, 1831-February 12, 1916. He made important contributions to abstract algebra, particularly ring theory, algebraic number theory, and the definition of real numbers. He is known for the Dedikind cut, a method of construction of real numbers.

LAZARUS FUCHS- May 5, 1833-April 26, 1902. Known for fuchsian groups and fuchsia’s theorem.

JOHN VENN- August 4, 1834-April 4, 1923. Logician who introduced the Venn diagram, used in set theory, logic, statics, and computer science.

EUGENIO BELTRAMI- November 16, 1835-February 18, 1900. He was the first to prove the consistency of non-Euclidean geometry by modeling it on a surface of constant curvature, the pseudosphere, and the interior of an n-dimensional unit sphere, the so-called Beltrami-Klein model. He also developed singular decomposition for matrices, and used differential calculus for problems of mathematical physics indirectly influencing the development of tensor calculus developed by Gregorio Ricci-Curbastro and Tullio Levi-Civita.

CAMILLE JORDAN- January 5, 1838-January 22, 1922. He is known for his foundational work in group theory, Jordan curve theorem, Jordan matrix, and more.

JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS- February 11, 1839-April 28, 1903. Made important theoretical contributions to physics, chemistry, and math. Together with James clerk maxwell and Ludwig Boltzmann, he created statistical mechanics explaining the laws of thermodynamics as consequence of the statistical properties of ensembles of a physical system composed of many particles. He invented modern vector calculus independently of Oliver Heaviside.

FRANCOIS LUCAS- April 4, 1842-October 3, 1891. He studied the Fibonacci sequence, and the Lucas sequence and Lucas numbers are named after him. He is known for the cannonball problem, Lucas primes, and Lucas’ theorem. Also, a proof using elliptic functions was found which as relevance to the boson string theory in 26 dimensions.

SOPHIUS LIE- December 17, 1842-february 18, 1899. He largely created the theory of continuous symmetry and applied it to the study of geometry and differential equations.he is known for Lie groups, lie theory, and Lie algebra, among much more.

GREGOR CANTOR- March 3, 1845-January 6, 1918. He invented set theory, which became a fundamental theory in mathematics,

established the importance of one-to-one correspondence between two sets, defined infinite and well=ordered sets, and proved that the real numbers are more numerous than the natural numbers. He showed that there are an infinity of infinities. He defined cardinal and ordinal numbers and their arithmetic.

GOSTA MITTG-LEFFLER- March 16, 1846-July 7, 1927. He is known chiefly for his connection with the theory of functions, today known as complex analysis.

FERDINAND GEOG FROBENIUS- October 26, 1849-August 3, 1917. He is best known for his contributions to the theory of elliptical functions, differential equations, and group theory. He is known for his determinants identities, known as Frobenius-Stickelberger formulae, governing elliptic functions, and for developing the theory of biquadratic forms. He was the first to introduce the notion of rational approximations of functions, known as Made approximates, and to give a full proof of the Cayley-Hamilton theorem. He is also known for Frobenius manifolds, which are differential-geometric objects.

SOPHIA KOVALEVSKAYA- 1850-1891. Made noteworthy contributions to analysis, partial differential equations, and mechanics. She is known for the Cauchy-Kowalevski theorem.

OLIVER HEAVISIDE- May 18, 1850-February 3, 1925. Adapted complex numbers to the study of electrical circuits, invented mathematical techniques for the solution of differential equations, equivalent to Laplace transforms, reformulated Maxwell’s equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux, and independently co-formulated vector analysis. He is known for the Heaviside-step function, among other achievements.

CARL LINDEMANN- April 12, 1852-March 6, 1939. He is noted for his proof of pi being a transcendental number (a number which is not a root of any polynomial with rational coefficients.).

HENRI POINCARE- April 29, 1854-July 17, 1912. A polymath and described the last universalist in mathematics. He is known for the poincare conjecture (which was solved in 2003), the three-body problem, special relativity, Hilbert-Poincare series, chaos theory, coining the term ‘Betti number’, and the power fixed-point theorem.

EMILE PICARD- July 24, 1856-December 11, 1941. He is known for Painieve transcendentals, Picard group, and Picard theorem, which states that an analytic function with an essential singularity takes every value infinitely often, and perhaps one exception, in any neighborhood of the singularity.

KARL PEASON March 27, 1857-April 27, 1938. He is credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics. He is known for the Pearson distribution, phi coefficient, and Pearson’s chi-squared test.

GIUSEPPE PEANO- August 27, 1858-April 20, 1932. He wrote over 200 books and papers, and was a founder of mathematical logic and set theory, to which he contributed much notation.the axiomatization of natural numbers is named the Peano numbers. He also made key contributions to the modern rigorous and systematic treatment of the method of mathematical induction.

Giulio Ascoli (20 January 1843, Trieste – 12 July 1896, Milan) was an Italian mathematician. He made contributions to the theory of functions of a real variable and to Fourier series. For example, Ascoli introduced

equicontinuity in 1884, a topic regarded as one of the fundamental concepts in the theory of real functions.[1] In 1889, Italian mathematician Cesare Arzelà generalized Ascoli’s Theorem into the Arzelà–Ascoli theorem, a practical sequential compactness criterion of functions.[

DAVID HILBERT- January 23, 1862-February 14, 1943. He is recognized as one of the most influential and universal mathematicians if the 19th and 20th centuries. He discovered and developed ideas in many areas, including invariant theory and the axiomatization of geometry, one of the foundations of functional analysis. He is known as one of the founders of proof theory and mathematical logic. He put forth his famous 23 problems in 1900 to hopefully be solved in the 20th century.

GOTTLOB FREGE- November 8, 1848-July 26, 1925. He is considered a major figure in mathematics, and responsible for the development of modern logic. He is known for predicate calculus, Frege’s theorem, the Frege-Geach problem, and more.

CHRISTIAN FELIX KLEIN- April 25, 1849-June 22, 1925. Known for his work in group theory, complex analysis, non-Euclidean geometry, and on the connection of geometry and group theory. He classified geometries by their underlying symmetry groups. He is known for a Klein bottle. It is a one sided surface which, if traveled upon, could be followed back to the post of origin while flipping the traveler upside down. it is a one sided bottle.

GREGORIO RICCI-CUBASTRO- January 12, 1853-August 6, 1925. He invented tensor calculus, an extension of vector calculus to tensor fields (tensors that may vary over a manifold I.e. spacetime).

THOMAS STIELTJES- December 29, 1856-December 31, 1894. he pioneered in the field of moment problems and contributed to the study of continued fractions.

GRACE CHISHOLM YOUNG- March 15, 1858-March 29, 1944. she worked in calculus and is known for the Denjoy-Young-Saks theorem.

Vito Volterra (3 May 1860 – 11 October 1940) was an Italian mathematician and physicist, known for his contributions to mathematical biology and integral equations,[2][3] being one of the founders of functional analysis. He is known for the lotka-volterra equations.

CHARLES JEAN DE LA VALLEE-POUSSIN- august 14, 1865-march 2, 1962. he is best known for providing a proof of the prime number theorem.

ERIK IVAR FREDHOLM- april 7, 1866-august 17, 1927. Worked on integral equations and operator theory which foreshadowed hillier spaces.

JACQUES HADAMARD- December 8, 1866-October 17, 1963. He made contributions in number theory, complex function theory, differential geometry, and partial differential equations. He proved the prime number theorem, and is known for the Hadamard product and Hadamard matrices.

FELIX HAUSDORFF- November 8, 1868-January 26, 1942. He is one of the founders of modern topology and contributed significantly to set theory, descriptive set theory, measure theory, function theory, and functional analysis. He is known for the Hausdorff Dimension, the Hausdorff space, the Hausdorff paradox, and other achievements. RIP

ELIE CARTAN- April 9, 1869-May 6, 1951. He made significant contributions to mathematical physics, differential geometry, and group theory. He is known for Lie groups and differential forms.

BOREL- january 7, 1871-february 3, 1956. He is known for founding work in the areas of measure theory and probability.

Ernst Steinitz (13 June 1871 – 29 September 1928) was a German mathematician. Steinitz’s 1894 thesis was on the subject of projective configurations; it contained the result that any abstract description of an incidence structure of three lines per point and three points per line could be realized as a configuration of straight lines in the Euclidean plane with the possible exception of one of the lines. His thesis also contains the proof of Kőnig’s theorem for regular bipartite graphs, phrased in the language of configurations.

In 1910 Steinitz published the very influential paper Algebraische Theorie der Körper (German: Algebraic Theory of Fields, Crelle’s Journal (1910), 167–309). In this paper he axiomatically studies the properties of fields and defines important concepts like prime field, perfect field and the transcendence degree of a field extension. Steinitz proved that every field has an algebraic closure. He also made fundamental contributions to the theory of polyhedra: Steinitz’s theorem for polyhedra is that the 1-skeletons of convex polyhedra are exactly the 3-connected planar graphs. His work in this area was published posthumously as a 1934 book, Vorlesungen über die Theorie der Polyeder unter Einschluss der Elemente der Topologie,[1] by Hans Rademacher.

ERNST ZERMELO- July 27, 1871-May 21, 1953. A logician, his work had major implications in the foundation of mathematics, and he is best known for developing the Zermelo-Fraenkel axiomatic set theory, and his proof of there well-ordering theorem.

BERTRAND RUSSELL- May 18, 1872-February 2, 1970. He is known for his work in mathematical logic, paradoxes of set theory, Russell’s paradox, the barber’s paradox, prepositional logic, and much more.

Issai Schur (January 10, 1875 – January 10, 1941) was a Jewish mathematician who worked in Germany for most of his life. As a student of Frobenius, he worked on group representations (the subject with which he is most closely associated), but also in combinatorics and number theory and even theoretical physics. He is perhaps best known today for his result on the existence of the Schur decomposition and for his work on group representations (Schur’s lemma).

TEIJI TAKAGI- April 21, 1875-February 28, 1960. He is best know for proving the Takagi existence theorem in class field theory. He worked on the Blanomange curve, a graph that is nowhere differentiable but a uniformly continuous function.

HENRI LEBESGUE- june 28, 1875-july 26, 1941. He is most famous for his theory of integration, which is summing the area between an axis and the curve of a function defined for that axis.

HARDY- february 7, 1877-december 1, 1947. He is known for his achievements in number theory and analysis, and for the hardy-weinberg principle, hardy-ramanujan asymptotic formula, and the hardy-littlewood circle method. He is the mathematician who discovered ramanujan.

EDMUND LANDAU- February 14, 1877-February 19, 1938. He worked in number theory and complex analysis. He is known for his work in the distribution of prime numbers and the Landau prime ideal theorem.

Maurice Fréchet (French: [moʁis ʁəne fʁeʃɛ]; 2 September 1878 – 4 June 1973) was a French mathematician. He made major contributions to the topology of point sets and introduced the entire concept of metric spaces. He also made several important contributions to the field of statistics and probability, as well as calculus. His dissertation opened the entire field of functionals on metric spaces and introduced the notion of compactness. Independently of Riesz, he discovered the representation theorem in the space of Lebesgue square integrable functions.

Guido Fubini (19 January 1879 – 6 June 1943) was an Italian mathematician, known for Fubini’s theorem and the Fubini–Study metric.

LIPOT FEJER- February 9, 1880-october 15, 1959. He is known for research in harmonic analysis, in particular, Fourier series.

OSWALD VEBLEN- June 24, 1880-August 10, 1960. A geometer and topologist, he applied these to atomic physics and the theory of relativity. He proved the Jordan curve theorem in 1905.

LUITZEN BROUWER- february 27, 1881- December 2, 1966. He worked in topology, set theory, measure theory, and complex analysis.he was the founder of mathematical intuitionism. He is known for the Brouwer fixed-point theory and the hairy ball theorem

WACLAW SIERPINSKI- march 14, 1882-october 21, 1969. He is known for outstanding contributions to set theory, research on the axiom of choice and the continuum hypothesis, number theory, the theory of functions, and topology.

EMMY NOETHER- March 23, 1882-April 14, 1935. She is known for her landmark contributions to abstract algebra and theoretical physics. One of the leading mathematicians, she developed the theories of rings, fields, and algebras, and explained the connection between, symmetry and conservation laws.

GEORGE BIRKHOFF- March 21, 1884-November 12, 1944. He is best known for what is now known as the ergodic theorem. He also proved Poincare’s ‘Last Geometric Theorem’, a special case of the three-body problems, and proved that the Schwarzschild geometry is the unique symmetric solution of the Einstein field equation.

SOLOMON LEFSCHETZ- September 3, 1884-October 5, 1972. He did fundamental work on algebraic topology and its applications to algebraic geometry, and on the theory of non-linear ordinary differential equations. He is known for the Lefschetz hyperplane theorem, the Lefschetz number. The Lefschetz fixed point theorem, among other acheivements.

JOHN LITTLEWOOD- june 9, 1885-september 6, 1977. He is best known for achievements in analysis, number theory, and differential equations. He attempted to solve the Riemann hypothesis by showing that if it were true then the prime number theorem follows and obtains the zero term. He is known for the 1st and 2nd hardy- littlewood theorems, the 1st is a strong form of the twin prime conjecture.

HERMANN WEYL- November 9, 1885-december 8, 1955. He is known for well algebra, well transform, the well lemma (a very weak form of the Laplace transform), the well tensor, and other discoveries.

LUDWIG BIEBERBACH- december 4, 1886-september 1, 1982. German mathemetician known for bieberbach conjecture.

GEORGE POLYA- December 13, 1887-september 7, 1985. He made fundamental contributions to combinatorics, number theory, numerical analysis, and probability theory. He is known for the poly conjecture, the ploy enumeration theorem, the Hilbert- polya theorem, among other accomplishments.

RAMANUJAN- december 22, 1887-april 26, 1920. A mathematical genius. With almost no formal training in pure mathematics, made substantial contributions to analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions, including solving problems considered unsolvable.

RICHARD COURANT- January 8, 1888-January 27, 1972. He is known for the Courant number and the Courant minimax principle. He published in 1943 the finite element method, which is his numerical treatment of the plain torsion problem for multiply- connected domains, and is now one of the ways to solve partial differential equations numerically.

LOUIS MORDELL- january 28, 1888-march 12, 1972. he is known for pioneering research in number theory.

March 30, 1892-August 31, 1945. He is generally considered one one of the world’s most important and influential mathematicians of the 20th century. He is known for the Banach-Tarski paradox, the Banach-Steinhaus theorem, and for functional analysis, which he founded.

GASTON JULIA- february 3, 1893-march 19, 1978. he devised the formula for the Julia set.

NORBERT WIENER- November 26, 1894- March 18, 1964. He developed Tauberian theorems ( which deals with infinite series) in summability theory, most of which could be encapsulated in a principle from harmonic

analysis. He is also known for abstract Wiener space, a mathematical object in measure theory, and real-valued continuous paths on the unit interval known as classical Wiener space.

EMIL ARTIN- march 3, 1898-december 20, 1962. One of the leading mathematicians in the 20th century known for his work on algebraic number theory, contributing largely to class field theory and a new construction of L-functions. he also contributed to the pure theories of rings, groups, and fields.

OSCAR ZARISKI- April 24, 1899-July 4, 1986. One of the most influential algebraic geometers of the 20th century. He is known for Zariski theory on holomorphic functions.

MARY CARTRIGHT- december 17, 1900-april 3, 1998. she was the first to analyze a dynamical system of chaos.

ANTONI ZYGMUND- decemeber 25, 1900-may 30, 1992. Considered one of the greatest analysts of the 20th century. his main interest was harmonic analysis.

January 14, 1901-October 26, 1983. A prolific author who did work in model theory, metamathematics, algebraic logic, abstract algebra, topology, geometry, measure theory, mathematical logic, and set theory. He is known for his work on the foundations of modern logic, Tarski’s undefinability theory, and the Banach-Tarski paradox, which states that a ball can be decomposed into a finite number of point sets and reassembled into 2 balls of the original.

Bartel Leendert van der Waerden (Dutch: [vɑn dər ˈʋaːrdə(n)]; February 2, 1903 – January 12, 1996) was a Dutch mathematician and historian of mathematics. Van der Waerden is mainly remembered for his work on abstract algebra. He also wrote on algebraic geometry, topology, number theory, geometry, combinatorics, analysis, probability and statistics, and quantum mechanics (he and Heisenberg had been colleagues at Leipzig). In his later years, he turned to the history of mathematics and science.

FRANK RAMSEY- february 22, 1903-january 19, 1930. He is known for Ramsey theory, a branch of mathematics that studies the conditions under which order must appear.

VON NEUMANN- December 28, 1903- february 8, 1957. He had a phenomenal memory. He made major contributions to functional analysis, topology, numerical analysis, quantum mechanics, quantum statistical analysis, game theory, computing, linear programming, self-replicating machines, and statistics. He is known for a great numbers of achievements.

ANDREY KOLMOGOROV- April 25, 1903-October 20, 1987. He is known for work in probability theory, topology, intuitional logic, turbulence studies, classical mechanics, mathematical analysis, Kolmogorov complexity, KAM theorem, and then KPP equation.

ALONZO CHURCH- June 14, 1903-august 11, 1995. Made major contributions to mathematical logic and to the foundation of theoretical computer science. He is best known for the lambda calculus and the church-rosser theorem.

W.V.D. HODGE- June 17, 1903-july 7, 1975. He was specifically a geometer. He discovered far reaching topological relations between algebraic geometry and differential geometry, and an area now called hodge theory, and pertaining more generally to Mahler manifolds.

january 20, 1904-may 8, 1959. he is known for his contributions to mathematical

analysis, including the theory of functions of several complex variable, functional analysis, and measure theory. RIP.

HENRI CARTAN- July 8, 1904-August 13, 2008. He made substantial contributions to algebraic topology. He is known for Cartan’s theorems A and B.

KURT GODEL- April 28, 1906-January 14, 1978. Considered the greatest logician in history along with Aristotle, Tarski, and Frege. He published 2 incompleteness theorems in 1931 in mathematical logic, which he proved, that demonstrate the inherent limitations of every formal axiomatic system containing basic arithmetic. the theorems show that finding a complete and consistent set of axioms for all of mathematics is impossible.

OLGA TAUSSKY-TODD- august 30, 1906-october 7, 1995. She wrote more than 300 research papers in algebraic number theory, integral matrices, and matrices in algebra and analysis.

HAROLD COXETER- February. 9, 1907-march 31, 2003. he is regarded as one of the greatest geometer of the 20th century.

STANISLAW ULAM- april 13, 1909-may 13, 1984. He invented the Monte Carlo method of computation, suggested nuclear pulse space propulsion, proved some theorems, and proposed several conjectures.


august 18, 1910-september 26, 1976. Worked primarily in number theory. he is known for the power sum method and extremal graph theory.

SHIING-SHEN CHERN- october 26, 1911-december 3, 2004.- known for the cern- simony theory, chern-weil theory, and the Chern class.

ALEN TURING- June 23, 1912-June 7, 1954. He provided a formalization of the concept of the algorithm and computation with a turning machine, the model of a general purpose computer. He is also considered the father on theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence. He is known for the Turning proof and the Turing test.

PAUL ERDOS- march 26, 1913-september 20, 1996. One of the most prolific mathematicians ever, he is known for his social approach to mathematics and he collaborated with over 500 mathematicians in proving and conjecturing.



September 30, 1913-January 30, 1998. Co-founded category theory with Saunders Mac Lane. He is also known for the Eilenberg-Steenrod axioms.

MARJORIE LEE BROWNE- september 9, 1914-october 19, 1979. One of the first african-american women to earn a Ph.D in mathematics. her work on classical groups demonstrated simple proofs of important topological properties of the relations between classical groups. Her work in general focused on linear and matrix algebra.

MARTIN GARDNER- October 21, 1914-may 22, 2010. An American mathematics popularizer and regarded as the dean of mathematical puzzles.

november 8, 1914-may 13, 2005. Known for his development of the simplex method, and algorithm for solving linear problems. he also solved 2 open problems in statistical theory.

LAURENT SCHWARTZ- march 5, 1915-july 4, 2002. He pioneered the theory of distributions, which gives a well-defined meaning to objects such as the Dirac delta function.

march 3, 1916-october 2, 2006. he made fundamental advances in mathematical logic, probability theory, statistics, operator theory, ergodic theory, and functional analysis, especially hilbert spaces.

april 30, 1918-february 24, 2001. Cryptographer known as the father of information theory. He demonstrated that electrical applications of Boolean algebra could construct any logical, numerical relationship. He is also known for the Shannon number, Shannon expansion, power inequality, binary code, and much more.

ABRAHAM ROBINSON- October 6, 1918-april 11, 1974. He is widely known for the development of non-standard analysis, a mathematically rigorous system whereby infinitesimal and infinite numbers were reincorporated into modern mathematics.

RAYMOND SMULLYAN- may 25, 1919-february 6, 2017. A mathematical logician who popularized mathematical logic problems.

JULIA ROBINSON- December 8, 1919,July 30, 1985. She is best known for her work on decision theory and Hilbert’s 10th problem.

LOTFI A. ZADEH- february 4, 1921-. Proposed fuzzy concepts:ets, logic, algorithms, semantics, languages, control, systems, probabilities, events, and information.

march 20, 1921-february 1, 1970. Made contributions in combinatorics, graph theory, number theory, and mostly probability theory.

JOSEPH B. KELLER- july 31, 1923-september 7, 2016. he specialized in applied math and is known for his work on the geometrical theory of diffraction, and the einstein-brilouin-keller method.

RENE THOM- september 2, 1923-october 25, 2002. Made a reputation as a topologist and was involved in singularity theory. Founder of catastrophe theory.

EVELYN BOYD GRANVILLE- may 1, 1924. Second african-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics.

ISADORE SINGER- may 3, 1924-. Proved the atiyah-singer index theorem, which paved the way for new interactions between pure math and theoretical physics.

CHRISTOPHER ZEEMAN- February 4, 1925-february 13, 2016. known for catastrophe theory, geometric topology, and singularity theory. he described a new theory named dihomology, an algebraic structure associated to a topological space, containing both homology and cohomology, introducing what is now known as the Zeeman spectral sequence, to see how singularities in a space perturb poincare duality.

LOUIS NIRENBERG- February 28, 1925-. One of the outstanding analysts of the 20th century. he made fundamental contributions to linear and partial differential equations and their application to complex analysis and geometry. His contributions include the gagliardo-nirenberg interpolation inequality, which is important in the solution of the elliptical partial differential equations, that arise in many areas of math, and the formalization of the bounded mean oscillation known as john-nirenberg space, which is used to study the behavior of both elastic materials and games of chance as martingales. his work on partial differential equations was described as about the best that can be done towards solving the naiver-stokes existence and smoothness problem in fluid mechanics and turbulence.

JOHN TATE- March 13, 1925-. he is known for many fundamental contributions in algebraic number theory, arithmetic geometry, and algebraic geometry. he is known also for Fourier analysis in number fields which is one of the ingredients in the modern theory of automorphic forms and their l-function, notably by its use in the Adele ring and ts self-duality and harmonic analysis on it. He gave a cohomological treatment of global class field theory using techniques of group cohomology applied to the dale class group and Galois cohomology. This treatment made more transparent some of the algebraic structures in the previous approaches in class field theory which used central field algebras to compute the Brauer group of a global field. he also made a number of important contributions to p-adic theory. he invented rigid analytic spaces which led to

the field of rigid analytic geometry. he found a p-adic analogue of hodge theory, known as hodge-tare theory, a central technique of modern algebraic number theory. he also created the Tate curve parametrization for certain p-adic elliptic curves and the p- divisible (tate-barsotti) groups. the classification of abelian varieties over finite fields and led to the honda-tate theorem. he is known for the Tate conjecture and the Tate module. a special case of the Tate conjecture was involved in the proof of the morsel conjecture.

PETER LAX- may 1, 1926-. has worked in pure and applied mathematics and made important contributions to integratabtle systems, fluid dynamics and shock waves, solijtronic physics, hyperbolic conservation laws, and mathematics and computer science.

JEAN-PIERRE SERRE- september 15, 1926-. He made contributions to algebraic topology, algebraic geometry, and algebraic number theory. he was awarded the fields medal, won the wolf prize (2000( and the Abel prize (2003). Together with cartoon, serve established the technique of using eilenberg-maclane spaces for computing homotopy groups of seres, at that time a major problem in topology.

novemeber 12, 1927-novemebr 17, 1958. he is known for the taniyama-shimura conjecture. RIP.

LENNART CARLESON- march 18, 1928-. Known as a leader in the field of harmonic analysis. He proved lusin’s conjecture. he also solved the probability problem of stopping times. In the theory of hardy spaces, he contributed the corona theorem, and established the almost everywhere convergence of fourier series for square-integratabtle functions, now known

as Carleson’s theorem. he is also known for the theory of Carleton measures. In the theory of dynamical systems, he has worked in complex dynamics.

ALEXANDER GROTHENDIECK- March 28, 1928-November 13, 2014. Leading figure in the creation of algebraic geometry. He is considered by many to be the greatest mathematician in the 20th century.

JOHN NASH- june 13, 1928-may 23, 2015. He won the 1994 Nobel prize in economics for his producing mathematics of the highest quality. RIP

MICHAEL ATIYAH- april 22, 1929-.-known for the Atiyah-Singer index theorem

february 23, 1930-. he is known for the modularity theorem, previously known as the taniyama-shimura conjecture.. he extended the theory of complex multiplication and modular forms to higher dimensions.he brought to the concept of higher dimension equivalent of modular curve. They bear the same relation to general hodge structures as modular curves do to elliptic curves.

STEPHEN SMALE- July 15, 1930-. He researches toplogy, dynamical systems, and mathematical economics.

JACQUES TITS- august 12, 1930-. -works on group theory and incidence geometry, and introduced the tits buildings, the tits alternative, and the tits group.

JOHN MILNOR- february 20, 1931-. he is known for his work in differential topology, k-theory, dynamical systems, exotic spheres, fary-milnor theorem, milnor’s theorem, milnor-thurston kneading theory, and surgery theory.

HEISUKE HIONAKA- april 9, 1931-. he proved that singularities of algebraic varieties admit resolutions in characteristic zero. he also showed that a deformation of kahler manifolds need not be kahler.

KLAUS ROTH- october 29, 1925-november 10, 2015. Known for his work on diophantine approximation, the large sieve, discrepancy theory, and irregularities of distribution.

HERBERT WILF- June 13, 1931-january 7, 2012. Specialized in combinatorics and graph theory.

ROGER PENROSE – August 8, 1931-. he is known for his work in mathematical physics and contributions to general relativity and cosmology.

1932-1995. the 5th african-american woman to earn a Ph.D in math. she studied the properties of functions.

June 2, 1932-may 15, 1975. he worked in number theory and proved the honda-tate theorem classifying abelian varieties over finite fields. RIP.

KENNETH APPEL- October 8, 1932-april 19, 2013. he solved the 4-color problem in 1976.

JOHN GRIGGS THOMPSON- october 13, 1932-. noted for his work in the field of finite groups, introducing new techniques in solving the nilpotency of Frobenius kernels problem. he made major contributions to the inverse Galois problem, and found a criterion for a finite group to be a Galois group, which implies that the monster simple group is a Galois group. the Thompson group the is the 26 sporadic finite simple group.

april 2, 1934-march 23, 2007. He is best known for the proofs that the continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice are independent from zermelo-fraenkel set theory.

NICOLAS BOURBAKI- a group of mainly French mathematicians aimed at reformulating mathematics on an extremely abstract and formal but self-contained basis in set theory by writing a series of books beginning in 1935.

YAKOV SINAI- september 21, 1935-. Contributed to the modern metric theory of dynamical systems and connected the world of deterministic (dynamical) systems with the world of probabilistic (stochastic) systems. he has worked on mathematical physics and probability theory and his efforts have provided the groundwork for advances in the physical sciences.

DONALD KNUTH- january 10, 1936-. a mathematical and computer scientist, he is known for the knuth-morris-pratt algorithm, knuth-bendix completion algorithm, and the robinson-schensted-knuth correspondence.

ROBERT LANGLANDS- october 6, 1936-.-known for the ganglands program

C.T.C. WALL- december 14, 1936-.-known for the Brauer-wall group, Wall’s conjecture, Surgery on compact manifold.

YURI MANIN- 1937-. has worked in algebraic geometry and diophantine geometry.

DAVID MUMFORD- june 11, 1937-. he is known for distinguished work in algebraic geometry, the mumford-shah functional, and research into vision and pattern theory.

BARRY MAZUR- december 19, 1937-. he is known for diophantine geometry, generalized schoenflies conjecture, Mazur swindle, and Mazur torsion theorem.

JAMES HARRIS SIMONS- 1938-. He developed the chern-simons form, and contributed to the development of string theory by providing a theoretical framework to combine geometry and topology with quantum field theory.

january 9, 1938-october 27, 1974. he worked in the fields of number theory and

algebraic geometry. He worked on waring’s problem in algebraic number fields and made contributions to number theory. RIP.

SERGEI NOVIKOV- march 20, 1938-. noted for work in algebraic topology and soliton theory. he has worked in ciborium theory. he showed how the Adams spectral sequence, used in calculating homotopy groups, could be adapted to cohomology theory typified by cobordism and k-theory. This required the development of the idea of cohomology operations in the general setting, since the basis of spectral sequence is the initial data of ext functors taken with respect to a ring of such operations, generalizing the steered algebra. the resulting adams-novikov spectral sequence is now a basic tool in stable homotopy theory.

ALAN BAKER- august 19, 1939-. Known for his work on effective methods in number theory, in particular those arising from transcendental number

theory. He is also known for work in diophantine equations and for baker’s theorem.

SRINIVAS VARADHAN- january 2, 1940-. Known for his fundamental contributions to probability theory and in particular for creating a unified theory of large deviations.

ENDRE SZEMERELI- august 21, 1940-.-known for Szemeredi’s theorem, the Szemeredi regularity lemma, the Erdos-Szemeredi theorem, the Hajnal-Szemeredi theorem, and the Szemeredi-Trotter theorem

ENRICO BOMBIERI- november 26, 1940-. He is known for large sieve method in analytic number theory, bombieri-lang conjecture, bomber norm, bombieri-vinogtadov theorem, heights in diophantine geometry, siege’s lemma, and bomieri-friedlander-iwaniec theorem.

KAREN UHLENBECK- august 24, 1942. Known for work in the calculus of variations.

MIKHAIL GROMOV- December 23, 1943-. he has made revolutionary contributions to geometry.

PIERRE DELIGNE- October 3, 1944-. he is known for work on the Weil conjectures, leading to a complete proof in 1973.

MITCHELL FEIGENBAUM- december 19, 1944. Pioneering work in chaos theory and discoverer of the Feigenbaum constants.

PERCI DIACONIS- january 31, 1945-. – known for tackling math problems involving randomization, such as coin flipping and shuffling playing cards.

GRIGORY MARGULIS- february 24, 1946-. Known for work on lattices in lie groups, and the introduction to methods from ergodic theory into diophantine approximations.he is also known for the super rigidity theorem, arithmeticity theorem, expander graphs, and the Oppenheimer conjecture.

WILLIAM THURSTON- October 30, 1946-August 21, 2012. he has made contributions to the study of 3-manifolds.

ALAIN CONNES- april 1, 1947-. Known for the baum-connes conjecture, noncompetitive geometry, and operator algebras.

JOHN BALL- 1948-. He has researched elasticity, the calculus of variations, and infinite- dimensional dynamical systems.

LASZLO LOVASZ- march 9, 1948-. he is best known for his work in combinatorics.

SHING-TUNG BYAU- april 4, 1949-. he has worked mainly in differential geometry, especially geometric analysis. his proof of the positive energy theorem in general relativity demonstrated that einstein’s theory is consistent and stable. his proof of the calami conjecture allowed physicists to show, using calai-yau compactification, that string theory is a viable candidate for a unified theory of nature. Calai-yau manifolds are part of the standard toolkit for string theorists today.

CHARLES FEFFERMAN- april 18, 1949-.-he received his phd from princeton at age 20 in computer, mathematical, and natural sciences. his primary field of research is mathematical analysis. He contributed innovations that revised the study of multidimensional complex analysis by finding fruitful generalizations of classical low-dimensional results. His work

on partial differential equations, fourier analysis, in particular convergence, multipliers, divergence, singular integrals and hardy spaces earned him the fields medal in 1978. His work also included a study of the asymptotics of the Bergman kernel off the boundaries of pseudo convex domains in c^m. He has studied mathematical physics, harmonic analysis, fluid dynamics, neural networks, geometry, and spectral analysis.

October 9, 1949. Works mainly in spectral graph theory, extremal graph theory, and random graphs, in particular in generalizing the erdos-renyi model for graphs with general distribution (including power-law graphs in the study of large information networks.)

FRANK KELLY- December 28, 1950-. he specializes in optimization, queueing theory, and network theory, and has researched random processes, networks, and optimization, especially in very large-scale systems such as telecommunications or transportation networks.

MICHAEL FREEDMAN- april 21, 1951-. He worked on the poincare conjecture in dimension 4, and showed that exotic R^4 manifolds exist.

EDWARD WITTEN- August 26, 1951-. he is known for work in mathematical physics dealing with string theory, quantum gravity, and supersymmetric quantum field theories.

PETER HALL- november 20, 1951-janusry 9, 2016-known for nonparametric statistics and the bootstrap method

BERNARD SILVERMAN- february 22, 1952-. a statistician known for density estimation, nonparametric regression, and functional data analysis.

BRIAN D. RIPLEY- April 29, 1952-. he has made contributions to the fields of spacial statistics and pattern recognition, and his work on artificial neural networks.

VAUGHN JONES- december 31, 1952-. he is known for his work on von Neumann algebras, discovery of the jones polynomial, knot polynomials, and increased interest in low-dimensional topology..

ANDREW WILES- april 11, 1953-. He proved fermat’s last theorem, which was proposed in the 1600s, in 1994. he is also known for proving the Taniyama-Shimura conjecture for semistable elliptic curves, proving the main conjecture of Iwasawa theory

PETER SARNAK- December 18, 1953-. he is known for his work in analytic number theory, and the hafner-samak-mccurley constant.

VLADIMIR DRINFELD- february 14, 1954-. his work is in algebraic geometry over finite fields with number theory, especially the theory of automorphic forms, through the notions of elliptic module and the theory of the geometric ganglands correspondence. he is known for quantum groups, geometric ganglands correspondence, the drinfelf-sokolov-wilson equation, and the manin-drinfeld theorem.

JEAN BOURGAIN- febraury 28, 1954-. he is known for work in analytic number theory, harmonic analysis, ergodic theory, Banach spaces, and partial differential equations.

GERD FALTING- july 28, 1954-. Known for his work in algebraic geometry, and for the morsel conjecture and the faltings’ product theorem.

INGRID DAUBECHIES- august 17, 1954-.-known for wavelets.

EFIM ISAAKOVICH ZELMANOV- september 7, 1955-. he is known for his work on combinatorial problems in non associative algebra and group theory, including his solution of the restricted burnside problem. he has worked on jordan algebras in the case of infinite dimensions, and has shown that the glennie’s identity in a certain sense generated all identities that hold. he then showed that the engel identity for lie algebras implies nilpotent, in the case of infinite dimensions.

DORIN ANDRICA- march 12, 1956. Known for the andrica’s conjecture, which deals with the gaps between prime numbers.

NOGA ALON- february 17, 1956-. he contributed to combinatorics and computer science.

PIERRE-LOUIS LIONS- august 11, 1956-. he has worked on partial differential equations. he was the first to give a complete solution to the boltzmann equation with proof. he is known for the mean field game theory.

JEAN-CHRISTOPHE YOCCOZ- may 29, 1957-september 3, 2016. he is known for dynamical systems and the yoccoz puzzle.

SIMON DONALDSON- August 20, 1957-. he is known for his work on topology of smooth (differentiable) 4-dimensional manifolds, Donaldson theory, and donaldson-thomas theory.

CURT MCMULLEN- may 21, 1958-. he is known for work in complex dynamics, hyperbolic geometry, and telchuller theory.

RICHARD BORCHERDS- November 29, 1959-. Currently working on quantum field theory. he is known for work on lattices, number theory, group theory, and infinite dimensional algebras. he is also known for Borcherds algebra. he pioneered the classification of unimodular lattices, and introduced new algebraic objects, most notably vertex algebras and Borchers-Kac-Moody algebras. these ideas came together in his vertex- algebraic construction and analysis of the fake monster lie algebra. He resolved the conway-norton monstrous moonshine conjecture, which describes an intricate relation between the monster group and modular

functions on the complex upper half-plane. To prove this conjecture, he drew on theories of vertex algebras and borcherds-kac-moody algebras along with string theory, and applied them to the moonshine module, a vertex operator algebra with monster symmetry.additional work in moonshine concerned mod p variants of this conjecture, and were known as modular moonshine. He also produced the theory of borcherds product, which are holomorphic automorphic forms on O(n,2) that have well- behaved infinite product expansions at cusps.he used this theory to resolve some long standing conjectures about affineness of certain moduli spaces of algebraic surfaces. he has also put perturbative renormalization, in particular the 1-hooft-veltman proof of perturbative renormalizability of gauge theory, into rigorous mathematical language.

JOHN BAEZ- June 12, 1961-. a mathematical physicist.

TIM GOWERS- november 20, 1963-. he is known for work in functional analysis and combinatorics.

MAXIM KONTSEVICH- august 25, 1964- his work concentrates on geometric aspects of mathematical physics, most notably knot theory, quantization, and mirror symmetry. one of his results is a formal deformation quantization that holds for any poisson manifold. he also introduced knot invariants defined by complicated integrals analogous to feynman integrals. In topological field theory, he introduced the moduli space of stable maps, a rigorous formulation of the feynman integral for topological string theory.

VLADIMIR VOEVODSKY- june 4, 1966-. Worked on developing homotopy theory for algebraic varieties and formulated motivic cohomology. he proved the minor conjecture and motivic bloch-kato conjecture. He is also known for the invariant foundations of mathematics and homotopy type theory.

PERELMAN- june 13, 1966. Made landmark contributions to Riemann geometry and geometric topology. He proved the poincare conjecture in 2003, one of the millennial prizes, but refused to accept the 1 million dollar award for solving the problem.

NOAM DAVID ELKIES- august 25, 1966-. he extended school’s algorithm to create the school-elkies-atkin algorithm, proved that an elliptic curve over the rational numbers is super singular at infinitely many primes, and he found a counterexample of ruler’s sum of powers conjecture for fourth powers.

LAURENT LAFFORGUE- november 6, 1966-. made outstanding contributions to langlands’ program in the fields of number theory and analysis. He proved the ganglands conjectures for the automorphism group of a function field. he proved the question of the construction of compactifications of certain moduli stacks of shtukas.

WENDELIN WERNER- September 23, 1968-. Works on random walks, brownian motion, schramm-loewner evolution, and related theories in probability theory and mathematical physics. he won the fields medal for his contributions to the development of stochastic loewner evolution, the geometry of 2-dimensional brownian motion, and conformal field theory.

SHINICHI MOCHIZUKI- march 29, 1969-. He is the leader of and the main contributor to one of the major parts of modern number theory, anabelian geometry. he solved the grothendieck conjecture in anabelian geometry about hyperbolic curves over number fields. He initiated and developed absolute anabelian geometry, mono-anabelian geometry, and combinatorial anabelian geometry. He introduced p-adic teichmuller theory and hodge- arakelov theory. his recent theories include the theory of trobenioids,

anabelioids and the stale theta-function theory. He is author of the inter- universal theichmuller theory also referred to as the arithmetic deformation theory or mochizuki theory. It supplies a new conceptual view on numbers, by using groups of symmetries such as the full absolute Galois groups and arithmetic fundamental groups. Its applications provide solutions to problems such as the spire conjecture, the hyperbolic Volta conjecture, and

the abs conjecture and its generalization over arbitrary number fields.

RAVI VAKIL- February 22, 1970-.-algebraic geometer, known for Gromov-Witten theory, worked on Schubert calculus, he proved that all Schubert problems are enumerative over the real numbers

ANDREI OKOUNKOV- july 26, 1969-. Works on representation theory of infinite symmetric groups and its applications to algebraic geometry, mathematical physics, probability theory and special functions, the statistics of plane partitions, and quantum cohomology of the hilbert scheme of points in the complex plane. He formulated well-known conjectures relating the gromov-witten invariants and donaldson-thomas invariants of threefold. he bridged probability, representation theory, and algebraic geometry.

ELON LINDERSTRAUSS- august 1, 1970-. Works in the area of dynamics, particularly the area of ergodic theory and its applications to number theory, has made progress on the Littlewood conjecture and major progress on Peter saran’s arithmetic quantum unique ergodicity conjecture, studied the distributions of torus periodic orbits of some arithmetic spaces, generalizing theorems by Hermann Minkowski and Yuri link, and has studied systematically the invariant of mean dimension introduced in 1999 by mikhail gromov.

ISLAV SMIMOV- september 3, 1970-. His research includes complex analysis, dynamical systems, and probability theory. he did work on critical percolation theory, where he proved the cary’s formula for critical percolation on the triangular lattice, and deduced conformal invariance. the smimov’s theorem has led to a fairly complete theory for percolation on the triangular lattice and its relationship to the schramm-loewner evolution, and established conformality for there random-cluster model and Ising model in 2 dimensions.

NGO BAO CHAU- june 28, 1972-. Best known for proving the fundamental lemma for unitary groups/automorphic forms.the general strategy was to

understand the local orbital integrals appearing in the fundamental lemma in terms of affine springer fibers arising in the hitching vibration. This allowed the use of geometric representation theory, the theory of perverse sheaves, to study what was initially a combinatorial problem in a number- theoretic nature. he proved the fundamental lemma for lie algebras. he completed the proof of the fundamental lemma in all cases.

CEDRIC VILLANI- october 5, 1973-. Works primarily on partial differential equations, Riemann geometry, and mathematical physics. he is known for work on boltzmann equation, kinetic theory, landau damping, transportation theory, and otto-villain theorem.

MANJUL BHARGAVA- august 8, 1974-.- known for the gauss composition laws, 290 theorems, factorial function, ranks of elliptic curves, geometric number theory, representation theory, p-adic analysis

TERRENCE TAO- july 17, 1975-.- know for the Green-Tao theorem, Tao’s inequality, Kakeya conjecture, Horn conjecture

MARTIN HAIRER- november 14, 1975-. works in the field of stochastic analysis, particularly stochastic partial differential equations. He made fundamental advances in many important directions such as the study of variants of hormander’s theorem, systematization of the construction of Lyapunov functions for stochastic systems, development of a general

theory of egodicity for non-markovian systems, multi scale analysis techniques, theory of homogenization, theory of path sampling and, most recently, theory of rough paths and the newly introduced theory of regularity structures.

BEN GREEN- february 27, 1977-.-known for the Green-Tao theorem, proof of the Cameron-Erods conjecture, combinatorics, and number theory

MARYAM MIZAKHANI- may 3, 1977-july 14, 2017. Research topics included teichmuller theory, hyperbolic geometry, ergodic theory, and symplectic geometry. she won the fields medal for her work in the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces and their moduli spaces.

1978-LEONARD ALDEMAN december 31, 1945-.,RONALD RIVEST- may 6, 1947-., ADI SHAMIR- july 6, 1952-. creators of the Ursa encryption algorithm.

ARTUR AVILA- june 29, 1979-. Works primarily on dynamical systems and special theory. he proved the conjecture of the 10 martinis, which explains mathematical physicist Barry Simon’s theory about the behavior of schrodinger operators, mathematical tools related to quantum physics.

1994- PAUL WOLFSKEHL- June 30, 1856-September 13, 1906, TANIYAMA- november 12, 1927-november 17, 1958, GORO SHIMURA- february 23, 1930-., BARRY MAZUR- December 19, 1937-., NICK KATZ- December 7, 1943-., JOHN COATES- january 26, 1945-., KEN KIBET- june 28, 1948-., ANDREW WILES- april 11, 1953-., RICHARD TAYLOR- may 19, 1962-. The people mainly responsible for the proving of fermat’s last theorem.


Hundred Greatest Mathematicians of the Past

The Greatest Mathematicians of the Past 

ranked in approximate order of “greatness.”
To qualify, the mathematician must be born before 1930 and his work must have




Archimede Carl Gauss Leonhard



Bernhard Riemann



















Pierre de




breadth, depth, and historical importance.

1 Isaac Newton

2 Archimedes

  • 3  Carl F. Gauss
  • 4  Leonhard Euler
  • 5  Bernhard Riemann


6 Henri Poincaré

  • 7  Joseph- Louis
  • 8  Euclid of

9 David Hilbert

10 Gottfried W. Leibniz


11 Alexandre


12Pierre de Fermat

13 Évariste


14 John von


15 Niels Abel


16 Karl W. T.


17 René


18 Peter G. L.


19 Srinivasa


20Carl G. J.




22 Georg Cantor 23 Augustin Cauchy

24 Hermann K. H. Weyl

25 Arthur Cayley


26 Emmy


27 Pythagoras

of Samos

28 Aryabhata

29 Leonardo


30 William R.



At some point a longer list will become a List of Great Mathematicians rather than a List of Greatest Mathematicians. I’ve expanded my

original List of Thirty to an even Hundred, but you may prefer to reduce it to a Top Seventy, Top Sixty, Top Fifty, Top Forty or Top Thirty list, or

even Top Twenty, Top Fifteen or Top Ten List.
In compiling this list, I’ve considered contributions outside 

mathematics. I already give lower weight to breadth and influence in mathematical physics, but if I reduced the weight to zero, the List

would be much different. Newton contributed little to number theory, but is considered to have breadth because of his physics, which is also

his main influence. If only breadth and influence in pure mathematics are considered, Newton wouldn’t be #1 (though still in the Top Ten).

31 Apollonius

of Perga

32 Charles Hermite

33 Diophantus

of Alexandria

34 Pierre- Simon


35 Carl

Ludwig Siegel


36 Muhammed


37 Richard


38 Kurt Gödel

39 Bháscara (II)


40 Felix Christian



41 Blaise Pascal

42 Élie Cartan

43Archytas of Tarentum

44 Godfrey H. Hardy

45 Alhazen ibn al-



46 Jean le Rond


47 F.E.J. Émile


48 Julius Plücker 49 Hipparchus

of Nicaea

50 Andrey N. Kolmogoro v


51 Joseph Liouville 52 Eudoxus of


53 F. Gotthold Eisenstein

54 Jacob Bernoulli

55 Johannes Kepler


56 Stefan Banach 57 Jacques

Hadamard 58 Giuseppe


59 Panini of


60 André Weil


61 Jakob Steiner 62 Liu Hui 63Gaspard Monge 64 Hermann G.


65 François Viète


66 M. E. Camille


67 Joseph Fourier 68 Bonaventur

a Cavalieri

69 Jean-Pierre


70Marius Sophus Lie


71 Albert Einstein 72 Galileo Galilei 73 James C. Maxwell

74 Aristotle

75 Girolamo



Einstein, Galileo, Maxwell, Aristotle and Cardano are among the greatest applied mathematicians in history, but lack the importance as pure mathematicians to qualify for The Top 70. Nevertheless I’d want to include them in any longer list, so I’ve tucked these ambiguous cases into the #71-#75 slots.
76 Michael F.


77Atle Selberg 78Jean-Victor


79L.E.J. Brouwer 80 Christiaan



81 Pafnuti


82 Alan M. Turing 83 Henri Léon


84 John E.


85 F. L. Gottlob Frege


86 Alfred Tarski 87 Shiing- Shen


88 James J.


89 Johann


90 Ernst E. Kummer


91 Johann H.


92 George Pólya 93 Felix


94 Siméon- Denis


95 Hermann



96 George D.


97 Omar al-


98 Adrien M.


99 Pappus of


100 Thales

of Miletus


Famous Physicists

MIGUEL ALCUBIERRE- Miguel Alcubierre

Alcubierre in 2013.

march 28, 1964. Mexican theoretical physicist known for the Alcubierre drive, a speculative warp drive for a spacecraft that can travel faster then the speed of light.

ALHAZEN- c. 965-c. 1040. widely considered the 1st theoretical physicists as a proponent of the scientific method.

LUIS ALVAREZ-june 13, 1911-september 1, 1988. One of the most brilliant and productive experimental physicists of the 20th century. he devised a set of experiments to observe k-electron capture, predicted by the beta decay theory but never before observed. he produced tritium using a cyclotron and measured its half-life. he also measured the magnetic moment of a neutron.

ANDRE MARIE AMPERE- André-Marie Ampère

january 22, 1775-june 10, 1836. founded and named the science of electrodynamics, now known as electromagnetism. the unit of electric current, the ampere, is named after him.

CARL ANDERSON- september 3, 1905-january 11, 1991. he discovered the positron.

ANDERS ANGSTROM- august 13, 1814-june 21, 1874. One of the founders of the science of spectroscopy. the angstrom, a unit 10^-10 meters long, in which the wavelength of light is measured, is named after him.

ARCHIMEDES- c. 287 bc-c. 212 bc. he is known for the archimedes’ screw and the archimedes principle.

ARISTARCHUS- c. 310 bc-c. 230 bc. One of the first to predict the rotation of the earth, and he placed the sun at the center of the universe.

AMEDEO AVOGADRO- august 9, 1776-july 9, 1856. He is most noted for his contribution to molecular theory now known as avogadro’s law and for the avagadro constant.

JOHANN BALMER- may 1, 1825-march 12, 1898. the Balmer lines (spectral line emissions of the hydrogen atom) and Balmer series are named after him.

JOHN BARDEEN- may 23, 1908-january 30, 1991. Known for the invention of the transistor and for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known the bfs theory.

HENRI BECQUEREL- Antoine Henri Becquerel

Henri Becquerel,
French physicist
december 15, 1852-august 25, 1908. the 1st person to discover evidence of radioactivity.

ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL- march 3, 1847-august 2, 1922. Crated the telephone.

DANIEL BERNOULLI- february 8, 1700-march 17, 1782. Known for his applications of math to mechanics, especially fluid mechanics. he is known for the Bernoulli principle,

an example of the conservation of energy, underlying the carburetor and the airplane wing.

NIELS BOHR- Niels Bohr

october 7, 1885-novemebr 18, 1962. Made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory. he developed the Bohr model of the atom, which proposed that energy levels of electron are discrete and that electrons revolve in stable orbits around the atomic nucleus but can jump from one energy level, or orbit to another

LUDWIG BOLTZMANN- Ludwig Boltzmann

february 20, 1844-september 5, 1906. he developed statistical mechanics, which explains and predicts how the properties of atoms, such as mass, charge, and structure, determine the physical properties of matter, such as viscosity, thermal conductivity, and diffusion. RIP

MAX BORN- december 11, 1882-january 5, 1970. Instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He proved that schrodinger’s wave equation could be interpreted as giving statistical rather than exact productions of variable.

SATYENDRA NATH BOSE- january 1, 1894-february 4, 1974. he is best known for his work on quantum mechanics, providing the foundation for bose-einstein statistics and the theory of the bose- einstein condensate.

ROBERT BOYLE- january 25, 1627-december 31, 1691. One of the pioneers of modern experimental scientific method. he is best

known for boyle’s law, which describes how the pressure of a gas tends to increase as the volume of the container decreases.

WILLIAM HENRY BRAGG- July 2, 1862-march 12, 1942. he is known for the analysis of crystal structure by x-rays.

WILLIAM LAWRENCE BRAGG- march 31, 1890-july 1, 1971. he discovered bragg’s law of x-ray diffraction, which is basic for the determination of crystal structure.

PERCY WILLIAMS BRIDGMAN- april 21, 1882-august 20, 1961. he is known for his work in high pressure physics. RIP

LOUIS VICTOR DE BROGLIE- august 15, 1892-march 19, 1987. he made groundbreaking contributions to quantum theory. he postulated the wave nature of electrons and suggested that all matter has wave properties (known as the de Broglie hypothesis), which is an example of wave-particle duality, and forms a central part of the theory of quantum mechanics.

SADI CARNOT- June 1, 1796-august 24, 1832. Described as the father of thermodynamics. he gave the 1st successful theory of the maximum efficiency of heat engines. His work led to the 2nd law of thermodynamics and the the law of entropy.

HENDRIK CASIMIR- july 15, 1909-may 4, 2000. he is known for the casimr effect, which in quantum field theory are physical forces arising from a quantized field.

HENRY CAVENDISH- october 10, 1731- february 24, 1810. he is known for the discovery of hydrogen and for measuring the density of the earth.

JAMES CHADWICK- october 20, 1891-july 24, 1974. Known for the discover of the neutron.

OWEN CHAMBERLAIN- july 10, 1920-february 28, 2006. Discovered the antiproton.

PAVEL CHERENKOV- july 28, 1904-january 6, 1990. he is known for Cherenkov radiation, which are charged atomic particles which move at a greater velocity than light.

RUDOLF CLAUSIUS- january 2, 1822-august 24, 1888. One of the founders of the science of thermodynamics. He restated the Carnot cycle as a theory of heat, and he stated the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

JOHN COCKCROFT- may 27, 1897-september 18, 1967. He split the atom, which was instrumental in the development of atomic power.

ARTHUR COMPTON- september 10, 1892-march 15, 1962. he discovered the Compton effect, which demonstrated the particle nature of electromagnetic radiation.

EDWARD CONDON- march 2, 1902-march 26, 1974. a pioneer in quantum mechanics and a participant in the development of radar.

CHARLES-AUGUSTIN DE COULOMB- Charles-Augustin de Coulomb
june 14, 1736-august 23, 1806. he is best known for developing coulomb’s law, which states the force of attraction of repulsion between charged particles.

SIR WILLIAM CROOKE- june 17, 1832-april 4, 1919. he was a pioneer in the development of the crooks tube, a vacuum tube.

MARIE CURIE- november 7, 1867-july 4, 1934. She conducted pioneering work in radioactivity, and discovered the elements polonium and radium.

JOHN DALTON- september 6, 1766-july 27, 1844. he enunciated gay-lussac’ law (pertains to thermal expansion of gasses and the relationship between temperature, volume, and pressure) and dalton’s law, concerning the law of partial pressure (in a mixture of

non-reacting gasses, the total pressure exerted is equal. to the sum of the partial pressures of the individual gases).

Tsung-Dao Lee Tsung-Dao (T. D.) Lee 政道 

T. D. Lee, seen in 1956
(T. D. Lee; Chinese: 政道; pinyin: Lǐ Zhèngdào; born

November 24, 1926) is a Chinese-American physicist, known for his work on parity violation, the Lee Model, particle physics, relativistic heavy ion (RHIC) physics, nontopological solitons and soliton stars. He holds the rank of University Professor Emeritus at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1953 and from which he retired in 2012.[1] In 1957, Lee, at the age of 30, won the Nobel Prize in Physics with Franklin C N Yang[2] for their work on the violation of the parity law in weak interactions, which Chien- Shiung Wu experimentally verified in 1956, with her so-called Wu experiment. Lee was the youngest Nobel laureate after World War II until Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014. He is the fourth youngest Nobel laureate in history after William L. Bragg (who won the prize at 25 with his father William H. Bragg in 1915), Werner Heisenberg (who won in 1932 also at 30) and Malala Yousafzai (awarded at just 17). Lee and Yang were the first Chinese laureates. Since he became a naturalized American citizen in 1962, Lee is also the youngest American ever to have won a Nobel Prize.

CLINTON DAVISSON- october 22, 1881-february 1, 1958. Discovered electron diffraction.

PAUL DIRAC- Paul Dirac


august 8, 1902-october 20, 1984. Made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics. he made significant contributions to the reconciliation of general relativity with quantum mechanics. he formulated the Dirac equation which describes the behavior of fermions and he predicted the existence of antimatter.

CHRISTIAN DOPPLER- November 29, 1803-march 17, 1853. He discovered the principle of the doppler effect, which says that the observed frequency of a wave depends on the relative speed of the source and the observer.

FREEMAN DYSON- December 15, 1923-. Physicist known for his work in quantum electrodynamics and solid-state physics. he developed a description of quantum physics based on m and m array of totally random numbers.

WILLIAM ECCLES- august 23, 1875-april 29, 1965. Pioneered the development of radio communication.

PAUL EHRENFEST- january 18, 1880-september 25, 1933. Made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relation to quantum mechanics, including his theory of phase transition and the Ehrenfest theorem.

ALBERT EINSTEIN- Albert Einstein

march 14, 1879-april 18, 1955. Developed the theories of general and special relativity, the law of photoelectric effect, brownian movement, and the mass-energy equivalence formula: e=mc^2.

LORAND EOTVOS- july 27, 1848-april 8, 1919. Remembered for his work on gravitation and surface tension, and the invention of the torsion pendulum.

CORNELIUS EVERETT- worked with stanislaw ulam to find amount of tritium needed for to h-bomb.

DANIEL GABRIEL FAHRENHEIT- may 24, 1686-september 16, 1736. Laid the foundation for the era of precision thermometry by inventing the mercury-in-glass thermometer. the fahrenheit temperature scale is named after him.

MICHAEL FARADAY- september 22, 19791-august 25, 1867. he contributed to the study of electromagnetism and electrochemistry, and discovered the principles of electromagnetic induction, diamagnetism, and electrolysis.

ENRICO FERMI- Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi (1901–1954)

September 29, 1901-november 28, 1954. Creator of the 1st nuclear reactor. he induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment, and discovered transuranic elements. he made significant contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics.

RICHARD FEYNMAN- Richard Feynman

may 11, 1918-february 15, 1988. Known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, the physics of superfluidity of supercooled liquid helium, and particle physics where he proposed the Parton model.

GEORGE FRANCIS FITZGERALD- august 3, 1851-february 22, 1901. he is known for his work in electromagnetic theory and for the lorentz-fitzgerald contraction, which became an integral part of einstein’s special theory of relativity.

LEON FOUCAULT- september 18, 1819-february 11, 1868. known for his demonstration of the Foucault pendulum, which demonstrates the effect of earth’s rotation. he also made an early measurement of the speed of light.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN- january 17, 1706-april 17, 1790. he was the 1st to label electric charges as positive and negative, and he discovered the principle of conservation of charge. he invented the lightning rod.

JOSEPH VON FRAUNHOFER- march 6, 1787-june 7, 1826. He discovered and studied the dark absorption lines in the spectrum of the sun that are now known as Fraunhofer lines.

AUGUSTIN-JEAN FRESNEL- may 10, 1788-july 14, 1827. He is the inventor of the Fresnel sense, and he formulated the fresnel equation which is the basis for many applications in computer graphics.

DENNIS GABOR- june 5, 1900-february 9, 1979. He invented holography. GALILEO GALILEI-

Galileo Galilei
february 15, 1564-january 8, 1642. He is known for kinematics and dynamics in the physics of falling bodies.

CARL FRIEDRICH GAUSS- april 30, 1777-february 23, 1855. he is known for gauss’s law of magnetism, which is one of Maxwell’s 4 equations that underlie classical electrodymamics.

JOSEPH LOUIS GAY-LUSSAC- december 6, 1778-may 9, 1850. he is known for gay- lussac’s law, which pertains to thermal expansion of gasses and the relationship between temperature, volume, and pressure.

HANS GEIGER- september 30, 1882-september 24, 1945. best known as co-inventor of the geiger counter and the geiger- marsden experiment which discovered the atomic nucleus.

MURRAY GELL-MANN- Murray Gell-Mann

september 15, 1929. know for his work on the theory of elementary particle physics. the coined the term ‘quark’.

JOSIAH WILLARD GIBBS- february 11, 1839-april 28, 1903. he was co-creator of stistical mechanics that explained the laws of thermodynamics as consequences of the stistical properties of ensembles of the possible states of a physical system composed of many particle.

MARIA GOEPPERT-MAYER- Maria Goeppert Mayer

june 28, 1906-february 20, 1972. Proposed a nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus.

BRIAN GREENE- february 9, 1963. Worked on mirror symmetry, relating 2 different calai-yau manifolds (concretely, relating the conifold to one of its orbifolds). he also described the flop transition, a mild form of topology change, showing the topology in string theory can change at the conifold point.

FEZA GURSEY- april 7, 1921-april 13, 1992. Turkish mathematician physicist who worked on the chiral model and on su(6).

OTTO HAHN- march 8, 1879-july 28, 1968. Pioneer in the field of radioactivity. he provided proof of nuclear fission.

EDWIN HALL-novemebr 7, 1855-november 20, 1938. Discovered the hall effect, the production of a voltage difference (hall voltage) across an electric conductor, transverse to an electric current in the conductor and the applied magnetic field perpendicular to the current.

STEPHEN HAWKING- Stephen Hawking


Hawking at NASA, 1980s
january 8, 1942-march 2018. the 1st to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and

quantum mechanics. he strongly supports the many- worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

OLIVER HEAVISIDE- may 18, 1850-february 3, 1925. he reformulated Maxwell’s field equations in terms of electric and magnetic forces and energy flux.


Heisenberg in 1933, as professor at Leipzig University december 5, 1901-february 1, 1976. on of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. he he developed a matrix formulation of quantum mechanics. he formulated the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, which says that there is a fundamental limit to the precision in which a particle’s position and momentum can be known.

HERMANN VON HELMHOLTZ- august 31, 1821-september 8, 1894. Known for his theories on the conservation of energy, work in electrodynamics, chemical thermodynamics, and on the mechanical foundation of thermodynamics.

JOSEPH HENRY- december 17, 1797-may 13, 1878. Discovered the electromagnetic phenomenon of self-inductance. the unit of inductance, the Henry, is named after him.

HEINRICH HERTZ- february 22, 1857-january 1, 1894. he proved the existence of electromagnetic waves. the unit of frequency, the hertz, is named after him.

PETER HIGGS- Peter Higgs

Nobel laureate Peter Higgs at a press conference, Stockholm, December 2013 may 29, 1929. he proposed that broken symmetry in electroweak theory could explain the origin of mass of elementary particles the general and of the w and z bosons in particular. This Higgs mechanism, predicts the existence of a new particle, the Higgs boson.

ROBERT HOOKE- july 28, 1635-march 3, 1703. he is known for hooke’s law, which states that the force needed to extend or compress a spring by some distance x is proportional to that distance.

SHIRLEY ANN JACKSON- august 5, 1946-. the first African American woman to earn a ph.d. in nuclear physics.

JOHANNES HANS DANIEL JANSEN- june 25, 1907-february 11, 1973. he is co- proposer of the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus.

IRENE JOLIOT-CURIE- september 12, 1897-march 17, 1956. Discoverer of artificial radioactivity.


october 18, 1902-july 31, 1980. Made significant contributions to quantum mechanics and quantum field theory. he contributed much to the mathematical form of matrix mechanics, and developed canonical anti commutation relations for fermions. Jordon algebra is used to study the mathematical and conceptual foundations of quantum theory.

JAMES PRESCOTT JOULE- James Prescott Joule

James Joule – physicist

december 24, 1818-october 11, 1889. He studied the nature of heat, and discovered its relationship to mechanical work. this led to the law of conservation of energy, which led to the development of the 1st law of thermodynamics. the joule, a unit for energy, is named after him.

PYOTR KAPITSA- july 8, 1894-april 8, 1984. Best known for his work in low temperature physics.

GUSTAV ROBERT KIRCHHOFF- march 12, 1824-october 17, 1887. he contributed in a fundamental way to understanding the emission of black-body radiation by heated objects. kirchoff’s law of thermal radiation refers to wavelength-specific radiation emission and absorption by a material body in thermodynamic equilibrium, including radiative exchange equilibrium.

MILOTO KOBAYASHI- april 7, 1944-. Known for his work on cp- violation. He discovered the origin of the broken symmetry which predicted the existence of at least 3 families of quarks in nature.

WILLIS LAMB- july 12, 1913-may 15, 2008. he determined the precise magnetic moment of the electron.

LEV LANDAU- Lev Landau

January 22, 1908-april 1, 1968. he is known for the density matrix method in quantum mechanics, the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superconductivity, the theory of fermi liquid, the explanation of landau damping in plasma physics, the damping in quantum electrodynamics, the 2 component theory of neutrinos, and the landau equations for s matrix singularities.

PAUL LANGEVIN- january 23, 1872-december 19, 1946. he is known for the twin paradox, Langevin dynamics, and the Langevin equation.

ERNEST LAWRENCE- august 8, 1901-august 27, 1958. Inventor of the cyclotron.

TSUNG-DAO LEE- november 24, 1926-. Known for his work on parity violation, the lee model, particle physics, and relativistic heavy ion physics.

HENDRIK LORENTZ- Hendrik Antoon Lorentz

july 18, 1853-february 4, 1928. he is known for the Lorentz for in magnetism, his discovery and theoretical explanation of the Zeeman effect, and deriving the transformation equations which form the basis of the special theory of relativity.

ERNEST MACH- february 18, 1838-february 19, 1916. the mach number is named after him, which is a shock wave and is the ratio of ones speed to that sound.

THEODORE MAIMAN- july 11, 1927-may 5, 2007. He in vented the first working laser, the ruby laser.

GUGLIELMO MARCONI- april 25, 1874-july 20, 1937. did Pioneering work in long distance radio communication and for his development of marconi’s law (the relation between height of antennas and maximum signaling distance of radio transmission) and the radio telegraph system.

JOHN MATHERS- John Cromwell Mather

John C. Mather (March 2015)

august 7, 1946. he is known for his work on the cosmic background explorer satellite and research into cosmic microwave background radiation.

JAMES CLERK MAXWELL- James Clerk Maxwell

James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879)

june 13, 1831-novemeber 5, 1879. he formulated the classical theory of electromagnetic radiation, bringing together for the first time electricity, magnetism, and light as manifestations of the same phenomenon.

LISE MEITNER- november 7, 1878-october 27, 1968. Discovered the nuclear fission of uranium when it absorbed an extra neutron.

ALBERT MICHELSON- december 19, 1852-may 9, 1931. Known for his work on the measurement of the speed of light.

ROBERT MILLIKAN- march 22, 1868-december 19, 1953. he measured the elementary electronic charge and worked on the photoelectric effect.

HENRY MOSELEY- november 23, 1887-august 10, 1915. he is known for the concept of the atomic number and moseley’s law, an empirical law concerning the characteristic x-rays that are emitted by atoms.

SETH NEDDERMEYER- september 15, 1907-january 29, 1988. Co-discoverer of the muon.

YUVAL NE’EMAN- may 14, 1925-april 26, 2006. In 1961, he discovered the classification of hadrons through the su(3) flavor symmetry, now called the eightfold way.

JOHN VON NEUMANN- John von Neumann

John von Neumann in the 1940s

December 28, 1903-february 8, 1957. he established a rigorous mathematical framework for quantum mechanics.


Portrait of Newton at 46 in 1689 by Godfrey Kneller
december 25, 1642-march 20, 1727. he laid the foundations of classical mechanics and formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation.


march 23, 1882-april 14, 1935. She produced norther’s theorem, which explains the connection between symmetry and conservation laws.

GEORG OHM- march 16, 1789-july 6, 1854. he formulated ohm’s law, which says that there is a direct proportionality between the potential difference (voltage) applied across a conductor and the resultant electric current.

HANS CHRISTIAN ORSTED- august 14, 1777-march 9, 1851. he discovered that an electric current creates a magnetic field.

BLASE PASCAL- june 19, 1623-august 19, 1662. he made important contributions to the study of fluids, and clarified the concepts of pressure and vacuum.

WOLFGANG PAULI-Wolfgang Ernst Pauli

april 25, 1900-december 15, 1958. he is known for the Pauli exclusion principle (states that 2 or more identical fermions, particles with 1.2 integer spin, cannot occupy the

same quantum state within a quantum system simultaneously) which involves spin theory, the basis of a theory of the structure of matter.

MARTIN PERL- june 24, 1927-september 30, 2014. he discovered the tau lepton.


april 23, 1858-october 4, 1947. he has a primary role as the originator of quantum theory and his discovery of the energy quanta. Ke is known for Planck’s constant and Planck’s law of black body radiation, which describes the spectral density of electromagnetic radiation emitted by a body of thermal equilibrium at a given temperature.


april 29, 1854-july 17, 1912. a mathematical physicist, he was the first to present the Lorentz transformations in their modern symmetrical form.

EDWARD PURCELL- august 30, 1912-march 7, 1997. he discovered nuclear magnetic resonance, which became widely used to study the molecular structure of pure materials and the composition of mixtures,

HELEN QUINN- may 19, 1943-. she made major contributions as a particle physicist, such as the perceived-quint theory, which implies a corresponding symmetry of nature (related to matter- antimatter symmetry and the possible source of the dark matter that pervades the universe) and her contributions to the search for a unified theory for the 3 types of particle interactions: strong, electromagnetic, and weak.

ISIDOR RABI- july 29, 1898-janulary 11, 1988. he discovered nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and was on of the first to work on the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens.

CHANDRASEKHARA RAMAN- novemebr 7, 1888-november 21, 1970. he did ground- breaking work in the field of light scattering. he discovered that when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes wavelength, which is known as the Raman effect.


june 18, 1962-. She researches elementary particles, fundamental forces and extra dimensions of space, the standard model, supersymmetry, possible solutions to the hierarchy problem

concerning the relative weakness of gravity, cosmology of extra dimensions, baryogenesis, cosmological inflation, and dark matter.

LORD RAYLEIGH- november 12, 1842-june 30, 1919. He discovered argon, Rayleigh scattering, which can explain why the sky is blue, and he predicted the existence of the surface waves known as Rayleigh waves.

OWEN RICHARDSON- april 26, 1879-february 15, 1959. he worked on thermionic emission which led to richardson’s law, which states that the current from a heated Wire sees to depend exponentially on the temperature of the wire in a form similar to the Arrhenius equation.

ROBERT RICHARDSON- june 26, 1937-february 19, 2013. he did research in sub- millikelvin temperature studies of helium-3.


march 27, 1845-february 10, 1923. Discovered x-rays.

ABDUS SALAM-Mohammad Abdus Salam

محمد عبد الس م 

january 29, 1926-november 21, 1996. he worked on electroweak unification theory.

ARTHUR SCHAWLOW- may 5, 1921-april 28, 1999. Co-inventor of the laser.

JULIAN SCHWINGER- february 12, 1918-july 16, 1994. Best known for his work on the theory of quantum electrodynamics, in particular for developing a relativistically invariant perturbation theory, and for renormalizing red to one loop order.

ARNOLD SOMMERFELD- december 5, 1868-april 26, 1951. he introduced the 2nd quantum number (azimuthal quantum number ) and the 4th quantum number ( spin quantum number). he also introduced the fine structure constant.


april 9, 1865-october 26, 1923. he fostered the development of alternating current that made possible the expansion of the electrical power industry in the united states. he also formulated mathematical theories for engineers and made ground-breaking discoveries in the understanding of hysteresis that enabled engineers to design better electromagnetic apparatus equipment including especially electric motors for use in industry.

GEORGE STOKES- Sir George Stokes


august 13, 1819-february 1, 1903. Made a seminal contribution to fluid dynamics including the navies-stokes equations.

LEO SZILARD- Leo Szilard

february 11, 1989-may 30, 1964. he conceived the nuclear chain reaction.

RICHARD TAYLOR- november 2, 1929-. Did pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons, which was of essential importance in the development of the quark model in particle physics.

EDWARD TELLER- january 15, 1908-september 9, 2003. he is known for the jahn-teller effect and the ashkin-teller model, the 2nd of which may help one to gain insight into the behavior of ferromagnets and certain other phenomenon in solid-state physics.


july 10, 1856-january 7,1943. he is best know for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current electrical supply systems.

J.J. TOMSON- december 18, 1856-august 30, 1940. he discovered the electron.

WILLIAM TOMSON (LORD KELVIN)- june 26, 1824-december 17, 1907. he did important work in the formulation of the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and helped unify physics into its modern form. the temperature scale, the kelvin, is named in his honor.

SAMUEL CHAO CHUNG TING- january 27, 1936-. He discovered the subatomic particle, the j/psi particle.

SIN-ITIRO TOMANAGA- march 31, 1906-july 8, 1979. he was very influential in the development of quantum electrodynamics, the relativistic quantum field theory of electrodynamics.

EVANGELISTA TORRICELLI- october 15, 1608-0ctober 25, 1647. he invented the barometer, which measures atmospheric pressure.

CHARLES TOWNES- july 28, 1915-january 27, 2015. he invented the maser.

JOHANNES DIDERIK VAN DER WAALS- november 23, 1837- march 8, 1923. Primarily associated with the van Der Waals equation of states that describe the behavior of gases and their condensation to the liquid phase.

STEPHEN WEINBERG- may 3, 1933-. Contributed to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.

HERMANN WEYL- november 9, 1885-december 8, 1955. he was one of the 1st to conceive of combining general relativity with the laws of electromagnetism.

EUGENE WIGNER- november 17, 1902-january 1, 1995. he contributed to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles.

JAMES WATT- january 30, 1736-august 25, 1819. He improved on Thomas newcomer’s steam engine with his watt steam engine. the unit of power, the watt, is named after him.

WILHELM WEBER- october 24, 1804-june 23, 1891. Co-inventor of the 1st electromagnetic telegraph. the unit for magnetic flux, the weber, is named after him.

EDWARD WITTEN- august 26, 1951-. he researches string theory, quantum gravity, supersymmetric quantum field theories, and other areas of mathematical physics.

EMIL WOLF- july 30, 1922-. he has made advancements in physical optics, including diffraction, coherence properties of optical fields, spectroscopy, and the theory of direct scattering and inverse scattering.

FRED ALAN WOLF- december 3, 1934-. he specializes in quantum physics and the relationship between physics and consciousness.

CHIEN-SHIUNG WU- Chien-Shiung Wu

may 31, 1912-february 16, 1997. she is best known for her experiment which contradicted the hypothetical law of conservation of parity.

CHEN NING YANG- Chen-Ning Frank Yang


october 1, 1922-. He works on statistical mechanics and particle physics. he did work on parity non conservation of weak interaction.

THOMAS YOUNG- june 13, 1773-may 10, 1829. he is known for the wave theory of light and the double-slit experiment.

HIDEKI YUKAWA- january 23, 1907-september 8, 1981. He proposed a theory of mesons in 1935, which explains the interaction between protons and neutrons.

PIETER ZEEMAN- may 25, 1865-october 9, 1943. he discovered the Zeeman effect, which is the splitting of a spectral line into several components in the presence of a static magnetic field.

Physicists research and study physical phenomena in our universe. Their findings help to explain why the material universe exists and behaves the way that it does. Physicists cover issues ranging from subatomic particles to quantum mechanics, and many others. This is a list of some of the world’s most famous physicists and their great contributions to science and humanity.

Famous Physicists 

Galileo Galilei 


Nationality: Italian Known For: Mathematical analysis in astronomy and physics 

Galileo was a math professor whose studies in nature and astronomy resulted in great advancements in the field of physics. His improvements in telescope technology and resulting observations worked to support Copernican theory.

Robert Hooke 


Nationality: English Known For: Hooke’s Law of Elasticity
This English physicist discovered the law of elasticity, which is now named after him. He also was one of the first advocates for evolution as well as one of the first to suggest that Jupiter rotated on its axis.

Isaac Newton 


Nationality: English Known For: Developed theories on mechanics and gravitation 

Sir Isaac Newton is often thought of as a key figurehead in the scientific revolution. His book titled Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy explained laws of motion and universal gravitation; ideas which have commanded the attention of scientists for three centuries.

Alessandro Volta 


Nationality: Italian Known For: Invented first electric battery Volta is famous for his works in physics and chemistry. His experimentation led him to discover that electrical potential and charge, for any given object, are proportional. Further studies and work led him to create the first battery made of zinc and copper. It is believed that his contributions are why the unit for electric potential is called the volt.

Michael Faraday 


Nationality: English Known For: Discovered electromagnetic induction and the idea for the first electrical transformer 

English scieintist Michael Faraday made great contributions in the areas of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. His work in magnetic fields, conductors and direct currents led Faraday to lay the foundation for the idea of electromagnetic fields in physics. Additionally, he noticed that rays of light could be affected by magnetism.

Lord Kelvin 


Nationality: Irish Known For: Advanced the 1st and 2nd laws of thermodynamics and developed the absolute thermometric scale
Also known as William Thomson, Lord Kelvin is credited with creating the Kelvin scale. This is a temperature scale that was based on absolute zero. He also did a lot of work regarding mathematical analysis of electricity as well as working toward formulating the first and second laws of thermodynamics.

James Clerk Maxwell 


Nationality: Scottish Known For: Theory of Electromagnetism and Kinetic theory of gases Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell came up with the concept of electromagnetic radiation. Interestingly, his work was the basis for Einstein’s special theory of relativity. Additionally, he thought of the kinetic theory of gases. His notions are the foundation for quantum mechanics and our understanding of the structure of atoms and molecules.

Nikola Tesla 


Nationality: Serbian- American
Known For: Alternating current Nikola Tesla created the alternating current electrical system which he patented and later sold to George Westinghouse. In 1891 he invented the “Tesla coil” which is used to this day in radio technology.

J.J. Thomson 


Nationality: British Known For: Showed existence of the electron J.J. Thomson is recognized for proving the existence of electrons and isotopes as well as creating the mass spectrometer. Thomsons’s work in conducting electricity in gases and his discovery of the electron won him the 1906 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Max Planck 


Nationality: German Known For: Formulated quantum theory 

This German theoretical physicist is the man responsible for originating the quantum theory. His work resulted in him receiving the 1918 Nobel Prize in Physics. His theory completely changed and advanced human concepts of atomic and subatomic processes.

Marie Curie 


Nationality: Polish Known For: Discovered radioactivity of thorium and discovered polonium and radium 

This two-time winner of the Nobel Prize is most famous for her findings on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, as well as the only woman to win this award in two different categories. Marie Curie is regarded as the most famous female scientist to date.

Ernest Rutherford 


Nationality: British Known For: Theory on existence of atomic nucleus 

Ernest Rutherford’s studies in radioactivity are what directed others to explore nuclear physics. He was the first person to split an atom and he has been given the name “Father of the Nuclear Age.”

Guglielmo Marconi 


Nationality: Italian Known For: Wireless telgraphy
Inventor and physicist Guglielmo Marconi was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for breakthrough work in radio technology. He created the components necessary for wireless telegraphy. Marconi was the first person to send wireless signals across the Atlantic in 1901.

Albert Einstein 


Nationality: German Known For: Theory of Relativity
German born Albert Einstein developed the theory of relativity. He is often thought to be the most important physicist in the 20th century. Einstein told President Roosevelt that Germany was probably developing an atomic bomb during WWII and this resulted in the United States starting up the Manhattan Project.

Niels Bohr (1885-1962) Nationality: Danish Known For: Contributions to quantum theory, nuclear reactions and nuclear fission 

Bohr was a successful Nobel Prize winning Danish physicist who proposed important theories regarding atomic structures and radiation. He was also a part of the Manhattan Project during WWII.

Erwin Schrodinger 


Nationality: Austrian Known For: Quantum mechanics contributions and Schrodinger’s wave equation 

Shrodinger greatly contributed to the basics of quantum mechanics as well as the wave theory of matter. Due to his research and work he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1933 for his creation of the Schrodinger equation. This equation depicts the way in which the quantum state of some physical systems change over time.

James Chadwick 


Nationality: English Known For: Discovered the neutron Chadwick’s 1932 discovery of the neutron awarded him the 1935 Nobel Prize in physics. He was also a part of the Manhattan Project during WWII, heading up the team of British scientists.

Werner Heisenberg 


Nationality: German Known For: Quantum mechanics contributions and the Heisenberg uncertainty principle One of the main thinkers behind quantum mechanics, Heisenberg was actually awarded the Nobel Prize for establishing quantum mechanics. He is also famous for his uncertainty principle which posits that the more accurately you know the position of a particle, the least precisely you can know the particle’s momentum, and vice versa.

Richard Feynman 


Nationality: American Known For: Path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, particle physics, theory of quantum electrodynamics and physics of superfluidity Richard Feynman is well known for his advancements in quantum mechanics. He was a big part of the Manhattan Project in which he helped to design the atomic bomb. He was a professor at Cornell University and has won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Stephen Hawking (1942-present)
Nationality: British
Known For: Work on black holes. Advances in General Theory of Relativity and Quantum mechanics.
Stephen Hawking is widely known for his work involving black holes and radiation as well as gravitational singularities theorems within general relativity. He has many popular theories that he has shared in several best-selling books.

Famous Chemists


Svante Arrhenius- february 19, 1859-october 2, 1927. One of the founders of physical chemistry. He was the 1st to use basic principles of physical chemistry, the study of matter in terms understood by physics, to calculate estimates of the extent to which increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide increase earth’s surface temperature through the Arrhenius effect, leading to what we now understand as global worming caused by human caused carbon dioxide emissions.

Amedeo Avogadro- Amedeo Avogadro

august 9, 1776-july 9, 1856. he is known for avogadro’s law, which states that equal volumes of gases under the same conditions of temperature and pressure will contain equal numbers of molecules. Avogado constant is named for him which is the number of atoms, molecules, ions, or other particles in 1 mole (the amount of chemicals as there are in 12 grams of carbon-12) of a substance, 6.002140857×10^23 in number.

Leo baekeland-

november 14, 1863-february 23, 1944. he is known as the father of the plastic industry for his invention of bakelite, an inexpensive, nonflammable and versatile plastic, that marked the beginning of the modern plastics industry.

Adolf von Baeyer- october 31, 1835-august 20, 1917. he synthesized indigo, and developed a nomenclature for cyclic compounds.

Johann Konrad Beilstein- february 17, 1838-october 18, 1906. Founder of the famous handbook of organic chemistry, now known as the beilstein database.

Friedrich Joachim Becher- may 6, 1635-october 1682. an alchemist known for the development of his phlogiston theory of combustion, which means that a fire-like element called phlogiston is contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion.

Marcellin berthelot- october 25, 1827-march 18, 1907. Known for the thomsen-berthelot principle of thermochemistry (hypothesis that argues that all chemical changes are

accompanied by the production of heat where the most heat is produced. he synthesized many organic compounds from inorganic substances.

Carolyn r. Bertozzi- october 10, 1966-. she is known for biorthogonal chemistry, which means that any chemical reaction that can occur inside of living systems without interfering with native biochemical processes.

Jons jakob berzellus- J. J. Berzelius

Jöns Jacob Berzelius (1779–1848)

august 20, 1779-august 7, 1846. One of the founders of modern chemistry, along with Robert Boyle, john dalton, and Antoine Lavoisier. he is noted for his determination of atomic weights. his experiments led to a more complete depiction of the principles of stoichiometry, or the field of chemical combining proportions. he also showed the power of an electrochemical cell to decompose chemicals into pairs of electrically opposite constituents. he discovered or isolated several new elements, including cerium and thorium. in Sweden, he is known as the father of Swedish chemistry.

Wallace Carothers- Wallace Hume Carothers

April 27, 1896-april 29, 1937. a leader in organic chemistry, he invented nylon. RIP

Henry Cavendish-
october 10, 1731-february 24, 1810. he discovered oxygen, and he described the density of what he called flammable air, which formed water on combustion.

Michelle chang- 1977-. Researches in biosynthesis of biofuels and pharmaceuticals.

Ernst cohen-known for his work on the allotropy (metals that exist on 2 or more different forms) of metals. murdered in auchwitz. RIP

Gerry cori- august 15, 1896-october 26, 1957. she is known for extensive research on carbohydrate metabolism, she described the cori cycle (the lactic acid cycle-the metabolic pathway in which lactate produced by anaerobic glycosides in the muscles moves to the liver and is converted to glucose, which then returns to the muscles and is metabolized back to lactate.), and identified glucose 1-phosphate.

Archibald scott couper- march 31, 1831-march 11, 1892. he developed the concept of tetravalent carbon atoms linking together to form larger molecules, and that the bonding order of the atoms in a molecule can be determined from chemical evidence.

William crookes- june 17, 1832-april 4, 1919. he discovered the new element thallium.

Marie curie- Marie Skłodowska Curie

november 7, 1867-july 4, 1834. she discovered polonium and radium.
pierre curie- may 15, 1859-april 19, 1906. he was a pioneer in crystallography.

john dalton- John Dalton

september 6, 1766-july 26, 1844. he is best known for proposing the modern atomic theory.


Humphry davy- Sir Humphry Davy


Sir Humphry Davy, Bt 

by Thomas Phillips National Portrait Gallery, London

december 17, 1778-may 29, 1829. he isolated the elements: potassium, sodium, calcium, strontium, barium, magnesium, boron, and discovered chlorine and iodine.he also invented the new field of electrochemistry.

Jean baptiste dumas- july 14, 1800-april 10, 1884. he is best known for organic synthesis and analysis, determining atomic and molecular weights by measuring vapor densities, and he developed a method for the analysis of nitrogen in compounds.

Henry eyring- february 20, 1901-december 26, 1981. his primary contribution to chemistry was the study of chemical reaction rates and intermediates.

Michael faraday- Michael Faraday
september 22, 1791-august 25, 1867. he contributed to the study of electrochemistry.

he discovered benzene, investigated the clathrate hydrate of chlorine, invented the early form of the bunsen burner, the system of oxidation numbers, and popularized the terms anode, cathode, electrode, and ion.

Hermann von Fehling- june 9, 1812-july 1, 1856. known for developing fehling’s solution used for estimation of sugar.

enrico fermi- september 29, 1901-november 28, 1954. Discovery of transuranic elements.

Franz Joseph Emil Fischer- march 19, 1877-december 1, 1947. Discoverer of the fischer-tropsch process (a collection of chemical reactions that convert mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen into liquid hydrocarbons) and developing the Fischer assay.

Edward frankland- january 18, 1825-august 9, 1899. he is one of the originators of organometallic chemistry and introduced the concept of combining power or valence.

Rosalind Franklin- Rosalind Elsie Franklin

july 25, 1920-april 16, 1958. a crystallographer who used x-ray diffraction on dna fibers and provided key insights into dna structure.

Charles freidel- march 12, 1832-april 20, 1899. Developed the dreidel-crafts alkylation and acylation reaction.

Joseph louis gay-Lussac- Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac

december 6, 1778-may 9, 1850. known for his discovery that water is made of 2 parts hydrogen and 1 part oxygen, known for 2 laws related to gases and his work on alcohol- water mixtures.

Charles Frederic Gerhardt- august 21, 1816-august 19, 1856. He came up with the notation for the chemical formulas for acetylsalicylic acid.

Josiah willard Gibbs- february 11, 1839-april 28, 1903. He converted a large part of physical chemistry from an empirical into a deductive science.

Lawrence glendenin- november 8, 1918-november 22, 2008. Co-discoverer of the element promethium.

Moses gomberg- february 8, 1866-february 12, 1947. he is known for radical chemistry (concerning a free radical, an atom, molecule, or ion that is an unpaired valence electron). he successfully prepared tetraphenylmethane, an organic compound consisting of a methane core with 4 phenyl substituents.

Carl grabe- february 24, 1841-january 19, 1927. Known for the first synthesis of an economically important dye, alizarin. he also contributed to the fundamental nomenclature of organic chemistry.

Thomas graham- december 20, 1805-september 16, 1869. Pioneered work in dialysis and the diffusion of gases. the is regarded as the father of colloid chemistry.

Fritz haber- december 9, 1868-january 29, 1934. he invented the haber-bosch process, a method used in industry to synthesize ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas.

otto Hahn- march 8, 1879-july 28, 1968. he is known for radiochemistry and is referred to as the father of nuclear chemistry.

Charles martin hall- december 6, 1863-december 27, 1914. he invented an inexpensive way of producing aluminum.

Charles Hatchett- january 2, 1785-march 10, 1847. Discovered the element niobium. Dorothy Hodgkin- Dorothy Hodgkin

Dorothy Hodgkin

may 12, 1910-july 29, 1994. She developed protein x-ray calistography. To determine the 3-dimensional structures of biomolecules, she discovered the strucure of penicillin, insulin, and vitamin b-12.

Albert Hoffmann- Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann in 1993

january 11, 1906-april 29, 2008. Synthesized LSD, psilocybin, and psilocin.

August Wilhelm hofmann- april 8, 1818-may 5, 1892. His research on aniline helped lay the basis of the aniline-dye industry and laid the groundwork for others to extract benzene and toluene and convert them into nitro compounds and amines.he established the structural relationship of ammonia to ethlyamines and tetrathylammonia. he discovered formaldehyde, hydrazobenzene, the isonitriles, and allyl alcohol.he made a number of processes which were investigated, including hofmann rearrangement, the hofmann-martius rearrangement, hofmann elimination, and the hofmann-loffler reaction.

Darlene hofmann- Darleane C. Hoffman

november 8, 1926-. Nuclear chemist who confirmed the existence of element 106, seaborgium.

Frederick lowland hopkins- june 20, 1861-may 16, 1947. Discovered vitamins and the amino acid tryptophan.

Linda hsieh-wilson- she combines organic chemistry and neurobiology to understand the molecular basis of fundamental processes. she applies the tools of organic synthesis, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, biophysics, and neurobiology to manipulate and understand small molecules, proteins and molecular interactions critical to neuronal communication, development, learning, and memory.

Amir hoveyda- he studies asymmetric catalysis, and is particularly noted for his work on developing catalysts for asymmetric olefin metathesis. he has worked extensively with n-heterocyclic carbenes as ligands. he focuses research on copper-catalyzed allelic alkylations and conjugate additions using these ligands.

Vladimir ipatieff- november 21, 1867-november 29, 1952. he made important contributions in the field of petroleum chemistry.

Frederic and Irene joliot-curie-chemists who discovered artificial radioactivity.

August kekule-

september 7, 1829-july 13, 1896. Principle founder of the theory of chemical structure. he is known for the tetravalent of carbon and the structure of benzene.

Izaak kolthoff- february 11, 1894-march 4, 1993. Analytical chemist who was highly influential. Considered the father of analytical chemistry. he developed a cold process for producing synthetic rubber.

Hans kreb- Sir Hans Adolf Krebs

august 25, 1900-november 22, 1981. Biochemist who pioneered study of cellular respiration, the biochemical pathway in cells for production of energy. he is best known for discovering the urea cycle and the citric acid cycle, the later a sequence of metabolic reactions that produce energy in cells (also known as the kern cycle).

Irving Langmuir- january 31, 1881-august 16, 1957. he is known for his concentric theory of atomic structure. He also invented the gas filled incandescent lamp.

August laurent- november 14, 1807-april 15, 1853. Founded organic chemistry with the discoveries of anthracene, ophthalmic acid, and carbolic acid. he devised a systematic nomenclature for organic chemistry based on structural groupings of atoms within molecules to determine how the molecules combine in organic reactions.

Antoine lavoisier- Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier

Line engraving by Louis Jean Desire Delaistre, after a design by Julien Leopold Boilly

august 23, 1743-may 8, 1794. Widely considered the father of modern chemistry. He understood the role oxygen plays in combustion, opposed the phlogiston theory, recognized the names oxygen and hydrogen, helped construct the metric system, compiled the first list of the elements, helped reform chemical nomenclature, predicted the existence of silicon, and was the first to establish that sulfur was and element and not a compound. RIP

Willard libby- Willard Libby

december 17, 1908-september 8, 1980. an American physical chemist, he is known for the development of radiocarbon dating, which revolutionized archaeology and paleontology.

Jacob marinsky- april 11, 1918-september 1, 2005. Co-discoverer of the element promethium.

Jean charles galissard de marginar- april 24, 1817-april 15, 1894. His work with atomic weights suggested the possibility of isotopes and the packing fraction of nuclei. his study of rare earth elements led to the discovery of ytterbium and the co-discovery of Gadolinium.

Alan marshall- 1944-. Known for the scientific technique of fourier transform ion cyclotron resonance mass spectrometry, which is way to determine the mass-to- charge ratio of ions based on cyclotron frequency of the ions in a fixed magnetic field.

Julius lothar meyer- august 19, 1830-april 11, 1895. a pioneer in the development of the first periodic table of the chemical elements.

Stanley miller- march 7, 1930-may 20, 2007. he carried out the miller-urea experiment, which showed that complex organic molecules could be synthesized from inorganic precursors. this experiment provided support for the idea that the chemical evolution of the early earth had led to the natural synthesis of chemical building blocks of life from inanimate inorganic molecules.. the is considered the father of prebiotic chemistry.

Eilhardt mitscherlich- january 7, 1794-august 26, 1863. Best remembered for his discovery of isomorphism (crystallography) in 1819.

Karl Friedrich mohr-

Karl Friedrich Mohr

november 4, 1806-september 28, 1879. he is known for his early statement of the principle of the conservation of energy. ammonium ion(ii) sulfate is named moor’s salt after him.

Henry Gwen Jeffrey Moseley-Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley

Henry G. J. Moseley in the Balliol-Trinity Laboratories, Oxford University (1910). november 23, 1887-august 10, 1915. he is known for proposing that the atom contains

in its nucleus a number of positive charges that is equal to its atomic number in the periodic table. he is also known for moseley’s law, an empirical law concerning the characteristic x-rays that are emitted by atoms. RIP

Paul muller- january 12, 1899-october 13, 1965. Discovered insecticidal qualities and the use of ddt in the control of vector diseases such as malaria and yellow fever.

robert nalbandyan- 1937-2002. Co-discoverer of photosynthetic protein plantacyanin and pioneer in the field of free radicals.

John Alexander reina newland- november 26, 1837-july 29, 1898. Worked on the development of the periodic table of the elements.

Julius nieuwland- february 14, 1878-june 11, 1936. he is known for contributions to acetylene research, the use of one type of synthetic rubber, which led to the invention of neoprene.

Joan oro- october 26, 1923-september 2, 2004. His research was important in understanding the origin of life.


Paracelsus- 1493/1494-september 24, 1541. the father of toxicology.

Rudolph Pariser- december 8, 1923-. a polymer chemist best known for the method of molecular orbital computation.

Robert parr- september 22, 1921-march 27, 2017. Developed a method of computing approximate molecular orbitals for pi electron systems.

Louis pasteur- Louis Pasteur

Photograph by Nadar
december 27, 1822-september 26, 1895. he is known for microbial fermentation and

pasteurization (the process that kills microbes in food and drink, such as milf, juice, and canned food).

Eugene-melchlor peligot- march 24, 1811-april 15, 1890. Isolated the first sample of uranium.

Roy plunkett- june 26, 1910-may 12, 1994. Discovered polytetrafluoroethylene.

Joseph priestley-

Ilya Prigogine- january 25, 1917-may 28, 2003. Known for his discovery that importation of energy into chemical systems could reverse the maximization of entropy rule imposed by the 2nd law of thermodynamics.

Joseph louis proust- september 26, 1754-july 5, 1826. Discovered the law of constant composition, stating that chemical compounds always combine in constant proportions.

Francois marie Raoul- may 10, 1830-april 1, 1901. he is known for raoult’s law, which states that the partial vapor pressure of each component of an ideal mixture of liquids is equal to the vapor pressure of the pure component multiplied by its mole fraction in the mixture.

Jeremias benjamin richter- march 10, 1762-april 14, 1807. Introduced the term stoichiometry.

Andres manuel del rio- november 10, 1764-march 23, 1849. Discovered compounds of vanadium.

Priestley by Ellen Sharples (1794)[1]march 24, 1733-february 6, 1804. Discovered oxygen, and he invented soda water.

Pierre jean robiquet- january 13, 1780-april 29, 1840. Identified amino acids, the first of them asparagine, and adopted industrial dyes with the identification of alizarin.

Ernest Rutherford- The Right Honourable

The Lord Rutherford of Nelson 


august 30, 1871-october 19, 1937. he proved that radioactive half-life involved the nuclear transmutation of one chemical element to another.

Frederick Sanger-Frederick Sanger


august 13, 1918-november 19, 2013. he worked on the structure of protein, especially insulin, and determined the base sequences of nucleic acids.

Carl Wilhelm scheele- Carl Wilhelm Scheele

Carl Scheele

december 9, 1742-may 21, 1786. Discover oxygen, and identified molybdenum, tungsten, barium, hydrogen, and chlorine. he also discover tartaric, oxalic, uric, lactic, and citric organic acids.

Christian friederich Schonbein- 18 October 1799 – 29 August 1868 was a German- Swiss chemist who is best known for inventing the fuel cell (1838)[1] at the same time as William Robert Grove, Robert Cumming and his discoveries
of guncotton[2] and ozone.[3]

Nevil vincent sidgwick- may 8, 1873-march 15, 1952. Theoretical chemist who made significant contributions to valency and chemical bonding. he demonstrated the existence and wide-ranging importance of the hydrogen bond.

Oktay Sinanoglu-
february 25, 1935-april 19, 2015. Internationally renowned turkish physical chemist and molecular biochemist. Using simple pictures, chemists could predict the ways in which complex chemical reactions would proceed, and solve complex problems in quantum chemistry.

Susan soloman- Susan Solomon

january 19, 1956-. the first to propose chlorofluorocarbon free radical reaction mechanism that is the cause of the antarctic ozone hole.

Alfred stock- july 16, 1876-august 12, 1946. did pioneering research on the hayrides of boron and silicon, coordination chemistry, mercury, and mercury poisoning.

Friedrich august kekule von stradonitz-september 7, 1829-july 13, 1896. he established the foundation for the structural theory in organic chemistry.

Louis Jacques thenard- may 4, 1777-june 21, 1857. he did important researches in ethers, sebacic acid, and bile. he discovered hydrogen peroxide.

Harold Clayton Urey- Harold Clayton Urey

Harold Urey

april 29, 1893-january 5, 1981. Did pioneering work in isotopes. he discovered deuterium.

Louis Nicolas vauquelin- may 16, 1763-november 14, 1829. Discovered beryllium and chromium.

Alessandro volta- Count

Alessandro Volta 

Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta

february 18, 1745-march 5, 1827. Developed the field of electrochemistry.

Friedich wohler-

july 31, 1800-september 23, 1882. he synthesized urea and the first to isolate several chemical elements.

William hyde wollaston- august 6, 1766-december 22, 1826. Discovered the elements palladium and rhodium. He also developed a way to process platinum ore into malleable ingots.

Robert woodward- Robert Burns Woodward

april 10, 1917-july 8, 1979. he made many key contributions, especially the synthesis of complex natural products to determine their molecular structure. he also did theoretical studies of chemical reactions. he synthesized quinine, cholesterol, cortisone, strychnine, lysergic acid, reserpine, chlorophyll, vitamin B12, cephalosporin, and colchicine.

Ahmed zewall- february 26, 1946-august 6, 2016. father of femtochemistry, the study of chemical reactions in extremely short timescales (10^-15 seconds).

Chemistry is a study of reactions between chemicals and substances that most people experience in their everyday life. All of our medicines and household products are the result of a history of chemical studies and discoveries. Below is a list of some of the most important chemists of all time organized by the significance of their contributions to this field.


Marie Curie (1867–1934) 

Famous For: Discovery of Radium and Polonium 

Marie Curie received the Nobel Prize

in Chemistry in 1911 for her discovery of radium and polonium.

She was able to isolate and study the compounds and nature of




Louis Pasteur (1822–1895) 

Famous For: The process of Pasteurization and creation of 

Vaccines for Rabies and Anthrax 

In addition to developing the process of Pasteurization, Louis Pasteur

discovered the assymetrical molecular structure on certain

crytals. He made some of the earliest vaccines for rabies and

anthrax, and the reduction of a bacterial infection in what is known

as puerperal fever.



John Dalton (1766–1844) 

Famous For: Identification and presenting the atomic theory 

Recognized for his work on the

atomic theory and research on color blindness. He successfully identified

chemical compounds and reactions affected by interaction of atoms

with one another.



George Washington Carver (1864– 


Famous For: Promoting alternative crops to cotton, such as peanuts, 

soybeans, sweet potatoes 

George Washington Carver found

different crops to use instead of cotton. He used peanuts, soybeans,

sweet potatoes to keep the land productive. His intention was to

keep the poor farmers healthy and productive.



Michael Faraday (1791–1867) 

Famous For: His contributions in electrochemistry and 


Faraday’s extensive work in the field of Chemistry includes the study

chloring and carbon, both of which he discovered. In addition he made

the earliest type of what we know today as the Bunsen burner. He was

the first to identify would known as nanoparticles in mettalic form.



Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) 

Famous For: Inventing the dynamite As the inventor of the dynamite,

Alfred Nobel is seen as a chemist,

innovator, engineer, and arms manufacturer. One of his earliest

inventions include the gas meter. At one time, he held nearly 350 patents

on various items.



Rosalind Franklin (1920–1958) 

Famous For: Discovery of the DNA structure in genetics 

Rosalind Elsie Franklin and her

contributions to science involve the study of the structures of coal,

graphite, DNA, RNA, and viruses in understing their molecular




Antoine Lavoisier (1743–1794) 

Famous For: Being the “Father of Modern Chemistry” 

Lavoisier was able to show the

relationship between oxygen and metal, resulting in rust. He also was

able to show the role of oxygen in plant respiration and in animals. It

was he who showed that water was made of hydrogen and oxygen, and

that air was composed mainly of oxygen and nitrogen in its gaseous




Robert Boyle (1627–1691) 

Famous For: Being the first “Modern Chemist” 

Boyle was the one of the earliest men to apply the scientific method

in chemistry and physics. His book, The Sceptical Chymyst, is considered

a foundational source of literature on the field of chemistry.



Linus Pauling (1901–1994) 

Famous For: His work in molecular biology and quantum chemistry 

A recipient of the Nobel Prize in the field of chemistry in 1954. His work

in the field of chemistry is chronicled in his book The Nature of 

the Chemical Bond is believed as one of the most foundational books

on chemistry.



Dmitri Mendeleev (1834–1907) 

Famous For: Creating the table of elements used in chemistry and 


In addition to the creation of the periodic table, Mendeleev work on

the spectroscope and the capillarity of liquids, both of which continue to

be used to this day. Politics got in the way of Dmitri from receiving the

Nobel Prize in 1906.



Joseph Priestley (1733–1804) 

Famous For: Inventing soda water As a chemist, Joesph Priestly has

been credited with the discovery of

oxygen. He shares that distinction with Lavoisier and Scheele. More

importantly, we have Priestly to thank for “soda water”, which he




Mario Molina (1943) 

Famous For: Discovered the ozone hole in the Antarctic 

As one of three recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995,

Molina co-discovered the harm that chlorofluorocarbons had on the

ozone layer.



Humphry Davy (1778–1829) 

Famous For: The discovery for earth based alkaline metals and alkali 

Humphrey Davy’s contribution can be summarized in his discoveries on

the nature of chlorine and iodine in its natural state. In addition, people

remember for his identifying earth based alkaline metals and alkali




Fritz Haber (1868-1934) 

Famous For: Being the “Father of Chemical Warfare” and synthesizing 

ammonia used in fertilizers and explosives 

Recipient of the Nobel Prize in 1918,

Haber was responsible for the development of the synthesizing

process of ammonia. He has been referred to at times as the “Father

or Chemical Warfare” in which he developed chlorine and poisonous

gases during the Great War, WW I.



Otto Hahn (1879–1968) 

Famous For: Being the “Father of Nuclear Chemistry” 

Hahn was one of the earliest men to

work in the field of radiochemistry and radioactivity. During one of his

experiments, he founded what is known as “Applied Radiochemistry”

which eventually led to nuclear chemistry.



Svante Arrhenius (1859-1927) 

Famous For: Theory of the Greenhouse Effect and founder on 

the science of Physical Chemistry 

Arrhenius advanced the theory to help explain the “ice age” which

resulted in what is known as the “greenhouse effect.” He also

provided the Arrhenius equation which is a formula to calculate

reaction rates when the temperature is raised on certain




Ahmed Zewail (1946) 

Famous For: Being the “Father of Femtochemistry” 

Zewali was the first to delve into

the field of “femtochemistry”, which is studying chemical reactions

measured in femtoseconds (10 to -15 of a second). He received a Nobel

Prize in 1995 for his advancement of the field of femtochemistry.



Frederick Sanger (1918) 

Famous For: Successful determination of base sequences in 

nucleic acids 

The research work undertaken by Frederick Sanger involved his

successful sequencing of DNA, insulin, and RNA. He was awarded

the Nobel Prize two times, both for his work in chemistry, in 1958 and in

1980. He was able to establish a baseline in “the determination of

base sequences in nuclein acids.”



Stanislao Cannizzaro (1826-1910) 

Famous For: The Cannizzaro reaction 

Cannizzaro worked extensively on

organic chemistry in addition to his explanation which on how certain

chemical reactions take place certain elements lact the hydrogen

atom. This is named aptly as the Cannizaro reaction.



Thomas Graham (1805-1869) 

Famous For: His work on the diffusion of gases and the application of dialysis. 

The discovery of Graham on the use of dialysis has its roots on his study of colloids. He was able to separate crystalloids from colloids using a dialyzer.

His work on the diffusion of gases has become to be known as Graham’s law.


The Most Influential Geologists of All Time 

by Brooks Mitchell 

Updated March 17, 2017 

While people have studied the Earth since the Middle Ages and beyond, geology did not make significant advancements until the 18th century when the scientific community began to look beyond religion for answers to their questions.
Today there are plenty of impressive geologists making important discoveries all the time. Without the geologists in this list, however, they might still be looking for answers between the pages of a Bible.



of 08 

James Hutton 

James Hutton (1726–1797) is considered by many to be the father of modern geology. Hutton was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and studied medicine and chemistry throughout Europe before becoming a farmer in the early 1750s. In his capacity as a farmer, he constantly observed the land around him and how it reacted to the erosional forces of wind and water.

Among his numerous groundbreaking achievements, James Hutton first developed the idea of uniformitarianism, which was popularized by Charles Lyell years later. He also dismantled the universally accepted view that the Earth was just a few thousand years old. More »


of 08 

Charles Lyell 

Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was a lawyer and geologist who grew up in Scotland and England. Lyell was a revolutionary in his time for his radical ideas regarding the Earth’s age.
Lyell wrote Principles of Geology, his first and most famous book, in 1829. It was published in three versions from 1930-1933. Lyell was a proponent of James Hutton’s idea of uniformitarianism, and his work expanded upon those concepts. This stood in contrast to the then-popular theory of catastrophism.
Charles Lyell’s ideas greatly influenced the development
of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. But, because of his Christian beliefs, Lyell was slow to think of evolution as anything more than a possibility. More »


of 08 

Mary Horner Lyell 

While Charles Lyell is widely known, not many people realize that his wife, Mary Horner Lyell (1808-1873), was a great geologist and conchologist. Historians think that Mary Horner made significant contributions towards her husband’s work but was never given the credit that she deserved.

Mary Horner Lyell was born and raised in England and introduced to geology at a young age. Her father was a geology professor, and he ensured that each of his children received a top-notch education. Mary Horner’s sister, Katherine, pursued a career in botany and married another Lyell – Charles’ younger brother, Henry. More »


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Alfred Wegener 

Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), a German meteorologist and geophysicist, is best remembered as the originator of the theory of continental drift. He was born in Berlin, where he excelled as a student in physics, meteorology and astronomy (the latter of which he earned his Ph.D in).

Wegener was a notable polar explorer and meteorologist, pioneering the use of weather balloons in tracking air circulation. But his biggest contribution to modern science, by far, was introducing the theory of continental drift in 1915. Initially, the theory was widely criticized before being verified by the discovery of mid-ocean ridges in the 1950s. It helped spawn the theory of plate tectonics.

Days after his 50th birthday, Wegener died of a heart attack on a Greenland expedition. More »


of 08 

Inge Lehmann 

A Danish seismologist, Inge Lehmann (1888-1993), discovered the core of the Earth and was a leading authority on the upper mantle. She grew up in Copenhagen and attended a high school that provided equal educational opportunities for males and females – a progressive idea at the time. She later studied and obtained degrees in mathematics and science and was named the state geodesist and head of the department of seismology at the Geodetical Institute of Denmark in 1928.
Lehmann began studying how seismic waves behaved as they moved through the interior of the Earth and, in 1936, published a paper based on her findings. Her paper proposed a three-shelled model of the Earth’s interior, with an inner


core, outer core and mantle. Her idea was later verified in 1970 with advances in seismography. She received the Bowie Medal, the top honor of the American Geophysical Union, in 1971.


of 08 

Georges Cuvier 

Georges Cuvier (1769-1832), regarded as the father of paleontology, was a prominent French naturalist and zoologist. He was born in Montbéliard, France and attended school at the Carolinian Academy in Stuttgart, Germany. Upon graduation, Cuvier took a position as a tutor for a noble family in Normandy. This allowed him to stay out of the ongoing French Revolution while beginning his studies as a naturalist.

At the time, most naturalists thought that an animal’s structure dictated where it lived. Cuvier was the first to claim that it was the other way around.
Like many other scientists from this time, Cuvier was a believer in catastrophism and a vocal opponent of the theory of evolution. More »


Louis Agassiz (1807-1873) was a Swiss-American biologist and geologist that made monumental discoveries in the fields of

natural history. He is considered by many to be the father of glaciology for being the first to propose the concept of ice ages.
Agassiz was born in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and attended universities in his home country and in Germany. He studied under Georges Cuvier, who influenced him and launched his career in zoology and geology. Agassiz would spend much of his career promoting and defending Cuvier’s work on geology and the classification of animals. Enigmatically, Agassiz was a staunch creationist and opponent of Darwin’s theory of evolution. His reputation is often scrutinized for this. More »


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Other Influential Geologists 

Florence Bascom (1862-1945): American geologist and first female hired by the USGS; expert in petrography and mineralogy who focused on the crystalline rocks of the United States Piedmont.

Marie Tharp (1920-2006): American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who discovered mid-ocean ridges.
John Tuzo Wilson (1908-1993): Canadian geologist and geophysicist that proposed the theory of hotspots and discovered transform boundaries.

Friedrich Mohs (1773-1839): German geologist and mineralogist that developed the qualitative Mohs scale of mineral hardness in 1812.
Charles Francis Richter (1900-1985): American seismologist and physicist that developed the Richter

magnitude scale, the way that earthquakes were quantitatively measured from 1935-1979.
Eugene Merle Shoemaker (1928-1997): American geologist and founder of astrogeology; co-discovered Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 with his wife Carolyn Shoemaker astronomer David Levy.


John Couch Adams-

John Couch Adams

June 5, 1819-January 21, 1892. Predicted the existence and position of Neptune, using only mathematics, and his calculations were made to explain the discrepancies with Uranus’s orbit and the laws of Kepler and Newton.

Anders Jonas Angstrom- Anders Jonas Ångström

August 13, 1814-June 21, 1874. One of the developers of spectroscopy.

Aristarchus- C. 310-C. 230BC. The first known person who placed the sun at the center of the known universe with the earth revolving around it, and was also the first to predict the rotation of the earth on its axis.

Halton Arp- March 21, 1927-December 28, 2013. He is known for his 1966 atlas of peculiar galaxies which catalogues many examples of interacting and merging galaxies. He was a critic of the Big Bang theory and advocated a non- standard cosmology incorporating intrinsic redshift.

Aryabhata- 476-550 CE. He is known for explaining the lunar eclipse and solar eclipse, the rotation of the earth on its axis, reflection of light by the moon, and he measured the circumference of the earth to 99.8% accuracy.

Hans Bethe- Hans Bethe

July 2, 1906-March 6, 2005. Won the 1967 Nobel prize for his work on
nucleosynthesis, and did work on supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes. He did the calculations to detect the gravitational waves from merging neutron stars and black holes using the LIGO (laser interferometer gravitational-wave observatory).

Bhaskara 2- 1114-1185. Measured the length of time for the earth to go around the sun, and he was accurate by a difference of just 3.5 minutes.

Walter Baade-

March 24, 1893-June 25, 1960. He discovered 944 Hidalgo, the first of a class of minor planets (Centaurs) which cross the orbits of the giant planets. He made the distinction between population 1 and population2 stars, he discovered 2 types of cepheid variable stars

which he used to recalculate the size of the universe and doubled the size Hubble came up with in 1929. He identified supernovas as a new category of astronomical objects and proposed a new class of stars that result from supernovas. He discovered an optical counterpart of

radio sources, including Cygnus A. He discovered the Apollo class of asteroids,

which orbit closer than Mercury’s orbital distance.

Jocelyn Bell-
Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

born July 15, 1943-. Astrophysicist who discovered the first radio pulsar in July 1967.

Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel- Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel

C. A. Jensen, Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel, 1839 (Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek July 22, 1784-March 17, 1846. He was the first to determine the distance to another star using the parallax method. Johann Ebert Bode- January 19, 1747-November 23, !826. Astronomer who predicted the orbit of Uranus and reformulated and popularized the Titius- Bode law, which predicts pretty well the orbital distances of the planets. Bart Bok- April 28, 1906-August 5, 1983. Discoverer of Bok globules, small densely dark clouds of interstellar gas and dust, and it is suggested that it is here where stars contract before forming.

Thomas Bopp- Thomas Bopp

October 15, 1949-january 5, 1918. Co-discoverer of Comet Hale-Bopp with Alan Hale in 1995.

Tycho Brahe- Tycho Ottesen Brahe

December 14, 1564-October 24, 1601. He made comprehensive and accurate observations as an astronomer, especially of the planets. Johannes around the sun, but incorrectly the sun going around the earth. Supernova 1572 (SN1572) was named after him as Tycho’s Star.

Brahmagupta- C. 598-after 665. Explained that the moon was closer to us than the sun, developed methods for calculating the position of

heavenly bodies over time, and calculating lunar and solar eclipses.

Michael Brown- Mike Brown

June 5, 1965-. Discovered many trans-Neptunian objects, notably the dwarf planet Elis.

William Brook- June 11, 1844-May 3, 1921. The most prolific comet discoverer of all time.

Geoffrey Burbridge- September 24, 1925- January 26, 2010. Described the process of stars burning lighter elements into successively heavier atoms which are then expelled Ito form other structures in the universe, including other stars and planets. He also proposed the quasi- steady state theory where the universe is oscillatory and expands and contracts periodically over infinite time

Margaret Burbridge- Margaret Burbidge

August 12, 1919-. She hypothesized with husband Geoffrey, William Fowler, and Fred Hoyle that all elements are made in stars by nuclear reactions (stellar nucleosynthesis). Also she was the first person to measure the rotation curves of galaxies and one of the pioneers in the study of quasars.

Robert Burnham Jr.-

June 16, 1931-March 20, 1993. Best known for writing an excellent classic 3 volume Burnham’s Celestial Handbook. Robert Burnham Jr.

Robert Burnham Jr. 
Born  June 16, 1931

Chicago, Illinois

Died  March 20, 1993 (aged 61)
Resting place  Fort Rosecrans National



Nationality  American
Known for  Burnham’s Celestial Handbook 


Scientific career 
Fields  Astronomy


Institutions  Lowell Observatory


Robert Burnham Jr. (June 16, 1931 – March 20, 1993) was an American astronomer, best known for writing the classic three-volume Burnham’s Celestial Handbook.[1][2] He is the discoverer of numerous asteroids including the asteroid/minor planet 3397 Leyla, as well as six comets. Burnham’s late years were tragic; he died destitute and alone. However, he is remembered by a generation of deep sky observers for his unique contribution to astronomy, the Celestial Handbook. The main-belt asteroid 3467 Bernheim was named in his honor.[3]

Early life and career

Named Asteroids discovered: 1 [4]


3397 Leyla[1]


December 8, 1964
1 1 with Norman G. Thomas


Comets discovered: 6 


C/1957 U1 (Latyshev-Wild-Burnham)[1]


October 18, 1957
C/1958 D1 (Burnham 1958a)[2]




January 27, 1959
1 1 with Latyshev

  • 2  2 with Paul Wild
  • 3  3 with Charles D. Slaughter


Burnham was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1931, the son of Robert Sr. and Lydia. His family moved to Prescott, Arizona, in 1940, and he graduated from high school there in 1949. That was the culmination of his formal education. Always a shy person, he had few friends, never married, and spent most of his time observing with his home-built telescope.[2]

In the fall of 1957 he received considerable local publicity when he discovered his first comet. This led to his being hired by Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona, in 1958 to work on a survey of stellar proper motion using a blink comparator. While Burnham was working at Lowell, he and his co-worker, Norman G. Thomas, discovered five more comets (including 56P/Slaughter-Burnham), and in excess of 1500 asteroids.[2]

Burnham’s Celestial Handbook 

In addition to his regular duties at the observatory, Burnham spent almost all of his free time working on the Celestial Handbook. His writing and his book were never officially supported by Lowell Observatory.
Subtitled “An Observer’s Guide to the Universe Beyond the Solar System,” the Celestial Handbook combines a lengthy introduction to astronomy with catalog information for every constellation in the sky. Thousands of stars and deep sky objects visible in small telescopes are covered in meticulous detail.[2][5]

Originally self-published in a loose-leaf serial format beginning in 1966, and with a revised edition by Dover Publications in 1978, the Celestial Handbook was well reviewed in amateur astronomy magazines and became a best seller in this specialized field. It is still in-print and is considered to be a classic in the literature of amateur astronomy.[2]

Due to the popularity of Celestial Handbook, Tony Ortega writing in the Phoenix New Times in 1997 described Burnham as an author “whose name has become so familiar to some readers it has become a sort of shorthand, like Audubon to birders, Hoyle to card players, Webster to poor spellers, Robert to parliamentarians.”[2] Ortega then described the book series as:

…a sort of real-life hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy, a compendium with something to say about nearly every cosmic destination worth visiting. Part travel guide, part history text, part encyclopedia, it’s like a handheld natural history museum of the universe. And for decades it’s held a grip on the imaginations of most people who ply the night skies with telescopes, people who yearn to travel in space and know that they can, any dark and clear night. Reading Burnham’s massive, three-volume work is like reading

the notes of an adventurer who has spent a lifetime studying the treasures of a lost civilization: Its 2,138 pages are loaded with tables of data, technical passages and illustrations interspersed with historical arcana and ancient poetry. And all of it is meant as an incentive for the reader to recover those treasures by merely looking upward. It is rarely compared to other books because there simply is none other like it. No other popular work approaches its utility and completeness; few other scientific texts contain its sense of wonder and even spirituality.[2]

Life after Lowell

Lowell Observatory

In April 1979, the year after Celestial Handbook was published by Dover, Burnham received notice that the proper motion survey would soon be completed and that the observatory could not afford to keep him on in the position he had long held. Despite months of warning, he failed to make other arrangements and, after twenty-one years at Lowell, his job ended in December of that year. Unwilling to take the only position that was offered to him, that of janitor at the observatory, he left.[2]

Burnham was never able to recover personally, professionally, or financially after he lost the job at Lowell. Over the next few years, while sales of the Celestial Handbook were rapidly growing, Burnham’s personal circumstances were steadily worsening. His shyness increased and he shunned all publicity, becoming even more reclusive. He bickered often with Dover about royalties and about the creation of possible new editions or translations of his book.[2] He also worked sporadically on a fantasy novel – which he never completed.[5]

Writing for the Frosty Drew Observatory in 2000, Doug Stewart said:


Had Burnham been a more astute businessman he might easily have parlayed his justifiable fame into a comfortable income. He would have been in great demand on the speakers’ circuit, and could have held a top post in any planetarium in the country. He was actually quite a skilled speaker before such groups, a skill honed in over twenty years of observatory tours at Lowell. But this was not Robert Burnham, Jr. He continued to shy away from publicity, at the same time that he sought recognition for his work. His small income became less and less reliable, even while Dover’s success with his guide increased (it was, and remains, a featured offering of the Astronomy Book Club).[5]

As his situation worsened, Burnham, who was never married,[5] become bitter and depressed, and isolated himself from his few friends and family. He had lived for a time in Phoenix, Arizona, but in May 1986 he left Phoenix and dropped out of sight completely, informing no one but his publisher of his whereabouts. Despite being the author of a successful book, Burnham spent the last years of his life in poverty and obscurity[5] in San Diego, California, selling his paintings of cats at Balboa Park. The fans of Celestial Handbook were likely unaware of his personal circumstances; possibly assuming that a different and unrelated Robert Burnham, an editor at Astronomy magazine, was the author.[2][6]

Naming of 3467 Bernheim

Norm Thomas, Burnham’s former co-worker at Lowell Observatory, had told Burnham that he planned to name an asteroid after him. On September 26, 1981, Thomas discovered a main belt asteroid,[7] but since asteroid 834 Burnhamia, named after the unrelated 19th century astronomer Sherburne Wesley Burnham, already carried the name, a different spelling was needed. Thomas chose the spelling Bernheim, for the Burnham family’s ancestral Bohemian surname.[7] Thus the asteroid named to honor Robert Burnham Jr. was named 3467 Bernheim.[8][9]

Death and posthumous “interview”

Burnham died destitute and alone at the age of sixty-one in 1993. His family did not learn about his death (apparently by his choice) until two years later, and didn’t report it to the press even then because they were unaware of his stature in the amateur astronomy community.[2]

After his death, it was realized that he had often attended programs presented by the San Diego Astronomy Association (at the Ruben H. Fleet Space Theater in Balboa Park) without anyone recognizing him.[citation needed] In spite of the tragedy of his later years, Burnham continues to be remembered by a generation of deep sky observers for his unique Celestial Handbook. His cremated remains are interred at the Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego, California.[2]
In 2009 a memorial consisting of a small bronze plaque resembling a page in Burnham’s Celestial Handbook was installed on the Pluto Walk at Lowell Observatory.[10]
Burnham rarely gave interviews, but at the height of the popularity of Handbook in 1982, he wrote a piece where he playfully interviewed himself for the magazine Astronomy. A much longer version of this essay, An Interview with the author of The Celestial Handbook, dated April 1983, was discovered among Burnham’s papers and it was first published in its entirety by The Village Voice in June 2011, 18 years after his death.[11] It was introduced as follows:
If Burnham’s life ended in an unfortunate fashion, in the following essay you will meet the man at his most beguiling, a largely self-taught polymath who could be both playful and cantankerous. Nearly three decades since he put these words down, his ideas about progress, science and religion, and man’s future in space still seem fresh. We hope you find his words illuminating.

— Tony Ortega, Editor, The Village Voice[11][12]

Annie Jump Cannon- Annie Jump Cannon

December 11, 1863-April 13, 1941. She developed a stellar classification system according to the temperatures and spectral types of the stars.

Giovanni Cassini- June 8, 1625-September 14, 1712. He discovered 4 moons of the planet Saturn, and he noted the division in the rings of Saturn, called the Cassini Division.

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar- Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

October 19, 1910-August 21, 1995. Known for the Chandrasekhar limit, where a white dwarf’s mass can not exceed 1.44 times the sun’s mass.

Nicolaus Copernicus- Nicolaus Copernicus

The “Torun portrait” (anonymous, c. 1580), kept

February 19, 1473-May 23, 1543. Formulated a model of the universe where the sun, rather than the earth, was the center of the universe.

John Dobson- John Dobson

September 14, 1915-January 1, 2014. Best known for the Dobsonian
telescope, and his efforts to promote awareness in astronomy and his unorthodox views in physical cosmology.

Christian Doppler- November 29, 1803-March 17, 1853. Best known for an influential principle called the Doppler effect, where if a stellar body is moving away from earth, there is a red shift in the spectrum of the object, and if moving towards us, there is a blue shift. This principle has been used to support the Big Bang theory.

Frank Drake-

May 28, 1930-. He is one of the pioneers in the search for extraterrestrial life, including founding SETI, with the first observational attempts to detect extraterrestrial communications in 1960 in Project Ozma. He also is the creator of the Drake equation, which estimates the probable likelihood

of extraterrestrial civilizations, and he is the creator of the Arecibo Message with a description of earth astronomically and biologically and its lifeforms that were transmitted to a globular star cluster.

Henry Draper- March 7, 1837-November 20, 1882. Pioneer in astrophotography.
Ron Drever- October 26, 1931-March 7, 2017. He was instrumental in the first detection of gravitational waves in September 2015. Arthur Eddington- Sir Arthur Eddington

Arthur Stanley Eddington


December 28, 1862-November 22, 1944. Popularizer of Einstein’s general theory of relativity.

Albert Einstein- March 14, 1879-April 18,1955. He applied general relativity to model the large scale structure of the universe. He is known for

the cosmological constant, which was added to the general theory of relativity to hold back gravity to achieve a static universe, which was the accepted view at the time.

George Ellis- August 11, 1939-. he worked for many decades on anisotropic cosmologies and inhomogeneous universes.

Johann Encke- September 23, 1791-August 26, 1865. German astronomer who worked on calculations of the periods of comets and asteroids, measured the distance from the Earth to the sun, and made observations on the planet Saturn.

Eratosthenes- c. 276BC-c. 195/194 BC. First person known to calculate the circumference of the earth, the tilt of the earth’s axis, and the distance to the sun.

Sandra Faber-

Sandra M. Faber

Sandra Faber accepting the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama December 28, 1944-. She made important discoveries linking the brightness of galaxies to the speed of the stars in them.

John Flamsteed- August 19, 1646-December 31, 1719. He catalogued over 3,000 stars. He accurately calculated the solar eclipses of 1666 and 1668. He also is responsible for several of the earliest recorded sightings of the planet Uranus which he mistook for a star and catalogued as the star 34 Tauri. In 1681, he proposed that the 2 great comets were the same comet, first traveling towards the sun and later away from it.

Joseph von Fraunhofer- March 6, 1787-June 7, 1826. Known for the discovery of dark absorption lines known as Fraunhofer lines in the sun’s spectrum.

Alexander Friedmann- Alexander Friedmann

Alexander Friedmann

June 18, 1888-September 16, 1925. He is best known for his pioneering theory that the universe was expanding, governed by a set of equations he developed now known as the Friedmann equations.

R. Jay GaBany- September 17, 1954-. Astrophotographer and produced long exposures images of ancient galactic merger remnants

around nearby galaxies which were previously undetected or suspected.

Galileo Galilei- February 15, 1564-January 8, 1642. He used the newly invented telescope to confirm the phases Venus goes through, discover the 4 major moons of the planet Jupiter, and observed and analyzed sunspots. He championed the Copernican heliocentric view of the universe which said that the earth moves around the sun.

Johann Gottfried Galle- Johann Gottfried Galle

Johann Gottfried Galle

June 9, 1812-July 10, 1910. He was the first person to view the Planet Neptune and know what he was looking at. Urban Le Verrier had predicted its existence and position and sent its coordinates to Galle, and Galle found it the same night within 1 degree of the predicted position. This was a remarkable event was one of the most remarkable events in 19th-century science and a dramatic validation of celestial mechanics.

George Gamow-
March 4, 1904-August 19, 1968. Said that the present levels of hydrogen and helium in the universe, which make up over 99% of all matter, could be explained by reactions that occurred during the Big Bang. He also made an estimate of the residual cosmic microwave background radiation, predicting that the afterglow of the Big Bang would have cooled after billions of years, filling thee universe with a radiation about 5 degrees above absolute zero.

Carl Friedrich Gauss- April 30, 1777-February 23, 1855. Calculated the orbit of the asteroid Ceres in 1801.

Margaret Geller- Margaret J. Geller

December 8, 1947-. Did pioneering work in mapping the nearby universe, studies of the relationship between galaxies and their environment, and the development and application of methods for measuring the distribution of matter in the universe.

Thomas Gold- May 22,1920-June 22, 2004. He was one of the 3 scientists to propose the now abandoned steady star theory hypothesis of the universe.

Brian Greene- February 9, 1963. Working on string cosmology, especially the imprints of trans Planckian physics on the cosmic microwave


background, and brane-gas cosmologies that could explain why space around us has 3 large dimensions, expanding on the suggestion of a black hole electron, that the electron may be a black hole.

Jesse Greenstein-
October 15, 1909-October 21, 2002. He did important work in determining the abundances of the elements in stars, and was among the first to

recognize that quasars are compact, very distant sources as bright as galaxies.

Allen Guth-

Alan Harvey Guth

Alan Guth at Trinity College, Cambridge, 2007 February 27, 1947-. He did pioneering work in cosmic inflation in the just born universe when it passed through a phase of expansion driven by positive vacuum energy density (negative vacuum pressure).

Alan Hale-.

March 7, 1958-. Co-discoverer of Comet Hale- Bopp along with amateur astronomer Thomas Bopp.
George Ellery Hale-. June 29, 1968-February 21, 1938. Solar astronomer best known for discovery of magnetic fields in sunspots.
Asaph Hall- October 15, 1829-November 22, 1907. Discovered the 2 moons of Mars, Deimos and Phobos in 1877. He determined the orbits of other planet satellites and of double stars, the rotation of Saturn, and the mass of Mars.

Edmund Halley- November 29, 1656-January 1, 1742. Computed the orbit of Halley’s Comet. William Hartmann- June 6, 1939-. The first to convince the scientific mainstream that the earth had once been hit by a planet sized body (The) creating both the moon and the earth’s 23.5 degree tilt.
Stephen Hawking-

January 8, 1942-march 2018. He has worked on gravitational relativity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, called Hawking radiation. He was the first to set out a theory of the theory of cosmology explained by the union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vigorous supporter of the many interpretation of quantum mechanics.

John Herschel- March 7, 1792-May 11, 1971. He named 7 moons of Saturn and 4 of Uranus.

William Herschel- November 15, 1738-August 25, 1822. He discovered the planet Uranus and catalogued 5,000 stellar objects.

Caroline Herschel- March 16, 1750-January 9, 1848. She discovered several comets, and worked with her brother William Herschel as an astronomer.

Ejnar Hertzsprung-

October 8, 1873-October 21, 1967. Known for the creation of the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram, a classification system for stars that divides them by spectral type, the stage of their development, and their luminosity.

Anthony Hewish-
May 11, 1924-. Discovered pulsars and received the Nobel prize of 1974 for this.
Jacqueline Hewitt- September 4, 1958-. American astrophysicist and first person to

discover Einstein rings, a deformation of the light from a source, such as a galaxy or star, into a ring through gravitational lensing of the source’s light by an object of extremely high mass , such as a galaxy or a black hole.

Hipparchus- c.190-c.120 BC. He developed a reliable method to predict solar eclipses, discovered and measured the procession of the earth, and compiled the first comprehensive star catalogue.

Fred Hoyle- Sir Fred Hoyle

June 24, 1915-August 20,2001. Coined the term ‘Big Bang’, a theory he rejected. He was noted primarily for the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis

Edwin Hubble-

Edwin Hubble

November 20, 1889-September 28, 1953. He is regarded as the most important astronomer of all time. He established Hubble’s Law, which says that that the universe is expanding because as stellar objects get farther and farther away from us, they increase more and more in velocity away. He also said that clouds of gas and dust called nebulas are really galaxies like our own beyond our galaxy.

John Huchra- December 23, 1948-October 8, 2010. Announced that based on the brightness and rotational speed of certain spiral galaxies that the universe was 9 billion years old, half the age most astronomers previously thought. He also co- discoverd the Great Wall, a structure measuring 600 million light years in length and 250 million light years in width. It is the second largest known structure in the universe.

Milton Humason-
August 19, 1891-June 18, 1972. He helped Edwin Hubble establish Hubble’s Law. Human was once a mule driver who delivered supplies to Wilson Observatory. He discovered comet Human (C/ 1961R1), which has a very large perihelion distance. He missed discovering Pluto 14 years before Clyde Tombaugh discovered it.

Christian Huygens- April 14, 1629-July 8, 1695. He provided an explanation of Saturn’s rings.

Kaoru Ikeya-

1943-. Discoverer of a number of comets, including the

bright comet C/ 1965 S1 (Ikeya-Seki).

Karl Jansky- October 22, 1905-February 14, 1950. Founding figure in radio astronomy. In August of 1931, he first discovered radio waves from the Milky Way galaxy.

Lisa Kaltenegger-
March 4, 1977-. Austrian astronomer with expertise in the modeling and characterization of exoplanets and the search for life.

Jacobus Kapteyn- January 19, 1851-June 18, 1922. Discoverer of galactic rotation.

Johannes Kepler- December 27, 1571- November 15, 1630. He worked with the Danish

astronomer Tycho Brahe and later used his observational results to formulate this 3 laws of planetary motion. He paved the way for Isaac Newton to formulate the universal law of gravitation.

Daniel Kirkwood- September 27, 1814-June 11, 1895. Known for Kirkwood gaps, which are gaps in the orbits of the main belt asteroids, that correspond to the locations of orbital resonances with Jupiter.

Lubos Kohoutek-

January 29, 1935-. Discoverer of minor planets and comets, including Comet Kohoutek, which was visible to the naked eye in 1973.

Chryssa Kouveliotou-

Chryssa Kouveliotou

Chryssa Kouveliotou is a Greek astrophysicist who studied in the Has worked on magnetars.

Gerard Kuiper- December 7, 1905-December 23, 1973. Considered by many the father of modern planetary science. Discovered the Kuiper belt, a circumstellar disk in the solar system beyond the known planets from 30-50 astronomical units from the sun. It consists mainly of asteroids, or remnants of the solar system’s formation.

Leonid Kulik- August 19, 1883-April 14, 1942. Noted for his research into meteorites. He discovered the Tunguska blast site.

Joseph-Louis Lagrange- January 25, 1736-April 10, 1813. Known for the Lagrangian points, the positions in an orbital configuration of 2 large bodies where a small object affected only by gravity can maintain a stable position relative to the 2 large bodies.

Pierre-Simon Laplace- March 23, 1749-March 5, 1827. He restated and developed Immanual Kant’s earlier idea of the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system and was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the idea of gravitational collapse.

William Lassell- June 18, 1799-October 8, 1880. In 1846, discovered Neptune’s largest moon Triton. In 1848, independently co-discovered Saturn’s moon Hyperion. Then in 1851, discovered Ariel and Umbriel, moons of Uranus.

Henrietta Swan Leavitt-
July 4, 1868-December 12, 1921. American astronomer who discovered the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars. This led to the ability to measure how far away distant galaxies are.

George Lemaitre-
July 17, 1894-June 20, 1966. He proposed the theory of the expansion of the universe and also what became known as the Big Bang theory of

the origin of the universe. He also formulated what is now known as Hubble’s Law in 1927, 2 years before Hubble did.

Urbain Le Verrier- Urbain Le Verrier

March 11, 1811-September 23, 1877. French mathematician who specialized in celestial mechanics and using mathematics predicted the existence and orbit of the planet Neptune.

David Levy- May 22, 1948. Discoverer of comets and minor planet, and co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9 in 1993, which collided with the planet Jupiter in July 1994.

Percival Lowell-

March 13, 1856-November 12, 1916. Made telescopic observations of the planet Mars and fueled speculation that there were canals there. He founded Lowell Observatory which led to the discovery of Pluto 14 years after his death.

Geoffrey Marcy-

September 29, 1954-. He is one of the pioneers in the discovery and characterization of planets around stars other than the sun.

John Mather-

August 7, 1946-. Cosmologist and Nobel prize winner for his work on the

COBE (cosmic background explorer satellite) which confirmed electromagnetic radiation leftover from an early stage of the universe in the Big Bang cosmology.

Charles Messier- June 26, 1730-April 12, 1817. He is known for an astronomical catalogue of nebular and star clusters (110 Messier objects).

Rudolph Minkowski-

Rudolph Minkowski

May 28, 1895-January 4, 1976. He studied supernovas and divided them into type 1 and type 2 supernovas.

Maria Mitchell- Maria Mitchell

Maria Mitchell, painting by H. Dasell, 1851 August 1, 1818-June 28, 1889. Discovered a comet in 1847. She was the first professional American astronomer.

Antonin Mrkos- January, 27, 1918-May 29, 1996. Discoverer of several unusual comets, the most famous of them the bright comet of 1957d.

Isaac Newton- December 25, 1642-March 20, 1727. Using Kepler’s 3 laws of planetary motion and his law of universal gravitation, he used these to account for the trajectories of comets, procession of the equinoxes, and other phenomena. He removed all doubt about the heliocentric model of the solar system and demonstrated that the motion of celestial bodies could be accounted for by Kepler’s laws and his law of gravitation. He also predicted that the earth was shaped like an oblate spheroid.

Heinrich Olbers- October 11, 1758-March 2, 1840. Discovered the asteroids Pallas and Vesta, and came up with Olber’s Paradox, which states that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the supposition of an infinite and eternal static universe- (Why should the night sky be dark when it is full of stars?). He also discovered a comet.

Gerard O’Neill- Gerard K. O’Neill

February 6, 1927-April 27, 1992. He developed a plan to build human
settlements in outer space, including a space habitat designed as the O’Neill cylinder.

Jan Oort-

April 28, 1900-November 5, 1992. He did pioneering work in radio astronomy and is known for dark matter and the Oort Cloud. He overturned the idea that the Sun is at the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, and he determined that our galaxy rotates. In 1932, he postulated an invisible dark matter. He also discovered the main disk.

Ernest Opik- Ernst Öpik Ernst Öpik

October 22, 1893-September 10, 1985. Determined that the white dwarf
O2 Eridani has a density of 25,000 times the sun’s density. He also estimated the distance to the Andromeda galaxy using novel astronomical methods based on the observed rotational velocities of the galaxy, which depends on the total mass around which the stars are rotating, and on the assumption that the luminosity per unit mass was the same as our own galaxy.

Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin-
May 10, 1900-December 7, 1979. In her Ph.D. thesis in 1925, she explained the composition of stars in terms of the relative abundances of hydrogen and helium.

Arno Penzias-

April 26, 1933-. Co-discoverer, along with Robert Wilson, of cosmic microwave background radiation, which helped establish the Big Bang theory of cosmology.
Roger Penrose- August 8, 1931. Revolutionized the mathematical tools used to analyze the properties of spacetime.
Giuseppe Piazzi- July 16, 1746July 22, 1826 Supervised thee compilation of the Palermo Catalogue of stars, containing 7,646 stars with unprecedented precision. Discovered the asteroid Ceres, the largest known asteroid.

Edward Pickering- July 19, 1846-February 3, 1919. Discovered the first spectroscopic binary stars.

Carolyn Porco-
March 6, 1953-. Planetary scientist known for her work on voyager missions to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune in the 1980’. She leads the imaging science team on the Cassini mission currently in orbit around Saturn. She is an expert on planetary rings and the moon of Saturn, Enceladus.

Ptolmey- c. AD100-c. 170. Wrote book called the Almagest proposing a geocentric (earth centered) model of the universe.

Grote Reber- December 22, 1911-December 20, 2002. Extended Karl Jansky’s pioneering work in radio astronomy and made the first sky survey in radio frequencies.

Martin Rees-
June 23, 1942-. He is known for his confirmation of the Big Bang, discovery of neutron stars and black holes, his studies of the distribution of

quasars which led to disproof of the steady state theory, and his important contributions to the origin of cosmic microwave background radiation.

Adam Riess-
December 16, 1969-. Shared the 2011 Nobel prize in physics for providing evidence that the expansion of the universe is accelerating.

Edouard Roche- October 17, 1820-April 27, 1883. Famous for his theory, the Roche

limit, that describes, for example, the planetary rings of Saturn were formed when a large moon came too close to the planet and was pulled apart by its gravitational forces. His other work is the Roche Lobe, which is the limits at which an object which is orbit around 2 other objects will be captured by one or the other, and the Roche Sphere approximates the gravitational sphere of influence of one astronomical body in the face of perturbations from another heavier body around which it orbits.

Ole Romer- September 25, 1644-September 19, 1710. In 1676, he made the first quantitative measurement of the speed of light.

Vera Rubin-
July 23, 1928-December 25, 2016. She did pioneering work in galactic rotation rates and uncovered a discrepancy between the predicted angular motion of galaxies and the observed rates by studying galactic rotation curves. She also showed that stars and galaxies are immersed in the gravitational grip of dark matter.

Henry Norris Russell-

October 25, 1877-February 18, 1957. With Ejar Herzsprung, developed the HR Diagram in 1910.

Martin Ryle- September 27, 1918-October 14, 1984. Developed ra revolutionary radio telescope system, aperture synthesis, to accurately locate and image weak radio sources, and was able to observe the most distant known galaxies at that time.

Carl Sagan-
November 9, 1934-December 20, 1996. A science popularizer, especially in astronomy. He is best known for his research into extraterrestrial life, including experiments that demonstrated the production of amino acids from base chemicals by radiation.

Edwin Salpeter- December 3, 1924-November 26, 2008. He suggested that star could burn helium-4 into carbon-12 with the triple-alpha process through an intermediate stare of beryllium-6, which explained the carbon production in stars.

Allen Sandage-
June 18, 1926-November 13, 2010. He determined the first reasonably accurate value of the Hubble Constant and of the age of the universe. He also discovered the first quasar.
Giovanni Schiaparelli- March 14, 1835-July 4, 1910. Made telescopic observations of Mars and saw ‘canal’ on its surface and this gave rise to the possibility of intelligent life there.

Martin Schmidt- December 28, 1929. He coined the word quasar and measured their distances.

Karl Schwarzchild-

October 9, 1873-May 11, 1916. His work led to derivation of the Scwartzchild Radius, the size of the event horizon of a non rotating black hole.

Martin Schwartzchild-

May 31, 1912-April 10, 1997. He was one of the most prominent astrophysicists of the century. He was a leader in the theory of stellar evolution and the dynamics of elliptical galaxies.

Tsutomu Seki-

born November 3, 1930. Japanese astronomer who discovered a number of comets and very many minor planets. Discovered the very bright comet C/1965S1 (Ikeya-Seki).

Carl Seyfert-

February 11, 1911-June 13, 1960. A type of galaxy is named after him, with a bright nucleus that emits light with emission line spectra with characteristic broadened emission lines.

Harlow Shapley-
November 2, 1885-December 20, 1972. He determined the correct position of the Sun within the Milky Way galaxy using the parallax method. Also, he used RR Lyrae stars to correctly estimate the size of our galaxy. And he proposed what is now known as the habitable zone around a star where life can exist.

Ian Shelton-

born March 30, 1957 in Canada. He discovers the first supernova (SN1987A) seen with the naked eye in 383 years on February 24, 1987.

Carol Shoemaker- Carolyn S. Shoemaker

June 24, 1929-. Co-discoverer of Comet Shoemaker-Levy 9. She once held the record for discovering the greatest number of comets.

Eugene Shoemaker-

April 28, 1928-July 18,1997. He was one of the founders of planetary geology. He also discovered comet Shoemaker-Levy, which hit the planet Jupiter if July 1994.

Willem de Sitter-

May 6, 1872-November 20, 1934. Made many contributions to physical cosmology, especially the expanding universe (empty universe).

Vesto Slipher-

November 11, 1875-November 8, 1969. He measured the radial velocities of galaxies and established an empirical basis for an expanding universe.

George Smoot-

February 20, 1945-. Nobel laureate in 2006 for his work on the cosmic background explorer that led to the discovery of the black body form and

anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation.

Lyman spitzer-

June 26, 1914-march 31,1997. Researcher who was a theoretical physicist and astronomer. He studied star formation, plasma physics, and in 1946, conceived the idea of a space telescope, which came into being as the Spitzer space

telescope. He invented the stellarator plasma device which coffins hot plasma with magnetic fields in order to sustain a controlled nuclear fusion reaction. He was among the first to recognize star formation as an ongoing process.

Lewis Swift- February 29, 1820-January 5, 1913. Discoverer of a number of comets.

Jill Tarter-
January 16, 1944-. Worked at the center for SETI trying to find signals from an extraterrestrial civilization.
Wilhelm Tempel- December 4, 1821-March 16, 1889. Prolific comet discoverer (21 in all), including comet 55P/Tempel-Tuttle, the parent body of the Leonid meteor shower, and 9P/

Tempel, the target of NASA probe Deep Impact in 2005.

Richard Terrile- March 22, 1951-. A voyager scientist who discovered several moons of

Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. He is a supporter of the simulation hypothesis, the idea that our reality is a computer generated virtual reality created by unknown programmers.

Kip Thorne-

June 1, 1940-. He has worked on gravitational waves, black hole cosmology, and wormholes and time travel.

Clyde Tombaugh-

February 4, 1906-January 17, 1997. He discovered the planet Pluto in 1930 and discovered the Kuiper belt.

Margaret turnbull-

she is an authority on star systems which may have habitable planets, solar twins, and planetary habitability.

Horace Tuttle-

March 17, 1837-August 16, 1923. Comet discoverer

John Archibald Wheeler-

July 9, 1911-April 13, 2008. He is best known for linking the term ‘black hole’ to objects with gravitational collapse and coining the term ‘wormhole’.

Fred Whipple-

November 5, 1906-August 30, 2004. He discovered some comets and asteroids, and come up with the dirt snowball cometary hypothesis.

Fritz Zwicky-
February 14, 1898-February 8, 1974. Hypothesized that supernovae were the transition of normal stars into neutron stars. He posited that galaxies could act as gravitational lenses in 1937, and it was not confirmed until 1979. He also inferRed the existence of dark matter.

Famous Astronomers | List of

Great Scientists in


By Nola Taylor Redd, Contributor | September 5, 2017 09:24pm ET


Throughout human history, scientists have struggled to understand what they see in the night sky. Famous astronomers

— many of them great scientists who mastered many fields — explained the heavens with varying degrees of accuracy. Over the centuries, a geocentric view of the universe — with Earth at the center of everything — gave way to the proper understanding we have today of an expanding universe in which our galaxy is but one of billions. On this list are some of the most famous scientists from the early days of astronomy through the modern era, and a summary of some of their achievements.

Any list of famous astronomers has to include a varied collection of great scientists from the Greeks to the modern era, big thinkers who tackled many fields as well as modern astronomers who made significant discoveries and helped popularize astronomy. Credit: Karl Tate,

The Ptolemaic geocentric model of the universe, devised by the Greek scientist Claudius Ptolemy, had everything revolving around Earth.
Credit: Bartolomeu Velho, Public Domain

When most people believed the world was flat, the notable Greek mathematician, astronomer and geographer Eratosthenes (276–

195 B.C.) used the sun to measure the size of the round Earth. His measurement of 24,660 miles (39,690 kilometers) was only 211 miles (340 km) off the true measurement.
In ancient Greece, astronomer and mathematician Claudius Ptolemy (A.D. 90–168) set up a model of the solar system in which the sun, stars, and other planets revolved around Earth. Known as the Ptolemaic system, it remained in place for hundreds of years, though it turned out to be flat wrong. According to NASA,

“Ptolemy represents the epitome of knowledge of Grecian astronomy.”

Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (903–986), known as Azophi to Westerners, made the first known observation of a

group of stars outside of the Milky Way, the Andromeda galaxy.

Nicolaus Copernicus Credit: Public Domain

In 16th century Poland, astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543) proposed a model of the solar system that involved the Earth revolving around the sun. The model wasn’t completely correct, as astronomers of the time struggled with the backwards path Mars sometimes took, but it eventually changed the way many scientists viewed the solar system.
Using detailed measurements of the path of planets kept by Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, Johannes Kepler (1571– 1630) determined that planets traveled around the sun not in circles but in ellipses. In so doing, he calculated three laws involving the motions of planets that astronomers still use in calculations today. However, closed minds put Kepler’s work at risk.

“The era in which Kepler lived was one of tremendous upheaval and change,” said Dan Lewis, curator of the history of science and technology at the Huntington Library in San Marino, Calif. “Religious leaders were reluctant to relinquish their ideas about

the heavens. Talk by astronomers of a sky filled with objects moving in non-circular orbits and other phenomena that went against an Earth-centric model threatened their beliefs. As a result, Kepler and his first wife, Barbara, created a code with which to write letters to each other so that their correspondence would not put them at risk of persecution.”

Galileo Galilei is credited with discovering the first four moons of Jupiter. Credit: NASA

Born in Italy, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642) is often credited with the creation of the optical telescope, though in truth he improved on existing models. According to the Rice University’s Galileo Project, “Galileo made his first telescope in 1609, modeled after telescopes produced in other parts of Europe that could magnify objects three times. He created a telescope later that same year that could magnify objects twenty times.”

The astronomer (also mathematician, physicist and philosopher) turned the new observational tool toward the heavens, where he discovered the four primary moons of Jupiter (now known as the Galilean moons), as well as the rings of Saturn. Though a model of the Earth circling the sun was first proposed by Copernicus, it took some time before it became widely accepted. Galileo is most widely known for defending the idea several years after Kepler had already calculated the path of planets, and Galileo wound up under house arrest at the end of his lifetime because of it.

Italian astronomer Giovanni Cassini (1625–1712) measured how long it took the planets Jupiter and Mars to rotate. He also discovered four moons of Saturn and the gap in the planet’s rings. When NASA launched a satellite to orbit Saturn and its moons in 1997, it was fittingly dubbed Cassini.

Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens (1629–1695) proposed the earliest theory about the nature of light, a phenomenon that puzzled scientists for hundreds of years. His improvements on the telescope allowed him to make the first observations of Saturn’s rings and to discover its moon, Titan.

English astronomer Sir Isaac Newton (1643–1727) is most famous for his work on forces, specifically gravity. Building on the work of those who had gone before him — he is quoted as saying, “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants” — he calculated three laws describing the motion of forces between objects, known today as Newton’s laws.
Edmond Halley (1656–1742) was the British scientist who reviewed historical comet sightings and proposed that the comet that had appeared in 1456, 1531, 1607, and 1682 were all the same, and would return in 1758. Although he died before its return, he was proven correct, and the comet was named in his honor.
French astronomer Charles Messier (1730–1817) composed a database of objects known at the time as “nebulae,” which

included 103 objects at its final publication, though additional objects were added based on his personal notes. Many of these objects are often listed with their catalog name, such as the Andromeda Galaxy, known as M31. Messier also discovered 13 comets over the course of his lifetime.

British astronomer William Herschel (1738–1822) cataloged over 2,500 deep sky objects. He also discovered Uranus and its two brightest moons, two of Saturn’s moons, and the Martian ice caps. William trained his sister, Caroline Herschel (1750– 1848), in astronomy, and she became the first woman to discover a comet, identifying several over the course of her lifetime. Henrietta Swann Leavitt (1868–1921) was one of several women working as a human “computer” at Harvard College, identifying images of variable stars on photographic plates. She discovered that the brightness of a special flashing star known as a Cepheid variable was related to how often it pulsed. This relationship allowed astronomers to calculate the distances of stars and galaxies, the size of the Milky Way, and the expansion of the universe.

Albert Einstein at the blackboard. Credit: NASA

In the early 20th century, German physicist Albert Einstein (1879–1955) became one of the most famous scientists ever after proposing a new way of looking at the universe that went beyond current understanding. Einstein suggested that the laws of physics

are the same throughout the universe, that the speed of light in a vacuum is constant, and that space and time are linked in an entity known as space-time, which is distorted by gravity.
In a lecture given in 1966, fellow scientist Robert Oppenheimer said, “Einstein was a physicist, a natural philosopher, the greatest of our time.”

At the same time Einstein was expanding man’s view of the

universe, American astronomer Edwin Hubble (1899–1953) calculated that a small blob in the sky existed outside of the Milky Way. Prior to his observations, the discussion over the size of the universe was divided as to whether or not only a single galaxy existed. Hubble went on to determine that the universe itself was expanding, a calculation which later came to be known as Hubble’s law. Hubble’s observations of the various galaxies allowed him to create a standard system of classification still used today.

American astronomer Harlow Shapley (1885–1972) calculated the size of the Milky Way galaxy and general location of its center. He argued that the objects known as “nebulae” lay within the galaxy, rather than outside of it, and incorrectly disagreed with Hubble’s observations that the universe boasted galaxies other than the Milky Way.

Frank Drake with a young observer at the Lick Observatory. Credit: SETI Institute

Frank Drake (born 1930) is one of the pioneers in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. He was one of the founders of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) and devised the Drake equation, a mathematical equation used to estimate the number of extraterrestrial civilizations in the Milky Way galaxy able to be detected.

American astronomer Carl Sagan (1934–1996) may not have been a great scientist in comparison to some on this list, but he is one of the most famous astronomers. Sagan not only made important scientific studies in the fields of planetary science, he also managed to popularize astronomy more than any other individual. His charismatic teaching and boundless energy influenced people around the world as he broke down complicated subjects in a way that interested television viewers even as he educated them. Sagan founded the Planetary Society, a nonprofit organization devoted to advancing space science and exploration.

Professor Stephen Hawking speaks about “Why We Should Go into Space” for the NASA Lecture Series, April 21, 2008.
Credit: NASA/Paul Alers

American astronomer William K. Hartmann (born 1939) put forth the most widely accepted theory on the formation of the moon in 1975. He proposed that, after a collision with a large body scooped, debris from the Earth coalesced into the moon.

Stephen Hawking (born 1942) has made many significant insights into the field of cosmology. He proposed that, as the universe has a beginning, it will likely also end. He also suggested that it has no boundary or border. Despite being viewed as one of the most brilliant minds since Einstein, many of Hawking’s books and lectures are steered toward the general public as he seeks to educate people about the universe they live in.


Miguel Alcubierre 

Alcubierre in 2013.
Miguel Alcubierre Moya (born March 28, 1964 in Mexico City) is a Mexican theoretical physicist.[2] Alcubierre is known for the proposed Alcubierre drive, a speculative warp drive by which a spacecraft could achieve faster-than-light travel.


. Nikolai Alekhin (Russian: Николай Алехин; 1913– 1964) was a Soviet Union rocket designer. The lunar crater Alekhin is named in his honour.

Charles E. Bartley (1921–1996) was an American scientist, known for developing the first elastomeric solid rocket propellant formula, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (now part of NASA) in Pasadena, California in the late 1940s.

Kristian von Bengtson 

(born August 1974) is a Danish architect, specializing in manned spaceflight, a resident of Copenhagen and married to animation director Karla von Bengtson. He is most notable for his involvement in founding Copenhagen Suborbitals.

Kristian von Bengtson has participated in various space projects, simulated Mars habitation[2] and is a trained architect from School of Architecture in Copenhagen 2001 and also has a master’s degree in aerospace science from the International

Space University ISU in Strasbourg, France (2006).

Allen Bond 

(born 1944) is an English mechanical and aerospace engineer, as well as Managing Director of Reaction Engines Ltd[1] and associated with Project Daedalus, Blue Streak missile, HOTOL, Reaction Engines Skylon and the Reaction Engines A2 hypersonic passenger aircraft. He was engaged in studies for the application of fusion to interplanetary space travel. He is the leading author of the report on the Project Daedalus interstellar, fusion powered starship concept, published by the British Interplanetary Society. In the 1980s, he was one of the creators of the HOTOL spaceplane project, along with Dr. Bob Parkinson of British Aerospace. Alan Bond brought a precooled jet engine design he had invented to the HOTOL project, and this became the Rolls Royce RB545 rocket engine.

Karel Jan Bossart
(February 9, 1904 – August 3, 1975) was a pioneering rocket designer and creator of the Atlas ICBM. His achievements rank alongside those of Wernher von Braun and Sergei Korolev but as most of his work was for the United States Air Force and therefore was classified he remains relatively little known.

Atlas was first launched in June, 1957 but was never fully effective as an ICBM. As a launch vehicle it has formed the basis of the most successful and reliable expendable rockets in service. As a result, Bossart’s achievements include:

Launch of first US orbital manned missions
Launch of Mariner probes to Mars and Venus Launch of Pioneer 10 and Pioneer 11 to Jupiter and Saturn.

Edward Mounier Boxer (1822-1898) was an English inventor. Edward M. Boxer was a colonel of the Royal Artillery.

In 1855 he was appointed Superintendent of the Royal Laboratory of the Royal Arsenal at Woolwich.
He is known primarily two of his inventions:

• The 1865 “Boxer rocket”, an early two- stage rocket, used for marine rescue line throwing

• His 1866 “Boxer primer”, very popular for centerfire ammunition

Yvonne Madelaine Brill (née Claeys; December 30, 1924 – March 27, 2013)

was a Canadian- American propulsion engineer best known for her development of rocket and jet propulsion technologies. During her career she was involved in a broad range of national space programs in the United States,

including NASA and the International Maritime Satellite Organization.

Robert W. Bussard 

(August 11, 1928 – October 6, 2007) was an American physicist who worked primarily in nuclear fusion energy research. He was the recipient of the Schreiber-Spence Achievement Award for STAIF-2004. He was also a fellow of the International Academy of Astronautics and held a Ph.D. from Princeton University. Kiwi (Rover-A) In June, 1955 Bussard moved to Los Alamos and joined the Nuclear Propulsion Division’s Project Rover designing nuclear thermal rocket engines. Bussard and R.D. DeLauer wrote two important monographs on nuclear propulsion, Nuclear Rocket Propulsion and Fundamentals of Nuclear Flight.

Bussard ramjet

In 1960, Bussard conceived of the Bussard ramjet, an interstellar space drive powered by hydrogen fusion using hydrogen collected with a magnetic field from the interstellar gas. Due to the presence of high-energy particles throughout space, much of the interstellar hydrogen exists in an ionized state (H II regions) that can be manipulated by magnetic or electric fields. Bussard proposed to “scoop” up ionized hydrogen and funnel it into a fusion reactor, using the exhaust from the reactor as a rocket engine. It appears the energy gain in the reactor must be extremely high for the ramjet to work at all; any hydrogen picked up by the scoop must be sped up to the same speed as the ship in order to provide thrust, and the energy required to do so increases with the ship’s speed.

Hydrogen itself does not fuse very well (unlike deuterium, which is rare in the interstellar medium), and so cannot be used directly to produce energy, a fact which accounts for the billion-year scale of stellar lifetimes. This problem was solved, in principle, according to Dr. Bussard by use of the stellar CNO cycle in which carbon is used as a catalyst to burn hydrogen via the strong nuclear reaction

In the Star Trek universe, a variation called the Bussard Hydrogen Collector or Bussard Ramscoop appears as part of the matter/antimatter propulsion system that allows Starfleet ships to travel faster than the speed of light. The ramscoops attach to the front of the warp nacelles, and when the ship’s internal supply of deuterium runs low, they collect

interstellar hydrogen and convert it to deuterium and anti-deuterium for use as the primary fuel in a starship’s warp drive.


Vladimir Nikolayevich Chelomey (Russian: Влади́мир Николае́ вич 

Челомей́ ; Ukrainian: Володимир Миколайович Челомей;

30 June 1914 – 8 December 1984) was a Soviet mechanics scientist, aviation and missile engineer. He invented the very

first Soviet pulse jet engine and was responsible for the development of the world’s first anti-ship cruise missiles and ICBM complexes like the UR-100, UR-200, UR-500 and UR-700.


Boris Evseyevich Chertok (Russian: Бори́с

Евсе́евич Черто́к; 1 March 1912 – 14 December 2011) was a prominent Soviet and Russian rocket designer, responsible for control systems of a number of ballistic missiles and spacecraft. He was the author of a four-volume book Rockets and People, the definitive source of

information about the history of the Soviet space program.

• Arthur Valentine Cleaver OBE FRAeS

(14 February 1917 – 16 September 1977) was a distinguished British rocket engineer. He co- authored a paper which discussed the possibilities and problems of nuclear rocket engines in 1948. After the Second World War he developed de Havilland’s Sprite and Spectre rocket engines. He moved to Rolls Royce in 1957 and in 1960 he became general manager and chief engineer of the Rolls Royce’s rocket departments, where he was responsible for the engines which powered the Blue Streak missile and Black Arrow launch vehicle. While the ELDO vehicle was ultimately unsuccessful and abandoned, the Blue Streak vehicle and its engines worked perfectly on every launch, and Cleaver was awarded the OBE for his part in developing them.

Early life
He was born at Conway in Wales to Percy and Mildred Cleaver. From the age of 11 he became fascinated by space. For three years from 1931 he attended Acton Technical College. He joined the British Interplanetary Society (BIS) in 1937, aged 20.

Rolls-Royce RZ.2, which he was responsible for

Rolls Royce 

In 1956 he handed in his notice at de Havilland and became Chief Rocket Propulsion Engineer of Rolls- Royce’s new rocket engine division. Under his guidance the RZ.2 rocket engine was developed, an advanced engine for its time. For the work on this engine he was awarded the OBE. He worked with Rocketdyne.

Sir William Congreve, 2nd Baronet KCH FRS (20 May 1772 – 16 May 1828)

was an English inventor and rocket artillery pioneer distinguished for his development and deployment of Congreve rockets, and a Tory Member of Parliament (MP).

Gaetano Arturo Crocco 

(26 October 1877 – 19 January 1968) was an Italian scientist and aeronautics pioneer, the founder of the Italian Rocket Society, and went on to become Italy’s leading space scientist. He was born in Naples.

In 1927, Crocco begun working with solid-propellant rockets and, in 1929, designed and built the first liquid- propellant rocket motors in Italy. He began work with monopropellants (fuel and oxidizer combined in one chemical liquid) in 1932, making him one of the first researchers in this field.

As head of the School of Aeronautics of the University of Rome, he performed research on flight mechanics, structural design, and high-altitude flight in addition to his work in rocket propulsion. Because of his early efforts in aeronautics, Italian satellites were launched starting in the 1960s. The San Marco programme was a cooperative effort of NASA and the Italian Space Commission, with NASA providing launch vehicles, use of its facilities, and training of Italian personnel.

Aeronautical space activities

G.A. Crocco is a pioner both in aeronautics and astronautics. In 1898 he was serving in the Italian Army Engineers Corps in the Wireless Dept. when he met Captain Maurizio Moris. Moris, heading a Specialists Brigade, was deeply interested in the new field of aeronautics: he took Crocco in his staff starting a lifelong cooperation. At the time the Specialists Brigade was testing anchored balloons on the Bracciano Lake, north of Rome. Since 1904 Crocco started experimenting with airships. In 1906, together with Ottavio Ricaldoni he developed Airship 1 featuring a revolutionary semi-rigid flexible structure. On October 31, 1908, piloting an improved version of the airship, the N1, supplied with a rudder and direction indicators, Crocco flew from Vigna di Valle to Rome and back, covering 50 miles in one hour and a half. N1 was the first airship ever to fly over Rome at an attitude of 500 mt (1500 ft). In 1912 Crocco and Rinaldoni tested an hydroplane on the Bracciano lake while experimenting with airships together with other researchers (one of them, Umberto Nobile, would become eventually a famous polar explorer). In the meantime Crocco kept studying propellers’ shapes and sections and in 1914 drew plans for a closed-circuit wind tunnel to be built in Rome. In 1923 Crocco started studying space flight, jet propulsion and rocket fuels. In 1927 the Aeronautic Experimental Institute where Crocco was working, obtained a 200,000 ItL financing (equivalent to today’s 1million Euro) to develop black- powder-fuelled rockets to be tested later in a BPD firing range at Segni, east of Rome. He moved onto research on liquid fuels, drawing plans for the first Italian-built combustion chamber, tested in 1930 with the help of his son, Luigi Crocco. The outbreak of WWii and lack of financing confined Crocco to academic activities: he directed the Aeronautic Engineering School from 1935 to 1942 and then again from 1948 to 1952, when Luigi Broglio succeeded him in the post. In those years Crocco wrote hundreds of papers and patented so many inventions that his students used to say in mock poetry “Everything I use or see, Oh my Crocco is made by thee.” After WW II Crocco went back to his old passions, missiles and astronautics, creating in 1950 an informative course on superior ballistics within the Aeronautic Engineering School. In the inaugural speech he spoke extensively on man-made satellites and rocket trajectories. In 1951 he founded the Italian Rocket Association (AIR) to rally all the fans of the new astronautic science. In 1951, a full decade before the Gagarin space flight, he held a meeting on the problems of a manned spaceship re-entry in the atmosphere. Later on he devised a parallel-stages vector, a futuristic solution as compared to superimposed stages. In 1956 Crocco, more than 80 years old, produced what is considered his most important contribution to world astronautics: in his “One-Year Exploration-Trip Earth- Mars- Venus-Earth” paper presented at the Seventh Congress of the International Astronautical Federation IAF, Rome, in

1956, he suggested exploiting the Mars and Venus gravitational fields as propelling forces to cut dramatically the travelling time of a space capsule. The importance of his intuition, now a scientific theory known as ‘gravitational slingshot’ or ‘gravity assist’ or ‘swing- by’, was such that the NASA recommended the study of his theories and especially the swing-by maneuvers suggested by Crocco to all the contracting firms working on interplanetary flight and its perspectives.

The ‘Crocco Mission’ or ‘Crocco Grand Tour’

Basing his calculations on Hohmann’s orbit, the sci-fi writer Arthur C. Clarke had stated once that an Earth to Mars flight with a minimum fuel consumption would

require at least 259 days. Then another 425 days should elapse on the Red Planet to re-align the planets so as to

travel back again in 259 days. Crocco deemed this period too long and drew his own calculations exploiting Mars gravity pull to fly over the planet without landing. Mars gravity would deflect the spaceship’s trajectory towards the Earth cutting the flight’s overall length to less than a year, the only objection being the poor quality of data gathered passing over Mars at an altitude of more than a million miles. But, Crocco added, should the spaceship be re-directed towards Venus and not the Earth, it would fly over Mars at a much closer range: observation by the astronauts would be much more satisfactory, and moreover they could observe Venus as well, still keeping the trip’s time under a year. He calculated 113 days from Earth to Mars, 154 to reach Venus from Mars and 98 days from Venus back to Earth and affirmed that the first occasion for this ‘Crocco Grand Tour’ would be occurring in 1971. Gravity assist manoeuvres as envisaged by him are used extensively in all interplanetary missions today.

Sir Alwyn Douglas Crow KBE FInstP (10 May 1894 – 5 February 1965) was a British scientist involved in research into ballistics, projectiles and missiles from 1916 to 1953. At Fort Halstead he developed the Unrotated Projectile an antiaircraft weapon for the Royal Navy, used in the early period of World War II when the supply of anti-aircraft guns was limited. His obituary in The Times called him a Rocket Projectile Pioneer.

Konrad Dannenberg 

(August 5, 1912 – February 16, 2009) was a German- American rocket pioneer and member of the German rocket team brought to the United States after World War II.

Early years

Dannenberg was born in Weißenfels, Province of Saxony (current Saxony- Anhalt). At the age of two, he and his

family moved to Hannover, where he spent his youth. He became interested in space technology while

attending a lecture by Max Valier, a German pioneer in that field. He witnessed two tests with a rocket-driven railroad car in Burgwedel near Hannover and then joined Albert Püllenberg’s group of amateur rocketeers. Dannenberg studied mechanical engineering at the Technische Hochschule Hannover (current University of Hannover) with emphasis in diesel fuel injection, because he recognized that injectors would also be part of the process of moving propellants into a high- pressure rocket engine. When World War II began, Dannenberg, a member of the Nazi party since 1932, was drafted into the German Army in 1939, serving first with a horse- artillery unit acquired by the German Army in Czechoslovakia. He took part in the initial stages of the Battle of France.


In the spring of 1940, through the influence of Püllenberg, Dannenberg was discharged from the army and became

a civilian employee at the Heeresversuchsanstalt Peenemünde (Peenemünde Army Research Center).Under Walter Thiel’s guidance, he became a rocket propulsion specialist. His main assignment was developing a rocket engine for the V-2 ballistic missile. He was at Peenemünde on 3 October 1942 to witness the launch of the first man-made object to reach outer

space, a V-2 rocket. This was the first man made vehicle to ever reach space which most experts agree is over 50 miles in altitude. Many improvements on which he worked could not be completed in time for production. After Thiel’s death in an August 1943 bombing raid, a design freeze stopped all development efforts. Dannenberg then became Walter Riedel’s deputy and headed the crash effort to finalize production drawings of the V-2, the world’s first ballistic missile, used by the Nazis to bomb London. He was interviewed for the documentary “The Hunt for Hitler’s Scientists.”

After the end of World War II, Dannenberg was brought to the United States with 117 other German specialists under Operation Paperclip to Fort Bliss, Texas.[6] Most members of the group performed calculations and designs of future advanced launch vehicles with longer ranges and greater payloads. About 30 members trained the U.S. Army and the support contractor General Electric to launch V-2s at the White Sands Proving Ground. Due to range limitations, all rockets were launched vertically, to limit their range. Robert H. Goddard’s idea of upper atmosphere research could now be conducted on a large scale. When the Korean War started, the group was required to leave their quarters in an Annex to the Wm. Beaumont Hospital, and were eventually transferred to the Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama, where development of the PGM-11 Redstone Missile was their first assignment. At that time, rocket pioneer and former SS major Wernher von Braun decided not to start their own rocket engine development, but to purchase an engine from North American Aviation (NAA) that was being developed by Dannenberg’s former boss, Riedel, who had previously left the team to join NAA. Due to these circumstances, Dannenberg became Liaison Engineer at NAA’s Rocketdyne Division and procured rocket engines for the Redstone and the Jupiter IRBM for the U.S. Army. He also became responsible for production of the Redstone and Jupiter missile systems for the Army Ballistic Missile Agency at the Chrysler plant in Detroit, Michigan. In 1960, Dannenberg joined NASA’s newly established Marshall Space Flight Center as Deputy Manager of the Saturn program. He received the NASA Exceptional Service Medal in 1973 for successfully initiating development of the largest rocket ever built, the Saturn V, which took the first human beings to the moon. When Arthur Rudolph came back from the Army’s development of the Pershing missile system, von Braun assigned the management of the Saturn system to him. Dannenberg then started to work on Saturn-based space stations, which were eventually replaced by the Space Shuttle-based ISS.

Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz (born April 5, 1950) is a Costa Rican-American mechanical engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. He became an American citizen in 1977. He is of Chinese (paternal grandfather) and Costa Rican Spanish (maternal side) descent. Chang Díaz is currently president and CEO of Ad Astra Rocket Company. He is a veteran of seven Space Shuttle missions, making him the record holder as of 2018 for the most spaceflights (a

record he shares with Jerry L. Ross). He was the third Latin American to go into space. Chang Díaz is a member of the NASA Astronaut Hall of Fame.

Post-NASA Major

After leaving NASA, Chang Díaz set up the Ad Astra Rocket Company, which became dedicated to the development of advanced plasma rocket propulsion technology. Years of research and development have produced the Variable Specific Impulse Magnetoplasma Rocket (VASIMR), an electrical propulsion device for use in space. With a flexible mode of operation, the rocket can achieve very high exhaust speeds, and even has the theoretical capability to take a manned rocket to Mars in 39 days.

Mikhail Borisovich Dobriyan,

(Russian: Добриян, Михаил Борисович, (26 June 1947 – 16 November

2013) was a Soviet and Russian aerospace engineer and a former director of the Space Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Tarusa. He was one of the leading figures in the programs of the International Astrophysical Observatory GRANAT and Vega program. Mikhail Dobriyan was a head of Tarussky District and an honorary citizen of city of Tarusa.

• Major-General Dr. Walter Robert Dornberger 

(6 September 1895 – 27 June 1980) was a German Army artillery officer whose career spanned World War I and World War II. He was a leader of Nazi Germany’s V-2 rocket program and other projects at the Peenemünde Army Research Center.

Leonid Stepanovich Dushkin (Леонид Степанович Душкин) 

(August 15, 1910 in the Spirove settlement of the Tver region – April 4, 1990), was a major pioneer of Soviet rocket engine technology. He graduated from Moscow State University with a degree in mathematics and mechanics. In October 1932, he joined Fridrikh Tsander’s brigade of GIRD, the Moscow rocket research group. He assisted in the creation of their first rocket engine OR-2, and after Tsander’s death, he oversaw the creation of engine “10” which powered the first Soviet liquid-fuel rocket, GIRD-X.

Dushkin’s engines were among the first to be regeneratively cooled, and he also experimented with uncooled engines of high-temperature ceramic. The 12K engines were of both types, and powered the Aviavnito rocket. After the arrest of Valentin Glushko, Dushkin took over the development of rocket engines for the rocket- enhanced fighter plane RP-318. He became the leader of the department of liquid propellent rocket engines in NII-3 beginning in January 1938. Starting with Glushko’s engines (ORM-65 and RD-1), he began a series of important engineering transformations, moving the fuel injectors to a head at one end of a cylindrical chamber, typical of modern design. The RDA-150, RDA-300 used nitric acid as an oxydizer, RDK-150 used liquid oxygen. The 1100 kgf thrust engine, D-1-A-1100 was developed for the rocket-powered interceptor BI-1. It was also regeneratively cooled, using the kerosine to cool the chamber, and the nitric acid to cool the nozzle. Starting with that engine, Aleksei Mihailovich Isaev began the evolution of his engines, which continued the evolution of engines toward the space-rocket engines of the 1950s.

Freeman dyson– december 15, 1923-.

Space exploration 

A direct search for life in Europa’s ocean would today be prohibitively expensive. Impacts on Europa give us an easier way to look for evidence of life there. Every time a major impact occurs on Europa, a vast quantity of water is splashed from the ocean into the space around Jupiter. Some of the water evaporates, and some condenses into snow. Creatures living in the water far enough from the impact have a chance of being splashed intact into space and quickly freeze-dried. Therefore, an easy way to look for evidence of life in Europa’s ocean is to look for freeze- dried fish in the ring of space debris orbiting Jupiter. Freeze- dried fish orbiting Jupiter is a fanciful notion, but nature in the biological realm has a tendency to be fanciful. Nature is usually more imaginative than we are. […] To have the best chance of success, we should keep our eyes open for all possibilities.

Robert Lull Forward 

(August 15, 1932 – September 21, 2002) was an American physicist and science fiction writer. His literary work was noted for its scientific credibility and use of ideas developed from his career as an aerospace engineer.

Much of his research focused on the leading edges of speculative physics but was always grounded in what he believed humans could accomplish. He worked on such projects as space tethers and space fountains, solar sails (including Starwisp), antimatter propulsion, and other

spacecraft propulsion technologies, and did further research on more esoteric possibilities such as time travel and negative matter. He was issued a patent for the statite, and contributed to a concept to drain the Van Allen Belts.

Valentin Petrovich Glushko (Russian:

Валенти́н Петро́вич Глушко́, Valentin Petrovich Glushko; Ukrainian: Валентин Петрович Глушко, Valentyn 

Petrovych Hlushko; born 2 September 1908 – 10 January 1989), was a Soviet engineer, and designer of rocket engines during the Soviet/American Space Race.


At the age of fourteen he became interested in aeronautics after reading novels by Jules Verne. He is known to have written a letter to Konstantin Tsiolkovsky in 1923. He studied at an Odessa trade school, where he learned to be a sheet metal worker. After graduation he apprenticed at a hydraulics fitting plant. He was first trained as a fitter, then moved to lathe operator. During his time in Odessa, Glushko performed experiments with explosives. These were recovered from unexploded artillery shells that had been left behind by the White Guards during their retreat. From 1924-25 he wrote articles concerning the exploration of the Moon, as well as the use of Tsiolkovsky’s proposed engines for space flight. He attended Leningrad State University where he studied physics and mathematics, but found the specialty programs were not to his interest. He reportedly left without graduating in April, 1929. From 1929-1930 he pursued rocket research at the Gas Dynamics Laboratory. A new research section was apparently set up for the study of liquid- propellant and electric engines. He became a member of the GIRD (Group for the study of Rocket Propulsion Systems), founded in Leningrad in 1931.

On 23 March 1938 he became caught up in Joseph Stalin’s Great Terror and was rounded up by the NKVD, to be placed in the Butyrka prison. By 15 August 1939 he was sentenced to eight years in the Gulag. Despite his supposed imprisonment, however, Glushko was put to work on various aircraft projects with other arrested scientists. In 1941 he was placed in charge of a design bureau for liquid-fueled rocket engines. He was finally released in 1944 by special decree. In 1944, Sergei Korolyov and Glushko designed the RD-1 KhZ [sic] auxiliary rocket motor tested in a fast- climb Lavochkin La-7R for protection of the capital from high-altitude Luftwaffe attacks. At the end of World War II, Glushko was sent to Germany and Eastern Europe to study the German rocket program. In 1946, he became the chief designer of his own bureau, the OKB 456, and remained at this position until 1974. This bureau would play a prominent role in the development of rocket engines within the Soviet Union. His OKB 456 (later NPO Energomash) would design the 35-metric ton (340 kN) thrust RD-101 engine used in the R-2, the 120-ton (1,180 kN) thrust RD-110 employed in the R-3, and the 44-ton (430 kN) thrust RD-103 used in the R-5 Pobeda (SS-3 Shyster). The R-7 (“Semyorka”) would include four of Glushko’s RD-107 engines and one RD-108. In 1954, he began to design engines for the R-12 Dvina (SS-4 Sandal), which had been designed by Mikhail Yangel’. He also became responsible for supplying rocket engines for Sergei Korolev, the designer of the R-9 Desna (SS-8 Sasin). Among his designs was the powerful RD-170 liquid propellant engine. In 1974, following the successful American moon landings, premier Leonid Brezhnev decided to cancel the troubled Soviet program to send a man to the Moon. He consolidated the Soviet space program, moving Vasily Mishin’s OKB-1 (Korolev’s former design bureau), as well as other bureaus, into a single bureau headed by Glushko, later named NPO Energia. Glushko’s first act, after firing Mishin altogether, was to cancel the N-1 rocket, a program he had long criticized, despite the fact that one of the reasons for its difficulties was his own refusal to design the high power engines Korolev needed because of friction between the two men and ostensibly a disagreement over the use of cryogenic or hypergolic fuel. In 1965, after the UR-500 booster began flying, the Chelomei Bureau offered a counterproposal to Korolev’s N-1 in the UR-700, a Saturn V-class booster with nine F-1 sized engines powered by dinitrogen tetroxide and UDMH. Korolev was an outspoken opponent of hypergolic propellants due to their toxicity, often citing the 1960 Nedelin catastrophe as evidence of the danger posed by them, and had also objected to the UR-500 for the same reason. Glushko meanwhile was an advocate of Chelomei’s UR-700 as well as an even more powerful UR-900 with a nuclear-powered upper stage. When Korolev continued protesting about the safety risk posed by hypergolic propellants, Glushko responded with the counterargument that the US was launching the manned Gemini spacecraft atop a Titan II rocket with very similar propellants and it was not apparently a safety issue for them. He also argued that the N-1 was not a workable solution because they could not develop RP-1/LOX engines on the scale of the Saturn F-1. When Korolev also suggested developing a liquid hydrogen engine for the N-1, Glushko said that LH2 was completely impractical as a rocket fuel. Korolev’s protests that the US was already using them on the Centaur stage and would soon be flying Saturn boosters with LH2 upper stages got nowhere.

The UR-700, Glushko said, could enable a direct-ascent trajectory to the Moon which he considered safer and more reliable than the rendezvous-and-dock approach used by the Apollo program and Korolev’s N-1 proposals. He also imagined the UR-700 and 900 in all sorts of applications from lunar bases to manned Mars missions to outer planet probes to orbiting battle stations. When Korolev died in January 1966, his notoriously incompetent deputy Vasily Mishin took over his design bureau. Mishin succeeded in getting the Kremlin to terminate the UR-700/900 project as well as the RD-270 engine Glushko planned for the launch vehicle family. His main arguments were the tremendous safety risk posed by a low-altitude launch failure of the UR-700 in addition to the waste of money by developing two HLV families at once. After the complete failure of the Soviet manned lunar effort, unmanned Mars missions, and the deaths of four cosmonauts, Mishin was fired in 1973 and the Kremlin decided to consolidate the entire Soviet space program into one organization headed by Glushko. One of Glushko’s first acts was to suspend the N-1 program, which however was not formally terminated until 1976. He then began work on a completely new HLV. During this time, the US was developing the Space Shuttle and Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev had been told that the Shuttle was actually being constructed as an orbiting weapon system that could drop a nuclear bomb onto Moscow, bypassing all Soviet detection systems. Although the rumor was completely false, Brezhnev believed it anyway and ordered the development of a Soviet Space Shuttle. Because the Soviets lacked expertise in large solid rocket motors, Glushko decided that the new HLV would use entirely liquid-fueled engines, with an LH2 core stage taking the place of the Shuttle main engines and strap-on boosters with LOX/RP-1 engines, an ironic situation given his opposition to those propellants years earlier. While the RD-120 engine used for the Energia core stage was developed quickly and with little difficulty, the RD-170 proved harder to work out. As Soviet manufacturing technology was still not up to the task of building an F-1 class engine, Glushko instead decided to use an engine with four combustion chambers fed off a single propellant feed line. The RD-170 became the basis for the Zenit booster family which began flying in 1985, and because the Buran space shuttle was not ready to go yet, Energia’s maiden flight in May 1987 carried aloft a prototype space station module called Polyus. Ultimately, Buran

did fly the following summer, a few months before Glushko’s death. While Energia and Buran fell victim to loss of funding after the collapse of the USSR, the RD-170 engines are still flying today and the experience in LH2 engines made during the Energia project would be used in later upper stages such as Briz. Glushko’s team was part of the Soviet General Machine- Building empire headed by Minister Sergey Afanasyev. Before his death, he appointed Boris Gubanov to become his successor. Glusho died in January 1989. His obituary was signed by multiple Communist Party of the Soviet Union leaders, including Mikhail Gorbachev and it was only following his death that Glushko’s efforts became known to most of the Soviet populace. For many years Glushko had worked in Korolev’s shadow, and certainly never received the credit he deserved (at the time) for his contributions. His personality was reputed to be bull-headed, and he never lacked for an ego. Perhaps his most significant engineering failure, as noted by division chief Yuri Demyanko, was his insistence that hydrogen was unsuitable for use as a rocket fuel. As a result, the Soviet space program was still discussing the use of hydrogen-fueled engines while the Americans were assembling the Saturn V launcher. Also, Glushko’s design bureau consistently failed at building a rocket engine powered by LOX/Kerosene with a large combustion chamber to rival the American F1 used on the Saturn V; instead, his solution was the RD-270, a single large combustion-chamber engine powered by hypergolic fuels which had almost the same thrust and better specific impulse as compared to the US F-1 rocket engine in addition to using the very advanced full- flow staged combustion concept as opposed to the simple gas generator cycle used by the F-1 rocket engine. This was a primary reason for the failure of the N1, which was forced to rely on a multitude of smaller engines for propulsion because Sergei Korolev, its chief designer, insisted on using the LOX/Kerosene combination, which Glushko felt would take much more time and money to design. Glushko never did overcome the combustion instability problems of large rocket motors using kerosene propellants; his eventual solution for this is seen on the RD-170 which is basically four smaller combustion chamber/nozzle assemblies sharing common fuel delivery systems. This solution and engine gave the Soviets the large thrust propulsion needed to build the Energia superbooster, and is probably the finest technical example of Glushko’s abilities when he was at his best. The fact that he never developed this solution until the firing of Vasily Mishin and his gaining ultimate control of the entire Soviet space program is a testament to the paralyzing intrigue and in-fighting that went on within the Soviet effort to reach the Moon.

Conrad Haas (1509–1576) was an Austrian or Transylvanian Saxon military engineer for the Kingdom of Hungary and Principality of Transilvania. He is a pioneer of rocket propulsion. His designs include a three-stage rocket and a manned rocket. Haas was perhaps born in Dornbach (now part of Hernals, Vienna). He held the post of the Zeugwart (arsenal master) of the Imperial Austrian army under Ferdinand I. In 1551, Stephen Báthory, the grand prince of Transylvania invited Haas to Hermannstadt, Siebenbürgen (now Sibiu, Transylvania, Romania), where he acted as weapons engineer and also he started to teach at Klausenburg (now Cluj- Napoca). He wrote a German-language treatise on rocket technology, involving the combination of fireworks and weapons technologies. This manuscript was discovered in 1961, in the Sibiu public records (Sibiu public records Varia II 374). His work also dealt with the theory of motion of multi-stage rockets, different fuel mixtures using liquid fuel, and introduced delta-shape fins and bell- shaped nozzles.

In the last paragraph of his chapter on the military use of rockets, he wrote (translated): “But my advice is for more peace and no war, leaving the rifles calmly in storage, so the bullet is not fired, the gunpowder is not burned or wet, so the prince keeps his money, the arsenal master his life; that is the advice Conrad Haas gives.” Johann Schmidlap, a German fireworks maker, is believed to have experimented with staging in 1590, using a design he called “step rockets.” Before discovery of Haas’ manuscript, the first description of the three-stage rocket was in Poland credited to the Polish artillery specialist Kazimierz Siemienowicz in his 1650 work, Artis Magnae Artilleriae Pars Prima (“Great Art of Artillery, Part One”).

Roy Healy (1915–1968) was an American rocket scientist. He was a member of the American Rocket Society.

Clarence Nichols Hickman (August 16, 1889 – May 7, 1981) was a physicist

who worked on rockets with Robert Goddard. He is known for developing the bazooka man-portable recoilless antitank rocket launcher weapon, and the American Piano Company Model B player piano. He is also known as the “Father of Scientific Archery”.

Aleksei Mikhailovich Isaev 

(October 24, 1908, Saint Petersburg– June 10, 1971, Moscow) was a Russian rocket engineer. walled copper combustion chambers backed by steel support, anti-oscillation baffle to prevent chugging, and the flat injector plate with mixing-swirling injectors. The latter was an enormous simplification of the “plumbing nightmare” of the V-2 engine, because it avoided the need for separate fuel lines to each sprayer. Staged combustion (Замкнутая схема) was first proposed by Alexey Isaev in 1949. Although his inventions influenced the design of Glushko’s large engines, Isaev was better known for building efficient small rockets. He designed engines for the Soviet anti-missile and anti-aircraft rockets, and in 1951, his engine powered the R-11 Zemlya short-range missile, later named the Scud. He designed a series of course-correction engines for Soviet planetary probes, including the KDU-414 used in Venera 1, Mars 1 up to Venera 8, the KTDU-425 used in later planetary probes, KTDU-5 used in the Soviet lunar landers Luna 4 to Luna 13. Isaev was a corresponding member of the USSR Academy of Sciences.

A.M. Isayev Chemical Engineering Design Bureau is named after him. The crater Isaev on the far side of the Moon is named after him.

Hideo Itokawa
(糸川 英夫 Itokawa Hideo, July 20,

1912 – February 21, 1999) was a pioneer of Japanese rocketry, popularly known as “Dr. Rocket,” and described in the media as the father of Japan’s space development.

The asteroid 25143 Itokawa, named in honor of Itokawa, is notable as the target of the Hayabusa mission.


Born in Tokyo, Itokawa skipped grades in school and graduated from the Tokyo Imperial University in 1935,

having majored in aeronautical engineering. In 1941, he became an assistant professor of the Imperial University of Tokyo. During World War II, he was involved in designing aircraft at the Nakajima Aircraft Company and designed the Nakajima Ki-43 Hayabusa (“Peregrine Falcon”; Allied reporting name “Oscar”) fighter. Itokawa became a full professor in 1948. In 1955 Itokawa worked on the Pencil Rocket for Japan’s space program. He retired from his post at the university in 1967 and established an institute.

Oleg Genrikhovich Ivanovsky (Russian: Оле́г Ге́нрихович

Ивано́вский; January 18, 1922 – September 18, 2014) was a Soviet engineer, and pioneer of spacecraft construction.

Ivanovsky graduated from the Moscow Power Engineering Institute in 1953. Designer-General Sergei Korolev recruited him into the Soviet space program. Ivanovsky rose to chief designer at OKB-1, Korolev’s design bureau. Among other things he was deputy principal designer of the first and second Sputniks,principal designer of Vostok manned spaceships, and creator of space probes. Ivanovsky personally

helped Yuri Gagarin mount the gantry and climb into Vostok 1 and helped rebolt the hatch after Gagarin complained that it had not been closed and sealed correctly. He was said to be the last person to shake Gagarin’s hand before the Vostok 1 flight. Ivanovsky was the Recipient of the Lenin Prize (1960) and USSR State Prize (1977).

Daniel Jubb (born 1984 in Manchester, England) is a British rocket scientist. In a 17 November 2008 article from the British newspaper The Times, he was named “one of the world’s leading rocket scientists”, by the Royal Air Force Wing Commander Andy Green.


Having been interested in rockets since childhood, Jubb had obtained corporate financing and flew many amateur rockets, all by the time he was 14 years old. In 1995, and along with his grandfather Sid Guy, he co- founded The Falcon Project, a company that designs and develops rocket engines for commercial and military applications. At that time, Jubb obtained permission from the UK Ministry of Defence to launch rockets from the missile test platform of the Otterburn Army Training Estate in Northumberland and after his rockets reached the maximum allowable launch height of 20,000 feet he wanted to go higher. The operations of The Falcon Project

Boris Katorgin 

13 October 1934 (age 82)

Boris Ivanovich Katorgin (Russian: Борис Иванович Каторгин; born 13 October 1934 in Solnechnogorsk) is a Russian scientist who is known for his development of commercially successful rocket engine systems.

Katorgin is mainly known for his work on cryogenic liquid- propellant rocket engines. He was the CEO and chief designer of NPO Energomash during the development of the RD-180 engine, which has been exported to the United States for driving Atlas III and Atlas V rockets. He was also involved in the development of the earlier and twice as powerful RD-170 engine. As of 2000, when the first RD-180-powered Atlas III rocket flew, the engine was considered to be 15 to 20 percent more fuel- efficient than competing designs. Katorgin has also contributed to the study of nuclear pulse propulsion, chemical lasers and superconducting systems for power

transmission. In 2012, along with Valery Kostuk and Rodney John Allam, Katorgin received the Global Energy Prize for his research and development relating to high-efficiency and reliable cryogenic- fuel-powered rocket propellant engines.

Rudy Kennedy
• (October 27, 1927 – November 10, 2008) was a British rocket scientist, Holocaust survivor, and a protester for Jewish causes. He spent a substantial period of his youth in German concentration camps of Auschwitz, Mittelbau-Dora, and Bergen-Belsen. After liberation, he worked as a rocket scientist and led the campaign for compensation for the survivors of the German policy of “extermination through labour.

• Lieutenant-General Kerim Aliyevich Kerimov (Azerbaijani: Kərim Əli oğlu Kərimov, Russian: Керим Алиевич Керимов; 1917–2003) was an Azerbaijani- Soviet/Russian aerospace engineer and a renowned rocket scientist, one of the founders of the Soviet space industry, and for many years a central figure in the Soviet space program. Despite his prominent role, his identity was kept a secret from the public for most of his career. He was one of the lead architects behind the string of Soviet successes that stunned the world from the late 1950s – from the launch of the first satellite, the Sputnik 1 in 1957, and

the first human spaceflight, Yuri Gagarin’s 108-minute trip around the globe aboard the Vostok 1 in 1961, to the first fully automated space docking, of Cosmos 186 and Cosmos 188 in 1967, and the first space stations, the Salyut and Mir series from 1971 to 1991.

Sergei Pavlovich Korolev (Russian: Серге́й

Пав́ лович Королёв; IPA: [sjɪrˈgjej ˈpavləvjɪtɕ kərɐ ˈljɵf]

( listen),[2] Ukrainian: Сергій́ Пав́ лович Корольóв[3], translit. Serhii Pavlo͡vych Korolov; Ukrainian pronunciation: [serˈɦiiˈp̯ ɑu̯loʋɪt ̞ʃ koroˈljɔu̯]), also transliterated as Sergey Pavlovich Korolyov; 12 January [O.S. 30 December 1906] 1907 – 14 January 1966) worked as the lead Soviet rocket engineer and spacecraft designer during the Space Race between the United States and the Soviet Union in the 1950s and 1960s. He is considered by many as the father of practical astronautics. He was involved in the development of the R-7 Booster Rocket, Sputnik, and launching Laika and the first human being into space.

Semyon Ariyevich Kosberg (Семен Ариевич Косберг in Russian) (October 1(14), 1903, Slutsk – January 3, 1965, Voronezh) was a Jewish Soviet engineer, expert in the field of aircraft and rocket engines, Doctor of Technical Sciences (1959), Hero of Socialist Labor (1961).


Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetsov was a Chief Designer of the Soviet Design Bureau OKB-276 which deals with the development, manufacture and distribution of equipment, especially aircraft engines, turbines and gearboxes.

Geoffrey Alan Landis (/ˈlændɪs/; born May 28, 1955) is an American scientist, working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on planetary exploration, interstellar propulsion, solar power and photovoltaics. He holds nine patents, primarily in the field of improvements to solar cells and photovoltaic devices and has given presentations and commentary on the possibilities for interstellar travel and construction of bases on the Moon, Mars, and Venus.

NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts 

Landis was a fellow of the NASA Institute for Advanced Concepts (“NIAC”), where he worked on a project investigating the use of laser- and particle-beam pushed sails for propulsion for interstellar flight. In 2002 Landis addressed the annual convention of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on the possibilities and challenges of interstellar travel in what was described as the “first serious discussion of how mankind will one day set sail to the nearest star”. Dr. Landis said, “This is the first meeting to really consider interstellar travel by humans. It is historic. We’re going to the stars. There really isn’t a choice in the long term.” He went on to describe a star ship with a diamond sail, a few nanometres thick, powered by solar energy, which could achieve “10 per cent of the speed of light”. He was selected again as a NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts fellow in 2012, with an investigation of a Landsailing rover for Venus exploration, and in 2015 was the science lead on a NIAC study to design a mission to Neptune’s moon Triton.

• Derek Frank Lawden (15 September 1919 – 15 February 2008) was a New Zealand mathematician of English descent.

Academic career
After doing mathematics at Cambridge University he served in the Royal Artillery and then lectured at the Royal Military College of Science and the College of Advanced Technology Birmingham, where he worked on rocket trajectories and space flight. In 1956 he moved to University of Canterbury as professor. In the 1960s he got a DSc from Cambridge, was appointed FRSNZ and won the Hector Medal. He return to the UK to University of Aston in 1967.

Willy Otto Oskar Ley (October 2, 1906 – June 24, 1969) was a German- American science writer, spaceflight advocate, and historian of science who helped to popularize rocketry, spaceflight, and natural history in both Germany and the United States. The crater Ley on the far side of the Moon is named in his honor.

Lovell Lawrence, Jr. (1915–1971) was an American rocket scientist who developed the first engine to break the sound barrier while working with Reaction Motors, Inc.

Peter Madsen born 12 January 1971, is an artist, submarine builder, aerospace engineer, entrepreneur and co-founder of Copenhagen Suborbitals; a private non- profit spaceflight organization. CEO and founder of RML Spacelab ApS

Frank Joseph Malina (October 2, 1912 – November 9, 1981) was an American aeronautical engineer and painter, especially known for becoming both a pioneer in the art world and the realm of scientific engineering.

Manoug Manougian
is an Armenian scientist, professor, and considered the father of the Lebanese space program.

Lebanese Space Program 

He founded the Haigazian College Rocket Society in November 1960. With a very limited budget, the society launched a series of rockets to increasing altitudes. It

received funding from the Lebanese government and became the Lebanese Rocket Society. He and his students finally launched a suborbital rocket in 1963. The Cedar IV rocket, launched on Lebanese independence day, 21 November 1963 from Dbayeh north of Beirut, reached 90 miles (140 km) and was featured on Lebanese stamps.

Dr. Gregory L. Matloff- he did pioneering work in solar sail technology used by NASA for extra-solar probes and

technology to divert earth threatening asteroids. He was appointed an advisor to the Project Starshot mission to the star Alpha Centauri in April 2016. He has co- authored the book, The Starlight Handbook. He also helped establish interstellar propulsion studies as a sub- division of applied physics.

  • Dr.SalimMehmud, also known as Salim Mehmood,is a Pakistani rocket scientist and a nuclear engineer. He is the former chairman of Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO). He has served as chief
    scientist at the Defence Science and Technology Organization. Currently, he is the chief Scientific and Technological Advisor at the Ministry of Communications of Pakistan. Marc Millis- He is an aerospace engineer who has researched possibilities for creating space propulsion breakthroughs. He has worked with other researchers across the United States to create NASA’s Breakthrough

Propulsion Physics Project and managed this from 1996-2001. He now has returned to conducting research.

Mary Sherman Morgan 

(November 4, 1921 – August 4, 2004) was a U.S. rocket fuel scientist credited with the invention of the liquid fuel Hydyne in 1957, which powered the Jupiter-C rocket that boosted the United States’ first satellite, Explorer 1. During the development program for the reentry vehicle of the Jupiter missile, also under development, Wernher von Braun’s team used modified Redstone missiles, dubbed the Jupiter C, to accelerate test nose cones to the necessary speed. In order to improve the performance of the first stage, they awarded a contract to North American Aviation’s Rocketdyne Division to come up with a more powerful fuel. Morgan worked in the group of Dr. Jacob Silverman at North American Aviation’s Rocketdyne Division. Due to her expertise and experience with new rocket propellants, Morgan was named the technical lead on the contract. Morgan’s work resulted in a new propellant,

Hydyne. The first Hydyne-powered Redstone R&D flight took place on 29 November 1956, and Hydyne subsequently powered three Jupiter C nose cone test flights. In 1957, the Soviet Union and the United States had set a goal of placing satellites into Earth orbit as part of a worldwide scientific celebration known as the International Geophysical Year. In this endeavor the United States effort was called Project Vanguard. The Soviet Union successfully launched the Sputnik satellite on October 4, 1957, an event followed soon after by a very public and disastrous explosion of a Vanguard rocket. Political pressure forced U.S. politicians to allow a former German rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, to prepare his Jupiter C rocket for an orbital flight. In the renamed launcher (now called Juno I) the propellant succeeded in launching America’s first satellite, Explorer I, into orbit on January 31, 1958. After the Jupiter C and Juno I programs (there six launch attempts in the latter), the U.S. switched to more powerful fuels.

Alternative fuel name 

As Hydyne-LOX (liquid oxygen) was the fuel combination used for the Redstone rocket, Morgan whimsically suggested naming her new fuel formulation Bagel, since the rocket’s propellant combination would then be called Bagel and LOX. Her suggested name for the new fuel was not accepted, and Hydyne was chosen instead by the U.S. Army. The standard Redstone was fueled with a 75% ethyl alcohol solution, but the Jupiter- C first stage had used Hydyne fuel, a blend of 60% unsymmetrical dimethylhydrazine (UDMH) and 40% diethylenetriamine (DETA). This was a more powerful fuel than ethyl alcohol, but it was also more toxic. The fuel was used with the Rocketdyne Redstone rocket only once— to launch America’s first satellite Explorer I, after which it was discontinued in favor of higher performing fuels.

Tom Mueller is an American rocket engineer and rocket engine designer. He is a founding employee of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.), a space transport services company headquartered in Hawthorne, California. He is best known for his engineering work on the TR-106, the Dragon spacecraft propulsion, and Merlin Rocket Engines. He is considered one of the world’s leading spacecraft propulsion experts and holds several United States patents for propulsion technology.


The Dragon spacecraft being launched on a Falcon 9 v1.0 rocket powered by Merlin engines engineered by Tom Mueller. For 15 years, Mueller worked for TRW Inc., a conglomerate corporation involved in aerospace, automotive, credit reporting, and electronics. He managed the propulsion and combustion products department where he was responsible for liquid rocket engine development. He worked as a lead engineer during the development of the TR-106, a 650,000 lbf (2,900 kN) thrust hydrogen engine that was one of the most powerful engines ever at the time it was constructed. During his time at TRW, Mueller felt that his ideas were being lost in a diverse corporation and as a hobby he began to build his own engines. He would attach them to airframes and launch them in the Mojave


Desert along with other members of the Reaction Research Society. In late 2001, Mueller began developing a liquid-fueled rocket engine in his garage and later moved his project to a friend’s warehouse in 2002. His design was the largest amateur liquid-fuel rocket engine, weighing 80 lb (36 kg) and producing 13,000 lbf (58 kN) of thrust. His work caught the attention of Elon Musk, PayPal co- founder and CEO of Tesla Motors, and in 2002 Mueller joined Musk as a founding employee of SpaceX. Mueller is currently the CTO of Propulsion Development at SpaceX, responsible for all propulsion development, including the Dragon spacecraft propulsion systems and Merlin rocket engine family that powers the Falcon 9 launch vehicle to orbit. The Merlin is the highest- performing hydrocarbon engine made in the United States and the first hydrocarbon booster engine made in the United States in 40 years. Mueller developed the Merlin 1A and Kestrel engines for the Falcon 1, the first liquid fueled orbital rocket launched by a private company as well as leading the team that developed the Merlin 1C, Merlin 1D and MVac engines for the Falcon 9, the first to launch into orbit and recover a spacecraft. The Dragon was the first spacecraft launched by a private company to dock at the International Space Station, with its technology being used on projects for manned missions to Mars. Outside his work at SpaceX, he was a commencement speaker for Loyola graduate students in 2013, the year after SpaceX became the first private company to send a cargo payload to the International Space Station. He was also the feature of an appropriately titled article called “Rocket Man,” published by LMU Magazine in 2011. In 2014, Mueller was nominated for the Wyld Award, presented by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) for outstanding achievement in the development or application of rocket propulsion systems. Mueller is currently working on development of the Raptor rocket engine family that will power the Interplanetary Transport System on its journey to Mars and beyond.

Elon Reeve Musk 

June 28, 1971 (age 46)
Pretoria, Transvaal (now Gauteng), South Africa


Main article: SpaceX
In 2001, Musk conceptualized “Mars Oasis”; a project to land a miniature experimental greenhouse on Mars, containing food crops growing on Martian regolith, in an attempt to regain public interest in space exploration. In October 2001, Musk travelled to Moscow with Jim Cantrell (an aerospace supplies fixer), and Adeo Ressi (his best friend from college), to buy refurbished Dnepr Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) that could send the envisioned payloads into space. The group met with companies such as NPO Lavochkin and Kosmotras; however, according to Cantrell, Musk was seen as a novice and was consequently spat on by one of the Russian chief designers, and the group returned to the United States empty-handed. In February 2002, the group returned to Russia to look for three ICBMs, bringing along Mike Griffin, who had worked for the CIA’s venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel; NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory; and was just leaving Orbital Sciences, a maker of satellites and spacecraft. The group met again with Kosmotras, and were offered one rocket for US$8 million, however, this was seen by Musk as too expensive; Musk consequently stormed out of the meeting. On the flight back from Moscow, Musk realized that he could start a company that could build the affordable rockets he needed. According to early Tesla and SpaceX investor Steve Jurvetson, Musk calculated that the raw materials for building a rocket actually were only 3 percent of the sales price of a rocket at the time. It was concluded that theoretically, by applying vertical integration and the modular approach from software engineering, SpaceX could cut launch price by a factor of ten and still enjoy a 70-percent gross margin. Ultimately, Musk ended up founding SpaceX with the long- term goal of creating a “true spacefaring civilization”. 

With US$100 million of his early fortune, Musk founded Space Exploration Technologies, or SpaceX, in May 2002. Musk is chief executive officer (CEO) and chief technology officer (CTO) of the Hawthorne, California- based company. SpaceX develops and manufactures space launch vehicles with a focus on advancing the state of rocket technology. The company’s first two launch vehicles are the Falcon 1 and Falcon 9 rockets (a nod to Star Wars’ Millennium Falcon), and its first spacecraft is the Dragon (a nod to Puff the Magic Dragon). In seven

Musk and President Barack Obama at the Falcon 9 launch site in 2010

years, SpaceX designed the family of Falcon launch vehicles and the Dragon multipurpose spacecraft. In September 2008, SpaceX’s Falcon 1 rocket became the first privately funded liquid-fueled vehicle to put a satellite into Earth orbit. On May 25, 2012, the SpaceX Dragon vehicle berthed with the ISS, making history as the first commercial company to launch and berth a vehicle to the International Space Station. In 2006, SpaceX was awarded a contract from NASA to continue the development and test of the SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle and Dragon spacecraft in order to transport cargo to the International Space Station, followed by a US$1.6 billion NASA Commercial Resupply Services program contract on December 23, 2008, for 12 flights of its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft to the Space Station, replacing the US Space Shuttle after it retired in 2011. Astronaut transport to the ISS is currently handled solely by the Soyuz, but SpaceX is one of two companies awarded a contract by NASA as part of the Commercial Crew Development program, which is intended to develop a US astronaut transport capability by 2018. On 22 December 2015, SpaceX successfully landed the first stage of its Falcon rocket back at the launch pad. This was the first time in history such a feat had been achieved by an orbital rocket and is a significant step towards rocket reusability lowering the costs of access to space. This first stage recovery was replicated several times in 2016 by landing on an Autonomous spaceport drone ship, an ocean based recovery platform. SpaceX is both the largest private producer of rocket engines in the world, and holder of the record for highest thrust-to-weight ratio for a rocket engine. SpaceX has produced more than 100 operational Merlin 1D engines, currently the world’s most powerful engine for its weight. The relatively immense power to weight ratio allows each Merlin 1D engine to vertically lift the weight of 40 average family cars. In combination, the 9 Merlin engines in the Falcon 9 first stage produces anywhere from 5.8 to 6.7 MN (1.3 to 1.5 million pounds) of thrust, depending on altitude. Musk was influenced by Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series and views space exploration as an important step in preserving and expanding the consciousness of human life. Musk said that multiplanetary life may serve as a hedge against threats to the survival of the human species. An asteroid or a super volcano could destroy us, and we face risks the dinosaurs never saw: an engineered virus, inadvertent creation of a micro black hole, catastrophic global warming or some as-yet-unknown technology could spell the end of us. Humankind evolved over millions of years, but in the last sixty years atomic weaponry created the potential to extinguish ourselves. Sooner or later, we must expand life beyond this green and blue ball—or go extinct. Musk’s goal is to reduce the cost of human spaceflight by a factor of 10. In a 2011 interview, he said he hopes to send humans to Mars’ surface within 10–20 years. In Ashlee Vance’s biography, Musk stated that he wants to establish a Mars colony by 2040, with a population of 80,000. Musk stated that, since Mars’ atmosphere lacks oxygen, all transportation would have to be electric (electric cars, electric trains, Hyperloop, electric aircraft). Space X intends to launch a Dragon spacecraft on a Falcon Heavy in 2018 to soft-land on Mars – this is intended to be the first of a regular cargo mission supply- run to Mars building up to later crewed flights. Musk stated in June 2016 that the first unmanned flight of the larger Mars Colonial Transporter (MCT) spacecraft is aimed for departure to the red planet in 2022, to be followed by the first manned MCT Mars flight departing in 2024. In September 2016, Musk revealed details of his plan to explore and colonize Mars. By 2016, Musk’s private trust holds 54% of SpaceX stock, equivalent to 78% of voting shares.

Katuru Narayana is an Indian rocket scientist and a former director of Satish Dhawan Space Centre, one of the two launch centres of the Indian Space Research Organisation. He held the post from 1999 to 2005 after which he served as the co-chairman of the Mission Readiness Review Committee for two Indian space programs, Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle and Geosynchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle. He is a recipient of an honorary doctorate from Sri Venkateswara University. The Government of India awarded him the fourth highest civilian honour of the Padma Shri, in 2002, for his contributions to science and engineering.

Hermann Julius Oberth (German pronunciation: [‘hɛrman

‘ju:lɪʊs ‘o:bɐt];

25 June 1894 – 28 December 1989) was an Austro- Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer. He is

considered one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, along with the French Robert Esnault- Pelterie, the Russian Konstantin Tsiolkovsky and the American Robert Goddard.

Gerard Kitchen O’Neill (February 6, 1927 – April 27, 1992) was an American physicist and space activist. As a faculty member of Princeton University, he invented a device called the particle storage ring for high-energy physics experiments. Later, he invented a magnetic launcher called the mass driver. In the 1970s, he developed a plan to build human settlements in outer space, including a space habitat design known as the O’Neill cylinder. He founded the Space Studies Institute, an organization devoted to funding research into space manufacturing and colonization.

Space colonization

Origin of the idea (1969) 

O’Neill saw great potential in the United States space

program, especially the Apollo missions. He applied to the Astronaut Corps after NASA opened it up to civilian scientists in 1966. Later, when asked why he wanted to go on the Moon missions, he said, “to be alive now and not take part in it seemed terribly myopic”. He was put through NASA’s rigorous mental and physical examinations. During this time NASA envisioned an ambitious scientific exploration of the Moon. he met Brian O’Leary, also a scientist- astronaut candidate, who became his good friend. O’Leary was selected for Astronaut Group 6 but O’Neill was not. O’Neill became interested in the idea of space colonization in 1969 while he was teaching freshman physics at Princeton University. His students were growing cynical about the benefits of science to humanity because of the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War. To give them something relevant to study, he began using examples from the Apollo program as applications of elementary physics. O’Neill posed the question during an extra seminar he gave to a few of his students: “Is the surface of a planet really the right place for an expanding technological civilization?” His students’ research convinced him that the answer was no.
O’Neill was inspired by the papers written by his students. He began to work out the details of a program to build self- supporting space habitats in free space. Among the details was how to provide the inhabitants of a space colony with an Earth-like environment. His students had designed giant pressurized structures, spun up to approximate Earth gravity by centrifugal force. With the population of the colony living on the inner surface of a sphere or cylinder, these structures resembled “inside-out planets”. He found that pairing counter-rotating cylinders would eliminate the need to spin them using rockets. This configuration has since been known as the O’Neill cylinder.

First paper (1970–1974) 

Looking for an outlet for his ideas, O’Neill wrote a paper titled “The Colonization of Space”, and for four years attempted to have it published. He submitted it to several journals and magazines, including Scientific American and Science, only to have it rejected by the reviewers. During this time O’Neill gave lectures on space colonization at Hampshire College, Princeton, and other schools. Many students and staff

attending the lectures became enthusiastic about the possibility of living in space. Another outlet for O’Neill to explore his ideas was with his children; on walks in the forest they speculated about life in a space colony. His paper finally appeared in the September 1974 issue of Physics Today. In it, he argued that building space colonies would solve several important problems:

It is important to realize the enormous power of the space-colonization technique. If we begin to use it soon enough, and if we employ it wisely, at least five of the most serious problems now facing the world can be solved without recourse to repression: bringing every human being up to a living standard now enjoyed only by the most fortunate; protecting the biosphere from damage caused by transportation and industrial pollution; finding high quality living space for a world

population that is doubling every 35 years; finding clean, practical energy sources; preventing overload of Earth’s heat balance. — Gerard K. O’Neill, “The Colonization of Space”[26]

He even explored the possibilities of flying gliders inside a space colony, finding that the enormous volume could support atmospheric thermals. He calculated that humanity could expand on this man-made frontier to 20,000 times its population.[28] The initial colonies would be built at the Earth-Moon L4 and L5 Lagrange points. L4 and L5 are stable points in the Solar System where a spacecraft can maintain its position without expending energy. The paper was well received, but many who would begin work on the project had already been introduced to his ideas before it was even published.[21] The paper received a few critical responses. Some questioned the practicality of lifting tens of thousands of people into orbit and his estimates for the production output of initial colonies.

While he was waiting for his paper to be published, O’Neill organized a small two- day conference in May 1974 at Princeton to discuss the possibility of colonizing outer space. The conference, titled First Conference on Space Colonization, was funded by Stewart Brand’s Point Foundation and Princeton University. Among those who attended were Eric Drexler (at the time a freshman at MIT), scientist-astronaut Joe Allen (from Astronaut Group 6), Freeman Dyson, and science reporter Walter Sullivan. Representatives from NASA also attended and brought estimates of launch costs expected on the planned Space Shuttle. O’Neill thought of the attendees as “a band of daring radicals”. Sullivan’s article on the conference was published on the front page of The New York Times on May 13, 1974. As media coverage grew, O’Neill was inundated with letters from people who were excited about living in space. To stay in touch with them, O’Neill began keeping a mailing list and started sending out updates on his progress. A few months later he heard Peter Glaser speak about solar power satellites at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. O’Neill realized that, by building these satellites, his space colonies could quickly recover the cost of their construction.[36] According to O’Neill, “the profound difference between this and everything else done in space is the potential of generating large amounts of new wealth”.

NASA studies (1975–1977) 

O’Neill held a much larger conference the following May titled Princeton University Conference on Space Manufacturing.[37] At this conference more than two dozen speakers presented papers, including Keith and Carolyn Henson from Tucson, Arizona. After the conference Carolyn Henson arranged a meeting between O’Neill and Arizona Congressman Morris Udall. Udall wrote a letter of support, which he asked the Hensons to publicize, for O’Neill’s work. The Hensons included his letter in the first issue of the L-5 Society newsletter, sent to everyone on O’Neill’s mailing list and those who had signed up at the conference. In June 1975, O’Neill led a ten-week study of permanent space habitats at NASA Ames. During the study he was called away to testify on July 23 to the House Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications. On January 19, 1976, he also appeared before the Senate Subcommittee on Aerospace Technology and National Needs. In a presentation titled Solar Power from Satellites, he laid out his case for an Apollo-style program for building power plants in space. He returned to Ames in June 1976 and 1977 to lead studies on space manufacturing. In these studies, NASA developed detailed plans to establish bases on the Moon where space-suited workers would mine the mineral resources needed to build space colonies and solar power satellites. Private funding (1977– 1978) 

Although NASA was supporting his work with grants of up to $500,000 per year, O’Neill became frustrated by the bureaucracy and politics inherent in government- funded research. He thought that small privately funded groups could develop space technology faster than government agencies. In 1977, O’Neill and his wife Tasha founded the Space Studies Institute, a non-profit organization, at Princeton University.[7][45] SSI received initial funding of almost $100,000 from private donors, and in early 1978 began to support basic

research into technologies needed for space manufacturing and settlement. Kolm (left) and O’Neill (center) with mass driver One of SSI’s first grants funded the development of the mass driver, a device first proposed by O’Neill in 1974. Mass drivers are based on the coilgun design, adapted to accelerate a non-magnetic object. One application O’Neill proposed for mass drivers was to throw baseball- sized chunks of ore mined from the surface of the Moon into space. Once in space, the ore could be used as raw material for building space colonies and solar power satellites. He took a sabbatical from Princeton to work on mass drivers at MIT. There he served as the Hunsaker Visiting Professor of Aerospace during the 1976– 77 academic year. At MIT, he, Henry H. Kolm, and a group of student volunteers built their first mass driver prototype. The eight-foot (2.5 m) long prototype could apply 33 g (320 m/s2) of acceleration to an object inserted into it. With financial assistance from SSI, later prototypes improved this to 1,800 g (18,000 m/s2), enough acceleration that a mass driver only 520 feet (160 m) long could launch material off the surface of the Moon.

Opposition (1977–1985) 

In 1977, O’Neill saw the peak of interest in space colonization, along with the publication of his first book, The High Frontier. He and his wife were flying between meetings, interviews, and hearings. On October 9, the CBS program 60 Minutes ran a segment about space colonies. Later they aired responses from the viewers, which included one from Senator William Proxmire, chairman of the Senate Subcommittee responsible for NASA’s budget. His response was, “it’s the best argument yet for chopping NASA’s funding to the bone …. I say not a penny for this nutty fantasy”. He successfully eliminated spending on space colonization research from the budget. In

1978, Paul Werbos wrote for the L-5 newsletter, “no one expects Congress to commit us to O’Neill’s concept of large- scale space habitats; people in NASA are almost paranoid about the public relations aspects of the idea”. When it became clear that a government funded colonization effort was politically impossible, popular support for O’Neill’s ideas started to evaporate. Other pressures on O’Neill’s colonization plan were the high cost of access to Earth orbit and the declining cost of energy. Building solar power stations in space was economically attractive when energy prices spiked during the 1979 oil crisis. When prices dropped in the early 1980s, funding for space solar power research dried up.[56] His plan had also been based on NASA’s estimates for the flight rate

and launch cost of the Space Shuttle, numbers that turned out to have been wildly optimistic. His 1977 book quoted a Space Shuttle launch cost of $10 million, but in 1981 the subsidized price given to commercial customers started at $38 million. Eventual accounting of the full cost of a launch in 1985 raised this as high as $180 million per flight. O’Neill was appointed by United States President Ronald Reagan to the National Commission on Space in 1985. The commission, led by former NASA administrator Thomas Paine, proposed that the government commit to opening the inner Solar System for human settlement within 50 years. Their report was released in May 1986, four months after the Space Shuttle Challenger broke up on ascent.

Writing career

O’Neill’s popular science book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space (1977) combined fictional accounts of space settlers with an explanation of his plan to build space colonies. Its publication established him as the spokesman for the space colonization movement. It won the Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science that year, and prompted Swarthmore College to grant him an honorary doctorate. The High Frontier has been translated into five languages and remained in print as of 2008. His 1981 book 2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future was an exercise in futurology. O’Neill narrated it as a visitor to Earth from a space colony beyond Pluto. The book explored the effects of technologies he called “drivers of change” on the coming century. Some technologies he described were space colonies, solar power satellites, anti-aging drugs, hydrogen- propelled cars, climate control, and underground magnetic trains. He left the social structure of the 1980s intact, assuming that humanity would remain unchanged even as it expanded into the Solar System. Reviews of 2081 were mixed. New York Times reviewer John Noble Wilford found the book “imagination-stirring”, but Charles Nicol thought the technologies described were unacceptably far-fetched. In his book The Technology Edge, published in 1983, O’Neill wrote about economic competition with Japan. He argued that the United States had to develop six industries to compete: microengineering, robotics, genetic engineering, magnetic flight, family aircraft, and space science.[51] He also thought that industrial development was suffering from short-sighted

executives, self- interested unions, high taxes, and poor education of Americans. According to reviewer Henry Weil, O’Neill’s detailed explanations of emerging technologies differentiated the book from others on the subject.

Entrepreneurial efforts

O’Neill founded Geostar Corporation to develop a satellite position determination system for which he was granted a patent in 1982. The system, primarily intended to track aircraft, was called Radio Determination Satellite Service (RDSS). In April 1983 Geostar applied to the FCC for a license to broadcast from three satellites, which would cover the entire United States. Geostar launched GSTAR-2 into geosynchronous orbit in 1986. Its transmitter package permanently failed two months later, so Geostar began tests of RDSS by transmitting from other satellites. With his health failing, O’Neill became less involved with the company at the same time it started to run into trouble. In February 1991 Geostar filed for bankruptcy and its licenses were sold to Motorola for the Iridium satellite constellation project. Although the system was eventually replaced by GPS, O’Neill made significant advances in the field of position determination. O’Neill founded O’Neill Communications in Princeton in 1986. He introduced his Local Area Wireless Networking, or LAWN, system at the PC Expo in New York in 1989. The LAWN system allowed two computers to exchange messages over a range of a couple hundred feet at a cost of about

$500 per node. O’Neill Communications went out of business in 1993; the LAWN technology was sold to Omnispread Communications. As of 2008, Omnispread continued to sell a variant of O’Neill’s LAWN system.[70] On November 18, 1991, O’Neill filed a patent application for a vactrain system. He called the company he wanted to form VSE International, for velocity, silence, and efficiency. However, the concept itself he called Magnetic Flight. The vehicles, instead of running on a pair of tracks, would be elevated using electromagnetic force by a single track within a tube (permanent magnets in the track, with variable magnets on the vehicle), and propelled by electromagnetic forces through tunnels. He estimated the trains could reach speeds of up to 2,500 mph (4,000 km/ h) — about five times faster than a jet airliner — if the air was evacuated from the tunnels.To obtain such speeds, the vehicle would accelerate for the first half of the trip, and then decelerate for the second half of the trip. The acceleration was planned to be a maximum of about one- half of the force of gravity. O’Neill planned to build a network of stations connected by these tunnels, but he died two years before his first patent on it was granted.

• Dr Geoffrey Keith Charles Pardoe OBE FREng FRAeS FBIS (2 November 1928 – 3 January 1996) was the Project Manager for the Blue Streak ballistic missile programme. He was also an advocate for British advanced science and technology, and involvement in space exploration, deploring (repeated) government negligence and its aborted technology programmes.

• Dr Robert Charles Parkinson MBE (born 15 July 1941) is a British aerospace engineer that worked on many projects including HOTOL which he cooriginated with Alan Bond.

He was the president of the British Interplanetary Society from 2009 – 2012.

John Whiteside JackParsons (born Marvel Whiteside Parsons;

October 2, 1914 – June 17, 1952) was an American rocket engineer and rocket propulsion researcher, chemist, and Thelemite occultist. Associated with the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), Parsons was one of the principal founders of both the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and the Aerojet Engineering Corporation. He invented the first rocket engine to use a castable, composite rocket propellant, and pioneered the advancement of both liquid-fuel and solid-fuel rockets.

Pedro Eleodoro Paulet Mostajo (July 2, 1874 – January 30, 1945) was a Peruvian inventor who allegedly in 1895 was the first person to build a liquid- fuel rocket engine and, in 1900, the first person to build a modern rocket propulsion system. German V-2 inventor Wernher von Braun considered Paulet one of the “fathers of aeronautics.” The National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C., has a small plaque honoring the memory of Paulet.


Jordi Puig-Suari is a professor and aerospace technology developer. He is the co-inventor of the CubeSat standard, and the co-founder of Tyvak Nano- Satellite Systems.

Jesco Hans Heinrich Max Freiherr von Puttkamer 

(September 22, 1933 – December 27, 2012) was a German-American aerospace engineer and senior NASA manager from Leipzig.

Johann Schmidlap of Schorndorf was a 16th- century Bavarian fireworks maker and rocket pioneer.

were then moved to a location near Garlock in the Mojave Desert in California. Jubb runs The Falcon Project from a home office in his parents’ house and the company supplies the MOD, United States military, and plans to build satellite launch vehicles. In a short documentary produced in 1998 for Channel 4 titled Raw Talent: The Rocket Scientist, Jubb stated that he built his first rocket at age five, “from a McDonald’s straw, a light-bulb holder and some household ingredients”.

Although many media claims have been made about the altitudes reached by Jubb’s rockets, none have appeared on the list of altitude records held by the United Kingdom Rocketry Association. In November 2005, Jubb joined the Bloodhound SSC project. The Bloodhound is a jet and rocket powered car that was designed to break the land speed record by traveling at approximately 1,000 miles per hour (1,609 km/h). Jubb and The Falcon Project designed, built, and repeatedly tested their hybrid rocket engine that will produce an estimated 25,000 lbs of thrust, suitable for either Bloodhound SSC or Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShip Two. In addition, The Falcon Project Ltd completed and tested a full scale monopropellant thruster for sub-sonic testing of the vehicle. On 28 November 2010 Neil Armstrong visited the Bloodhound SSC headquarters and chatted with the team, including Jubb. This 3 October 2012 report was televised on the Bloodhound SSC hybrid rocket fabricated by The Falcon Project Ltd with Daniel Jubb as director, which was successfully tested in public at Newquay, GB. Due to escalating costs caused by control system delays, the hybrid rocket for Bloodhound will instead be developed by Nammo. On 10 June 2015, Jubb visited Stokesley School and spoke with Year 10 students extensively about Rocket Science and assisted them in fitting their own rockets with motors, which was a great success. Jubb has also been noted for his prominent moustache which earned him recognition from The Chap magazine.

Qian Xuesen or Hsue-Shen Tsien 

(Chinese: 钱学 森;

11 December 1911 – 31 October 2009) was a

Chinese engineer who contributed to aerodynamics and rocket science. Recruited from MIT, he joined Theodore von Karman’s group at Caltech, including the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.[1] Later he returned to China as Qian Xuesen and made important contributions to China’s missile and space program.

• Simon “Si” Ramo (May 7, 1913 – June 27, 2016) was an American engineer, businessman, and author. He led development of microwave and missile technology and is sometimes known as the father of the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). He also developed General Electric’s electron microscope. He has been partly responsible for the creation of two Fortune 500 companies, Ramo- Wooldridge (TRW after 1958) and Bunker-Ramo (now part of Honeywell).

Tecwyn Roberts (10 October 1925 – 27 December 1988) was a Welsh-born American spaceflight engineer who in the 1960s played important roles in designing the Mission Control Center at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

and creating NASA’s worldwide tracking and communications network.

Milton William Rosen (July 25, 1915 – December 30, 2014) was a United States Navy engineer and project manager in the US space program between the end of World War II and the early days of the Apollo Program. He led development of the Viking and Vanguard rockets, and was influential in the critical decisions early in NASA’s history that led to the definition of the Saturn rockets, which were central to the eventual

success of the American Moon landing program. He died of prostate cancer in 2014.

Eugen Sänger 

(22 September 1905 – 10 February 1964) was an Austrian aerospace engineer best known for his contributions to lifting body and ramjet technology.

Helmut W. Schulz (1912 – 28 January 2006) was a German chemical engineer and professor at Columbia University known for his many works in disparate fields like nuclear physics, rocketry and waste-to-energy processes. He developed the process for separating uranium isotopes.

John Lanfear Scott-Scott (22 June 1934 – 12 December 2015) was a British mechanical and aerospace engineer. After graduating from the University of Birmingham, he joined Armstrong Siddeley Motors in 1955, becoming a hydrodynamicist at their Rocket Department. He worked there on Black Arrow, making important contributions to the fuel pump system. Later he helped to form, and worked at, Reaction Engines Limited until he retired in 2011. Scott-Scott married Pauline W. A. Cullen in 1955; they had two daughters and a son. He was the Chairman of the Coventry Branch, Rolls- Royce Heritage Trust from November 2000 until May 2014.

Kazimierz Siemienowicz (Latin: Casimirus Siemienowicz, Lithuanian: Kazimieras Simonavičius, Polish: Kazimierz Siemienowicz, born c. 1600 – c. 1651), was a Polish–Lithuanian general of artillery, gunsmith, military engineer, and pioneer of rocketry. Born in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, he served the armies of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, a ruler of the Netherlands. No portrait or detailed biography of him has survived and much of his life is a subject of dispute.


• Colonel Leslie Alfred Skinner LOM (April 21, 1900 – November 2, 1978) was an American rocket engineer. He played a leading role in the development of several rocket propelled weapons during World War II, notably the first shoulder- fired missile system, the Bazooka.

Richard G. Smith was director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center from September 26, 1979 to August 2, 1986. Born in Durham, N.C., in 1929, Smith was educated in Alabama schools. After graduation from Decatur High School, he attended Florence State College and Auburn University. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn in 1951. Smith became a member of the rocket research and development team at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, in June 1951. He transferred to NASA in July 1960 when the Development Operations Division of the Army Ballistic Missile Agency became the nucleus for the establishment of the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center. Smith served in positions of increasing responsibility at the Marshall Center. He held various assignments in the former Guidance and Control Laboratory and in the Systems Engineering Office prior to being appointed deputy manager and later manager of the Saturn Program. In January 1974 Smith became director of science and engineering and served in that position until he was named deputy director of the Marshall Center in 1974. On August 15, 1978, Smith accepted a one-year assignment as deputy associate administrator for Space Transportation Systems at NASA Headquarters, Washington, D.C. He served as director of the Skylab Task Force appointed by the NASA administrator to represent NASA preceding and following the reentry of Skylab. Smith was a member of the NASA Executive Development Education Panel, and he also served a three-year term as a member of the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council.
For his contributions to the Apollo Lunar Landing Program and the Skylab Program he received the NASA Medal for Exceptional Service in 1969 and the NASA Medal for Distinguished Service in 1973. In January 1980 he received NASA’s Outstanding Leadership Medal for his management of the Skylab Reentry Program. In September 1980 he was awarded the rank of meritorious executive in the Senior Executive Service. In June 1981, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree by Florida Institute of Technology. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate of science degree by his Alma Mater, Auburn University, on December 9, 1983. Smith’s administration covered the completion of the Space Shuttle buildup, the launch of 25 shuttle missions and the beginning of the planning effort for the Space Station. Smith retired on Aug. 2, 1986.

Stephen Hector Taylor-Smith (4 February 1891 – 15 February 1951) often known as Stephen Smith, was a pioneering Indian aerospace engineer who developed techniques in delivering mail by rocket. Unlike Friedrich Schmiedl, whom the Austrian Authorities banned from further experimenting, Smith was encouraged in his experiments by Indian Officials. In the ten-year span of his experiments (1934-1944), Smith made some 270 launches, including at least 80 rocket mail flights.


Johndale C. Solem (born 1941) is an American theoretical physicist and Fellow of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Solem has authored or co- authored over 185 technical papers in many different scientific fields.[1] He is known for his work on avoiding comet or asteroid collisions with Earth and on interstellar spacecraft propulsion.

Nuclear explosive propulsion for interplanetary space travel 

Solem’s research on interplanetary travel culminated in his MEDUSA concept, a nuclear explosive propelled spacecraft for interplanetary space travel (1994b). Gregory Matloff said this was “a surprising [propulsion] concept which might greatly

reduce spacecraft mass.”[4] The concept inspired research and elaboration by the aerospace community.[5] [6][7] At the behest of NASA’s Breakthrough Propulsion Physics Project, Solem investigated whether a nuclear external pulsed plasma propelled (EPPP) interstellar probe could reach Alpha Centauri in 40 years, the average length of a scientist’s career. No scheme could be found, even involving elaborate staging, that could accelerate such a vehicle much beyond 1% the speed of light.[8]

Grigori Aleksandrovich Tokaev (Russian: Григорий Александрович Токаев; Ossetian: Гогки Ахмæты фырт Токаты, Gorki Axmætî fîrt Tokatî; also known as Grigory Totakty; born October 13, 1909, died 23 November 2003) was a rocket scientist and long- standing critic of Stalin’s USSR.

Konstantin Eduardovich Tsiolkovsky (Russian: Константи́н Эдуар́ дович Циолко́вский;
IPA: [kənstɐnjˈtjin ɪdʊˈardəvjɪtɕ tsɨɐl ˈkofskjɪj] ( listen);


Polish: Konstanty Ciołkowski; 17 September [O.S. 5 September] 1857 – 19 September 1935) was a Russian and Soviet rocket scientist and pioneer of the astronautic theory. Along with the French Robert Esnault-Pelterie, the German Hermann Oberth and the American Robert H. Goddard, he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of modern rocketry and astronautics. His works later inspired leading Soviet rocket engineers such as Sergei Korolev and Valentin

Glushko and contributed to the success of the Soviet space program. Tsiolkovsky spent most of his life in a log house on the outskirts of Kaluga, about 200 km (120 mi) southwest of

Moscow. A recluse by nature, his unusual habits made him seem bizarre to his fellow townsfolk.

Early life

He was born in Izhevskoye (now in Spassky District, Ryazan Oblast), in the Russian Empire, to a middle- class family. His father, Edward Tsiolkovsky (in Polish: Ciołkowski), was a Polish-born Russian Orthodox; his mother, Maria Ivanovna Yumasheva belonged to Russian nobility and was of mixed Volga Tatar and Russian origin. His father was successively a forester, teacher, and minor government official. At the age of 10, Konstantin caught scarlet fever and became hard of hearing. When he was 13, his mother died. He was not admitted to elementary schools because of his hearing problem, so he was self- taught.[6] As a reclusive home- schooled child, he passed much of his time by reading books and became interested in mathematics and physics. As a teenager, he began to contemplate the possibility of space travel. After falling behind in his studies, Tsiolkovsky spent three years attending a Moscow library where Russian cosmism proponent Nikolai Fyodorov worked. He later came to believe that colonizing space would lead to the perfection of the human race, with immortality and a carefree existence.

Additionally, inspired by the fiction of Jules Verne, Tsiolkovsky theorized many aspects of space travel and rocket propulsion. He is considered the father of spaceflight and the first person to conceive the space elevator, becoming inspired in 1895 by the newly constructed Eiffel Tower in Paris. Despite the youth’s growing knowledge of physics, his father was concerned that he would not be able to provide for himself financially as an adult and brought him back home at the age of 19 after learning that he was overworking himself and going hungry. Afterwards, Tsiolkovsky passed the teacher’s exam and went to work at a school in Borovsk near Moscow. He also met and married his wife Varvara Sokolova during this time. Despite being stuck in Kaluga, a small town far from major learning centers, Tsiolkovsky managed to make scientific discoveries on his own. The first two decades of the 20th century were marred by personal tragedy. Tsiolkovsky’s son Ignaty committed suicide in 1902, and in 1908 many of his accumulated papers were lost in a flood. In 1911, his daughter Lyubov was arrested for engaging in revolutionary activities.

Scientific achievements

This section has recently been partly machine translated from the Russian article. Please supply an improved translation if possible. Tsiolkovsky stated that he developed the theory of rocketry only as a supplement to philosophical research on the subject. He wrote more than 400 works including approximately 90 published pieces on space travel and

related subjects. Among his works are designs for rockets with steering thrusters, multistage boosters, space stations, airlocks for exiting a spaceship into the vacuum of space, and closed- cycle biological systems to provide food and oxygen for space colonies. Tsiolkovsky’s first scientific study dates back to 1880– 1881. He wrote a paper called “Theory of Gases,” in which he outlined the basis of the kinetic theory of gases, but after submitting it to the Russian Physico- Chemical Society (RPCS), he was informed that his discoveries had already been made 25 years earlier. Undaunted, he pressed ahead with his second work, “The Mechanics of the Animal Organism”. It received favorable feedback, and Tsiolkovsky was made a member of the Society. Tsiolkovsky’s main works after 1884 dealt with four major areas: the scientific rationale for the all-metal balloon (airship), streamlined airplanes and trains, hovercraft, and rockets for interplanetary travel. In 1892, he was transferred to a new teaching post in Kaluga where he continued to experiment. During this period, Tsiolkovsky began working on a problem that would occupy much of his time during the coming years: an attempt to build an all-metal dirigible that could be expanded or shrunk in size. Tsiolkovsky developed the first aerodynamics laboratory in Russia in his apartment. In 1897, he built the first Russian wind tunnel with an open test section and developed a method of experimentation using it. In 1900, with a grant from the Academy of Sciences, he made a survey using models of the simplest shapes and determined the drag coefficients of the sphere, flat plates, cylinders, cones, and other bodies. Tsiolkovsky’s work in the field of aerodynamics was a source of ideas for Russian scientist Nikolay Zhukovsky, the father of modern aerodynamics and hydrodynamics. Tsiolkovsky described the airflow around bodies of different geometric shapes, but because the RPCS did not provide any financial support for this project, he was forced to pay for it largely out of his own pocket. Tsiolkovsky studied the mechanics of powered flying machines, which were designated “dirigibles” (the word “airship” had not yet been invented). Tsiolkovsky first proposed the idea of an all-metal dirigible and built a model of it. The first printed work on the airship was “A Controllable Metallic Balloon” (1892), in which he gave the scientific and technical rationale for the design of an airship with a metal sheath. Progressive for his time, Tsiolkovsky was not supported on the airship project, and the author was refused a grant to build the model. An appeal to the General Aviation Staff of the Russian army also had no success. In 1892, he turned to the new and unexplored field of heavier-than- air aircraft. Tsiolkovsky’s idea was to build an airplane with a metal frame. In the article “An Airplane or a Birdlike (Aircraft) Flying Machine” (1894) are descriptions and drawings of a monoplane, which in its appearance and aerodynamics anticipated the design of aircraft that would be constructed 15 to 18 years later. In an Aviation Airplane, the wings have a thick profile with a rounded front edge and the fuselage is faired. But work on the airplane, as well as on the airship, did not receive recognition from the official representatives of Russian science, and Tsiolkovsky’s further research had neither monetary nor moral support. In 1914, he displayed his models of all-metal dirigibles at the Aeronautics Congress in St. Petersburg but met with a lukewarm response. Disappointed at this, Tsiolkovsky gave up on space and aeronautical problems with the onset of World War I and instead turned his attention to the problem of alleviating poverty. This occupied his time during the war years until the Russian Revolution in 1917. Starting in 1896, Tsiolkovsky systematically studied the theory of motion of rocket apparatus. Thoughts on the use of the rocket principle in the cosmos were expressed by him as early as 1883, and a rigorous theory of rocket propulsion was developed in 1896. Tsiolkovsky derived the formula, which he called the “formula of aviation”, establishing the relationship between:

• changeintherocket’sspeed(δV) • exhaustvelocityoftheengine(ve)

• initial(M0)andfinal(M1)massofthe rocket δV=veln(M0/M1)
After writing out this equation, Tsiolkovsky recorded the date: 10 May 1897. In the same year, the formula for the motion of a body of variable mass was published in the thesis of the Russian mathematician I. V. Meshchersky (“Dynamics of a Point of Variable Mass,” I. V. Meshchersky, St. Petersburg, 1897). His most important work, published in 1903, was
Exploration of Outer Space by Means of Rocket Devices 

(Russian: Исследование мировых пространств реактивными приборами).[10] Tsiolkovsky calculated, using the Tsiolkovsky equation,[11]:1 that the horizontal speed required for a minimal orbit around the Earth is 8,000 m/s (5 miles per second) and that this could be achieved by means of a multistage rocket fueled by liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. In the article “Exploration of Outer Space by Means of Rocket Devices”, it was proved for the first time that a rocket could perform space flight. In this article and its subsequent sequels (1911 and 1914), he developed some ideas of missiles and considered the use of liquid rocket engines. The outward appearance of Tsiolkovsky’s spacecraft design, published in 1903, was a basis for modern spaceship design. The design had a hull divided into 3 main sections. The pilot and copilot were in the first section, the second and third sections held the liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen needed to fuel the

spacecraft. However, the result of the first publication was not what Tsiolkovsky expected. No foreign scientists appreciated his research, which today is a major scientific discipline. In 1911 he published the second part of the work “Exploration of Outer Space by Means of Rocket Devices”. Here Tsiolkovsky evaluated the work needed to overcome the force of gravity, determined the speed needed to propel the device into the solar system (“escape velocity”), and examined calculation of flight time. The publication of this article made a splash in the scientific world, Tsiolkovsky found many friends among his fellow scientists. In 1926–1929, Tsiolkovsky solved the practical problem regarding the role played by rocket fuel in getting to escape velocity and leaving the Earth. He showed that the final speed of the rocket depends on the rate of gas flowing from it and on how the weight of the fuel relates to the weight of the empty rocket. Tsiolkovsky conceived a number of ideas that have been later used in rockets. They include: gas rudders (graphite) for controlling a rocket’s flight and changing the trajectory of its center of mass, the use of components of the fuel to cool the outer shell of the spacecraft (during re- entry to Earth) and the walls of the combustion chamber and nozzle, a pump system for feeding the fuel components, the optimal descent trajectory of the spacecraft while returning from space, etc. In the field of rocket propellants, Tsiolkovsky studied a large number of different oxidizers and combustible fuels and recommended specific pairings: liquid oxygen and hydrogen, and oxygen with hydrocarbons. Tsiolkovsky did much fruitful work on the creation of the theory of jet aircraft, and invented his chart Gas Turbine Engine. In 1927 he published the theory and design of a train on an air cushion. He first proposed a “bottom of the retractable body” chassis. However, space flight and the airship were the main problems to which he devoted his life. Tsiolkovsky had been developing the idea of the hovercraft since 1921, publishing a fundamental paper on it in 1927, entitled “Air Resistance and the Express

Train” (Russian: Сопротивление воздуха и скорый по́езд). In 1929, Tsiolkovsky proposed the construction of multistage rockets in his book Space Rocket Trains (Russian: Космические ракетные поезда). Tsiolkovsky championed the idea of the diversity of life in the universe and was the first theorist and advocate of human spaceflight. Tsiolkovsky never built a rocket; he apparently did not expect many of his theories to ever be implemented. Hearing problems did not prevent the scientist from having a good understanding of music, as outlined in his work “The Origin of Music and Its Essence.”

Later life

Although Tsiolkovsky supported the Bolshevik Revolution, he did not particularly flourish under a communist system. Eager to promote science and technology, the new Soviet government elected him a member of the Socialist Academy in 1918. He worked as a high school mathematics teacher until retiring in 1920 at the age of 63. In 1921 he received a lifetime pension. Only late in his lifetime was Tsiolkovsky honored for his pioneering work. In particular, his support of eugenics made him politically unpopular. However, from the mid 1920s onwards the importance of his other work was acknowledged, and he was honoured for it and the Soviet state provided financial backing for his research. He was initially popularized in Soviet Russia in 1931-1932 mainly by two writers: Iakov Perel’man and Nikolai Rynin. Tsiolkovsky died in Kaluga on 19 September 1935 after undergoing an operation for stomach cancer. He bequeathed his life’s work to the Soviet state.


Although many called his ideas impractical, Tsiolkovsky influenced later rocket scientists throughout Europe, like Wernher von Braun. Russian search teams at Peenemünde found a German translation of a book by Tsiolkovsky of which “almost every page…was embellished by von Braun’s comments and notes.” Leading Soviet rocket-engine

designer Valentin Glushko and rocket designer Sergey Korolev studied Tsiolkovsky’s works as youths, and both sought to turn Tsiolkovsky’s theories into reality. In particular, Korolev saw traveling to Mars as the more important priority, until in 1964 he decided to compete with the American Project Apollo for the moon.

Philosophical work

Tsiolkovsky wrote a book called The Will of the Universe. The Unknown Intelligence in 1928 in which he propounded a philosophy of panpsychism. He believed humans would eventually colonize the Milky Way galaxy. His thought preceded the Space Age by several decades, and some of what he foresaw in his imagination has come into being since his death. Tsiolkovsky also did not believe in traditional religious cosmology, but instead (and to the chagrin of the Soviet authorities) he believed in a cosmic being that governed humans as “marionettes, mechanical puppets, machines, movie characters”, thereby adhering to a mechanical view of the universe, which he believed would be controlled in the millennia to come through the power of human science and industry.

• • Air Commodore Władysław Józef ولوادیسیوف) (23 :Marian Turowicz (Urdu April دورووچ 1908 – 8 January 1980), usually referred to as W. J. M. Turowicz, was a Polish- Pakistani aviator, military scientist and aeronautical engineer. Turowicz was the administrator of Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) from 1967 to 1970. He was one of forty five Polish officers and airmen who joined RPAF on contract in the early fifties. After completion of his initial contract, Turowicz opted to stay on in Pakistan and continued to serve in PAF and later, SUPARCO.

Turowicz made significant contributions to Pakistan’s missile/rocket program as a chief aeronautical engineer. In Pakistan, he remains highly respected as a scientist and noted aeronautical engineer.

Bob Twiggs is a consulting professor emeritus at Stanford University[1] who is responsible, along with Jordi Puig-Suari of California Polytechnic State University, for co-inventing the CubeSat reference design for miniaturised satellites[2][3] which

became an Industry Standard for design and deployment of the satellites.

Stanisław Marcin Ulam (pronounced [‘staɲiswaf ‘mar tɕ in ‘ulam]; 13 April 1909 – 13 May 1984) was a Polish-American mathematician. He participated in America’s Manhattan Project, originated the Teller–Ulam design of thermonuclear weapons, discovered the concept of cellular automaton, invented the Monte Carlo method of computation, and suggested nuclear pulse propulsion. In pure and

applied mathematics, he proved some theorems and proposed several conjectures.

Nuclear propulsion

Starting in 1955, Ulam and Frederick Reines considered nuclear propulsion of aircraft and rockets. This is an attractive possibility, because the nuclear energy per unit mass of fuel is a million times greater than that available from chemicals. From 1955 to 1972, their ideas were pursued during Project Rover, which explored the use of nuclear reactors to power rockets. In response to a question by Senator John O. Pastore at a congressional committee hearing on “Outer Space Propulsion by Nuclear Energy”, on January 22, 1958, Ulam replied that “the future as a whole of mankind is to some extent involved inexorably now with going outside the globe.” Ulam and C. J. Everett also proposed, in contrast to Rover’s continuous heating of rocket exhaust, to harness small nuclear explosions for propulsion. Project Orion was a study of this idea. It began in 1958 and ended in 1965, after the Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963 banned nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere and in space. Work on this project was spearheaded by physicist Freeman Dyson, who commented on the decision to end Orion in his article, “Death of a Project”. Bradbury appointed Ulam and John H. Manley as research advisors to the laboratory director in 1957. These newly created positions were on the same administrative level as division leaders, and Ulam held his until he retired from Los Alamos. In this capacity, he was able to influence and guide programs in many divisions: theoretical, physics, chemistry, metallurgy, weapons, health, Rover, and others. In addition to these activities, Ulam continued to publish technical reports and research papers. One of these introduced the Fermi–Ulam model, an extension of Fermi’s theory of the acceleration of cosmic rays. Another, with Paul Stein and Mary Tsingou, titled “Quadratic Transformations”, was an early investigation of chaos theory and is considered the first published use of the phrase “chaotic behavior”.

Richard Antony Varvill (born 23 September 1961) is a British engineer, and the Chief Designer (Technical Director) at Reaction Engines Limited.

Wernher von braun-Wernher Magnus Maximilian 

Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16,

1977) was a German, later American, aerospace engineer[3] and space architect credited with inventing the V-2 rocket for


Nazi Germany and the Saturn V for the United States.[4][5] He was the leading figure in the development of rocket technology in Germany and the father of rocket technology and space science in the United States.

Theodore von karman-Theodore von Kármán (Hungarian: szőllőskislaki Kármán Tódor [ˈsøːlːøːskiʃlɒki ˈkaːrmaːn ˈtoːdor]; 11 May 1881 – 6 May 1963) was a Hungarian-American mathematician, aerospace engineer, and physicist who was active primarily in the fields of aeronautics and astronautics. He is responsible for many key advances in aerodynamics, notably his work on supersonic and hypersonic airflow characterization. He is regarded as the outstanding aerodynamic theoretician of the twentieth century.

Mikhail Kuzmich Yangel (Russian: Михаил Кузьмич Янгель; November 7, 1911 – October 25, 1971), was a leading missile designer in the Soviet Union.

Friedrich Zander (Russian: Фридрих Артурович Цандер Fridrikh Arturovich Tsander. Latvian: Frīdrihs Canders, 11 August [O.S. 23 August] 1887 – 28 March 1933), was a Baltic German pioneer of rocketry and spaceflight in the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union. He designed the first liquid-fueled rocket to be launched in the Soviet Union, GIRD-X,

and made many important theoretical contributions to the road to space.

Zhang Qingwei (Chinese: 张庆伟; born 7 November 1961) is a Chinese politician, business executive, and aerospace engineer. He is the Communist Party Secretary of Heilongjiang, former Governor of Hebei, and former chairman of the Commission for Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense (COSTIND). Prior to his government career he was president of China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation (CASC) and chairman of Comac, an aerospace manufacturer.

Aleksandr Borisovich Zheleznyakov (Russian: Алексан́ др Бори́сович Железняко́в; born January 28, 1957 in

Leningrad, USSR[1]) is a specialist in design and production of rocket and space systems. He is also a writer and journalist.

Robert Zubrin 

(born April 9, 1952) is an American aerospace engineer and author, best known for his advocacy of the manned exploration of Mars. He and his colleague at Martin Marietta, David Baker, were the driving force behind Mars Direct, a proposal intended to produce significant reductions in the cost and complexity of such a mission. The key idea was to use the Martian atmosphere to produce oxygen, water, and rocket propellant for the surface stay and return journey. A modified version of the plan was subsequently adopted by NASA as their “design reference mission”. He questions the delay and cost-to-benefit ratio of first establishing a base or outpost on an asteroid or another Project Apollo- like return to the Moon, as neither would be able to provide all of its own oxygen, water, or energy; these resources are producible on Mars, and he expects people would be there thereafter.

Disappointed with the lack of interest from government in Mars exploration and after the success of his book The Case for Mars, as well as leadership experience at the National Space Society, Zubrin established the Mars Society in 1998. This is an international organization advocating a manned Mars mission as a goal, by private funding if possible.

Qualifications and professional experience

Robert Zubrin was born April 9, 1952. Zubrin holds a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Rochester (1974), a M.S. in Nuclear Engineering (1984), a M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics (1986), and a Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering (1992) — all from the University of Washington. He has developed a number of concepts for space propulsion and exploration, and is the author of over 200 technical and non- technical papers and five books. He was a member of Lockheed Martin’s scenario development team charged with developing strategies for space exploration. He was also “a senior engineer with the Martin Marietta Astronautics company, working as one of its leaders in development of advanced concepts for interplanetary missions”. He is also President of both the Mars Society and Pioneer Astronautics, a private company that does research and development on innovative aerospace technologies. Zubrin is the co- inventor on a U.S. design patent and a U.S. utility patent on a hybrid rocket/airplane, and on a U.S. utility patent on an oxygen supply system (see links below). He was awarded his first patent at age 20 in 1972 for Three Player Chess. His inventions also include the nuclear salt- water rocket and co-inventor (with Dana Andrews) of the magnetic sail. Zubrin is fellow at Center for Security Policy.

                                            Famous Inventors 

A list of famous inventors from Archimedes to Tim Berners- Lee.

Archimedes (287 BCE – c. 212 BCE) Archimedes of Syracuse was an ancient Greek mathematician, physicist, engineer, inventor, and astronomer. Amongst other things he calculated pi and developed the Archimedes screw for lifting up water from mines or wells.

Cai Lun (50–121 CE), Chinese inventor of paper. Cai Lun was a Chinese political administrator credited with inventing modern paper and inventing the paper-making process. His invention included the use of raw materials such as bark, hemp, silk and fishing net. The sheets of fibre were suspended in water before removing for drying.

Leonardo Da Vinci (1452–1519) Italian artist, scientist and polymath. Da Vinci invented a huge range of machines and drew models that proved workable 3-500 years later. These included prototype parachutes, tanks, flying machines and single-span bridges. More practical inventions included an optical lens grinder and various hydraulic machines.

Galileo (1564–1642) Italian scientist. Galileo developed a powerful telescope and confirmed revolutionary theories about the nature of the world. Also developed an improved compass.

Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1726) English scientist. Newton invented the reflecting telescope. This greatly improved the capacity of telescopes and reduced optical distortion. Newton was also a great physicist and astronomer.

Thomas Savery (c. 1650–1715) English inventor. Savery patented one of the first steam engines which was pioneered for use in pumping water from mines. This original Savery steam engine was basic, but it was used as a starting point in later developments of the steam engine.

Thomas Newcomen (1664–1729) English inventor who created the first practical steam engine for pumping water from mines. He worked with Savery’s initial design, but significantly improved it, using atmospheric pressure which was safer and more effective for use in mines to remove water.

Jethro Tull (1674–1741) English agricultural entrepreneur. Tull invented the seed drill and horse-drawn hoe. The seed drill improved the efficiency of farming and led to increased yields. It was an important invention in the agricultural revolution which increased yields prior to the industrial revolution.

Abraham Darby (1678–1717) English Quaker, inventor and businessman. Darby developed a process for producing large quantities of pig iron from coke. Coke smelted iron was a crucial raw material in the industrial revolution.

John Harrison (1693–1776) English carpenter and clockmaker. He invented a device for measuring longitude at sea. This was a crucial invention to improve the safety of navigating the oceans.

Benjamin Franklin (1705–1790) American polymath who discovered electricity and invented the Franklin stove, the lightning rod and bifocals. Franklin was also an American statesman and an influential figure in the development of modern America.

William Cullen (1710–1790) Scottish physician and chemist. He is credited with inventing the basis for the first artificial refrigerator, although it took others to make his designs suitable for practical use.

John Wilkinson (1728–1808) English industrialist. John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson developed the manufacture and use of cast iron. These precision-made cast iron cylinders were important in steam engines.

Sir Richard Arkwright (1732–1792) English entrepreneur and ‘father of the industrial revolution.’ Arkwright was a leading pioneer of the spinning industry. He invented the spinning frame and was successful in using this in mass-scale factory production.

James Watt (1736–1819) Scottish inventor of the steam engine, which was suitable for use in trains. His invention of a separate condensing chamber greatly improved the efficiency of steam. It enabled the steam engine to be used for a greater range of purpose than just pumping water.

Alessandro Volta (1745–1827), Italian physicist, credited with inventing the battery. Volta invented the first electrochemical battery cell. It used zinc, copper and an electrolyte, such as sulphuric acid and water.

Sir Humphrey Davy (1778–1829) English inventor of the Davy lamp. The lamp could be used by miners in areas where methane gas existed because the design prevented a flame escaping the fine gauze.

Charles Babbage (1791–1871) English mathematician and inventor. Babbage created the first mechanical computer, which proved to be the prototype for future computers. Considered to be the ‘Father of Computers,’ despite not finishing a working model.

Michael Faraday (1791–1867) English scientist who helped convert electricity into a format that could be easily used. Faraday discovered benzene and also invented an early form of the Bunsen burner.

Samuel Morse (1791–1872) American inventor Morse used principles of Jackson’s electromagnet to develop a single telegraph wire. He also invented Morse code, a method of communicating via telegraph.

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800–1877) British Victorian pioneer of photography. He invented the first negative, which could make several prints. He is known for inventing the calotype process (using Silver Chloride) of taking photographs.

Louis Braille (1809–1852) French inventor. Louis Braille was blinded in a childhood accident. He developed the Braille system of reading for the blind. He also developed a musical Braille, for reading music scores.

Kirkpatrick Macmillan (1812–1878) Scottish inventor of the pedal bicycle. Kirkpatrick’s contribution was to make a rear wheel driven bicycle through the use of a chain, giving the basic design for the bicycle as we know it today.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831–1879) Scottish physicist and inventor. Maxwell invented the first process for producing colour photography. Maxwell was also considered one of the greatest physicists of the millennium.

Karl Benz (1844–1929), German inventor and businessman. Benz developed the petrol-powered car. In 1879, Benz received his first patent for a petrol-powered internal combustion engine, which made an automobile car practical. Benz also became a successful manufacturer.

Thomas Edison (1847–1931) American inventor who filed over 1,000 patents. He developed and innovated a wide range of products from the electric light bulb to the phonograph and motion picture camera. One of the greatest inventors of all time.

Alexander Bell (1847–1922) Scottish scientist credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Also worked on optical telecommunications, aeronautics and hydrofoils.

Nikola Tesla (1856–1943) American Physicist who invented fluorescent lighting, the Tesla coil, the induction motor, 3- phase electricity and AC electricity.

Rudolf Diesel (1858–1913), German inventor of the Diesel engine. Diesel sought to build an engine which had much greater efficiency. This led him to develop a diesel-powered combustion engine.

Édouard Michelin (1859–1940), French inventor of a pneumatic tire. John Dunlop invented the first practical pneumatic tyre in 1887. Michelin improved on this initial design to develop his own version in 1889.

Marie Curie (1867–1934) Polish born French chemist and physicist. Curie discovered Radium and helped make use of radiation and X-rays.

The Wright Brothers (1871–1948) American inventors who successfully designed, built and flew the first powered aircraft in 1903.

Alexander Fleming (1881–1955), Scottish scientist. Fleming discovered the antibiotic penicillin by accident from the mould Penicillium notatum in 1928.

John Logie Baird (1888–1946) Scottish inventor who invented the television and the first recording device.

Enrico Fermi (1901–1954) Italian scientist who developed the nuclear reactor. Fermi made important discoveries in induced radioactivity. He is considered the inventor of the nuclear reactor.

J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904–1967), United States – Atomic bomb. Oppenheimer was in charge of the Manhattan project which led to the creation of the first atomic bomb, later dropped in Japan. He later campaigned against his own invention.

Alan Turing (1912–1954) English 20th century mathematician, pioneer of computer science. He developed the Turing machine, capable of automating processes. It could be adapted to simulate the logic of any computer algorithm.

Robert Noyce (1927–1990) American 20th-century electrical engineer. Along with Jack Kilby, he invented the microchip or integrated circuit. He filed for a patent in 1959. The microchip fueled the computer revolution.

James Dyson (1947– ) British entrepreneur. He developed the bag-less vacuum cleaner using Dual Cyclone action. His Dyson company has also invented revolutionary hand dryers.

Tim Berners-Lee (1955– ) British computer scientist. Tim Berners-Lee is credited with inventing the World Wide Web, which enabled the internet to display websites viewable on internet browsers. He developed the http:// protocol for the internet and made the world wide web freely available.

Steve Jobs (1955–2011) American entrepreneur and developer. Jobs helped revolutionise personal computer devices with the iPod, iPad, Macbook and iPhone. He is credited with inventing the new wave of hand-held personal computer devices.

Famous Biologists

Biologists throughout the world have made great finds and discoveries throughout history. Some of these discoveries have helped cure diseases, perform medical procedures, and classify animals. Others have formed the basis of the medical profession as we know it today. Here are some of the famous biologists that have made significant contributions to various areas of life.

Biologists of Antiquity 


Hippocrates (c.460 BC-

c.370 BC)

Nationality: Greek Known for: The Father of Western Medicine Wrote On the Physician, a guide outlining how a physician should treat their patients. Also authored the Hippocratic Oath, which doctors still use today as part of their practice.


Aristotle (384 BC-322


Nationality: Greek Known for: Classified organisms into a “Ladder of Life” Aristotle was the first to categorize animal life based on their characteristics. He separated them into two categories: “animals with blood” and “animals without blood.” Many of his theories lasted all the way until the 19th century.


Galen (c.129-c.200-216)

Nationality: Greek Known for: First to introduce medicinal experimentation
Galen performed dissections on animals in hopes of learning more about the human anatomy. He was the first to discover that the voice comes from the larynx. He also studied the circulatory system and discovered the difference between arterial and venous blood.


Biologists of the Middle Ages (1500-1700) 

Andreas Vesalius 



Known for: Published On the Fabric of the Human Body
Often referred to as the “founder of modern human anatomy,” Vesalius disproved theories that were several centuries old about the human body. His study of the human skull helped create the field of biological anthropology, which studies how the human species has developed over time.


Anton van 



Nationality: Dutch Known for: The Father of Microbiology
As the first person recorded to describe single-cell organisms, Leeuwenhoek is often referred to as the world’s first microbiologist. Some of the single-cell organisms he observed include blood cells, sperm cells, and others. He handcrafted his own microscopes for doing his research.


Robert Hooke


Nationality: English Known for: Coined the term “cell”
Hooke studied microscopic fossils and as a result of his finding, he was an early supporter in the theory of biological evolution. He also published Micrographia in 1665, one of the best-selling science books of his day. It included illustrations of his microscopic images, including a fly’s eye.


Biologists of the 1700s 

Joseph Priestley 


Nationality: English Known for: Believed to have discovered oxygen Priestley is one of the men believed to have discovered oxygen. He also invented soda water by dissolving heavy gas in water. He won a medal in 1773 from the Royal Society for this discovery. He was also the first to observe photosynthesis.


Antoine Lavoisier 


Nationality: French Known for: Observing metabolism
Lavoisier is best known in the field of biology for his work concerning metabolism. He hooked up a calorimeter to a guinea pig in order to measure the heat produced. He also conducted several experiments involving combustion.


Edward Jenner 


Nationality: English Known for: Created the first effective vaccine for smallpox 

Developed the first experimental vaccine which was used to treat smallpox. He also coined the term “vaccination” and is often referred to as the “father of immunology.” Jenner also helped establish what is now the Royal Society of Medicine.


Biologists of the 1800s 

Alexander Von 


(1769-1859) known for humboltian science. He helped establish the field of biogeography, which is the study of ecosystems and species throughout geological time and space Humboldtian science is also named for him, which is the belief that the most modern and accurate resources should be used for collecting data.

Claude Bernard 


Nationality: French Known for: Blind experimental method for objective results 

By suggesting using blind experiments to conduct studies, Bernard helped researchers get more objective results to their experiments. He also did studies on the pancreas gland, the liver, and parts of the body’s nervous system.


Gregor Mendel 


Nationality: German Known for: Plant hybridizations and genetics 

Mendel worked with plants, peas, and honeybees to test his theories regarding genetics. He is credited with being the founder of the science of genetics and discovering a set of laws about genetic patterns, now called the Mendelian inheritance.


Louis Pasteur 


Nationality: French Known for: Created the process of pasteurization for treating milk and wine Performed experiments that supported the germ theory of disease, which stated that diseases are caused by microorganisms. He also co-founded the field of microbiology and created vaccines for anthrax and rabies.



Joseph Lister (1827-1912)
Nationality: British
Known for: Using antiseptics for cleaning and sterilizing wounds
As a professor of surgery. Lister introduced the idea of sterilizing surgical instruments with carbolic acid to help prevent infection. He came to be known as the “father of antisepsis” due to his work. He also developed better methods for mastectomies and repairing kneecaps.


Biologists of the 1900s 


Ernst Mayr (1904-2005)

Nationality: German Known for: The Darwin of the 20th Century 

In an attempt to solve the “species problem” of Darwin’s work, Mayr published Systematics and the Origin of Species to explain his ideas regarding evolutionary biology. His work and findings influenced future theories, such as the theory of punctuated equilibrium.


Erwin Chargaff 


Nationality: Austrian Known for: Chargaff’s rules regarding DNA structure 

Chargaff is known mainly for discovering two rules related to the DNA structure and its double helix formation. He found that certain substances within the DNA structure are equal to other substances. He also found that the DNA composition varies from one species to another.


Rachel Carson 


Nationality: American Known for: Warning the public about the dangers of pesticides Marine biologist whose work helped lead to the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency. Carson published several books about sea life in her early career, but later helped change governmental policies regarding the use of certain pesticides.

















  • David Nachmansohn, (1899-1983), German, responsible for elucidating the role of phosphocreatine in energy production in the muscles.
  • Joseph Needham, (1900-1995), British, studied the history of Chinese science
  • Carl Neuberg, (1877-1956), German, pioneer in the study of metabolism.
  • Marshall Warren Nirenberg, (born 1927), American, winner of the 1968 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
  • Paul Nurse, (born 1949), British, awarded a Nobel prize for studies on the control of the cell cycle
  • Eva J. Neer, (1937-2000), American Scientist, awarded the American Heart Association’s Basic Research Prize 1997, also the FASEB Excellence in Science Award in 1998 for research on G-proteins cell biology




  • Judah Hirsch Quastel, (1899-1987), British-Canadian, neurochemistry, soil metabolism, cell metabolism, and cancer.




  • Arne Tiselius, (1902–1971), Nobel laureate, developed protein electrophoresis.



Robert woodward— synthesized vitamin b12, cholesterol, chlorophyl, and many more




Hang Yin, (b. 1976), Professor at the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the BioFrontiers Institute at the University of Colorado Boulder.



Steve Irwin

Stephen Robert “Steve” Irwin, nicknamed “The Crocodile Hunter”, was an Australian wildlife expert, television personality, and conservationist. Irwin achieved worldwide fame from the television series The Crocodile Hunter, an internationally broadcast wildlife documentary series.

Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey was an American zoologist, primatologist, and anthropologist who undertook an extensive study of gorilla groups over a period of 18 years. She studied them daily in the mountain forests of Rwanda, initially encouraged to work there by anthropologist Louis Leakey. 

Jane Goodall

Dame Jane Morris Goodall, DBE is an English primatologist, ethologist, anthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace. Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 55-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National park.

Charles Darwin

Charles Robert Darwin, FRS was an English naturalist and geologist, best known for his contributions to evolutionary theory. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and in a joint publication with Alfred Russel Wallace introduced his scientific theory of evolution.

Jack Hanna

John Bushnell “Jack” Hanna is an American zookeeper who is the Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. He was Director of the zoo from 1978 to 1993, and is viewed as largely responsible for elevating its quality and reputation. Gregor Mendel

Gregor Johann Mendel was a German-speaking Moravian scientist and Augustinian friar who gained posthumous fame as the founder of the modern science of genetics. 

Rachel Carson

Rachel Louise Carson was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement. 

James D. Watson

James Dewey Watson is an American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick. 

Terri Irwin

Terri Irwin, AM is an American-Australian,naturalist and author, the widow of Australian naturalist Steve Irwin and owner of Australia Zoo at Beerwah, Queensland, Australia. She co-starred with her husband on The Crocodile Hunter, their unconventional television nature documentary series. 

Roger Wolcott Sperry

Roger Wolcott Sperry was a neuropsychologist, neurobiologist and Nobel laureate who, together with David Hunter Hubel and Torsten Nils Wiesel, won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine for his work with split-brain research.

Louis Leakey

Louis Seymour Bazett Leakey, also known as L. S. B. Leakey, was a Kenyan paleoanthropologist and archaeologist whose work was important in establishing human evolutionary development in Africa, particularly through his discoveries in the Olduvai Gorge. 

Georges Cuvier

Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric Cuvier, known as Georges Cuvier, was a French naturalist and zoologist. Cuvier was a major figure in natural sciences research in the early 19th century and was instrumental in establishing the fields of comparative anatomy and paleontology. 

Ernst Mayr

Ernst Walter Mayr was one of the 20th century’s leading evolutionary biologists. He was also a renowned taxonomist, tropical explorer, ornithologist, and historian of science. His work contributed to the conceptual revolution that led to the modern evolutionary synthesis of Mendelian genetics.


Zora Neale Hurston

Zora Neale Hurston was an American folklorist, anthropologist, and author. Of Hurston’s four novels and more than 50 published short stories, plays, and essays, she is best known for her 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God. 

Carlos Castaneda

Carlos Castaneda was an American author with a Ph.D. in anthropology. Starting with The Teachings of Don Juan in 1968, Castaneda wrote a series of books that describe his training in shamanism, particularly a group that he called the Toltecs. 

Margaret Mead 

Margaret Mead was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor degree at Barnard College in New York City and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from Columbia University. She wrote the book the coming of age in somoa about her field work there in the 1920s.

Florida donner

Florinda Donner is an American writer and anthropologist known as one of Carlos Castaneda’s “witches”. 

Tobias Schneebaum

Tobias Schneebaum was an American artist, anthropologist, and AIDS activist. He is best known for his experiences living, and traveling among the Harakmbut people of Peru, and the Asmat people of Papua, Western New Guinea, Indonesia then known as Irian Jaya.


Abū al-Rayhān Muhammad ibn Ahmad al-Bīrūnī, known as Al-Biruni in English, was a Persian Muslim scholar and polymath from the Khwarezm region. Al-Biruni is regarded as one of the greatest scholars of the medieval Islamic era and was well versed in physics, mathematics, astronomy, and natural science.

Clifford Geertz

Clifford James Geertz was an American anthropologist who is remembered mostly for his strong support for and influence on the practice of symbolic anthropology, and who was considered “for three decades…the single most influential cultural anthropologist in the United States.” 

10 Famous Cultural


Marcel Mauss (1872-1950)

Mauss was a French sociologist and nephew of Emile Durkheim, the “founder of modern sociology”. He followed in his uncle’s footsteps and assisted him with his well- renowned sociological projects. Mauss was inspired by the idea of analysing religion from a social perspective, which led Mauss to become a great proponent of “social ethnology” (usually a first-hand, and comparative, study of cultures and their social structures). He is most known for his theories about gift exchange among different groups around the world, his work, “The Gift,” described the relationship forged between the gift giver and the recipient. He explained that gifts are much more than objects, they represent moral links between people. Gifts become an obligation, whether bad or good, and the reciprocity that follows serves as a basis of social relationships.

Clifford Geertz (1926-2006)

Clifford Geertz was an American anthropologist who earned fame for his work on symbolic (or interpretive) anthropology. His unique focus was to analyse not just the form of cultural objects, but what those objects actually meant to specific groups of people. Geertz’s field work led to his theory that “things” within a culture can hold important symbolic meaning and help to form perspectives about the surrounding world. This can be seen in his often-cited essay “Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight” in which Geertz describes the intricate symbolic meaning of the cock fighting in Bali, how it represents cultural ideas of masculinity and even how it creates a sort of microcosmic representation of their society. He became a pioneer in the use of “thick description” to explain his research methods, which aims

to describe actions and subjects while recognizing their context and deeper meaning. His work “The Interpretation of Culture” is still a major resource of anthropological thought and teaching today.

Edward Sapir (1884-1939)

Edward Sapir was a Prussian-American anthropologist and linguist widely considered one of the most important contributors to the development of the discipline of linguistics. A student of Boas (see below) Sapir was able to develop the relationship between linguistics and anthropology. Sapir was interested in the ways that language and culture influence each other, and the relation between linguistic differences and differences in cultural world views. Sapir also emphasised the importance of psychology in anthropological thought; the nature of relationships between individuals is important for understanding cultural development. One of Sapir’s major contributions to linguistics is his classification of indigenous languages of the Americas.

Bronisław Malinowski (1884-1942)

Malinowski was one of the most important anthropologists of the 20th century and is most famous for his emphasis on the importance of fieldwork and participant observation. Malinowski’s ideas were a great influence and contributed to the building of modern anthropological methodology. His stress of the importance of fieldwork and in particular the concept of participant observation marked the shift from the era of so called ‘armchair anthropologists. He spent several years studying the indigenous people of the Trobriand Islands, Melanesia, and published his main work in 1922, titled ‘Argonauts of the Western Pacific’. This has become one of the most widely recognised texts in anthropology (ask any anthropology student!), and his ideas about immersion being the best way to observe a culture are of course still poignant today.

Lewis Henry Morgan (1818-1881)

Although he began his professional life as a lawyer, his research in the Iroquois and other Native American peoples became his main focus. He developed a particular interest in the way that people who were related interact and refer to each other and in turn how that affects relationships and overall society (this is also known as kinship systems). Morgan’s field work and travels brought him to his theory of “social evolution”, which he explained could be classified into three stages, “savagery, barbarism and civilization,” laid out in his 1877 book, “Ancient Society”. He suggested that humans follow a social progression which parallels surpluses of food and advancements in collecting that food.

Eric Wolf (1923-1999)

Wolf was influenced by Marxist ideals and his work soon earned him attention, he was sent to gather data in rural areas of Puerto Rico, and later research took him to Mexico and Europe, where he observed peasant societies. He argued that culture needs to be studied from a global perspective and also stressed that culture, including that of non-Western people, is dynamic (doesn’t stay the same for long). In his book, “Europe and the People Without History,” Wolf theorized that as European society grew, affecting natives throughout areas such as Africa and the Americas, the aboriginal communities’ behaviours and practices changed as well. He argued that as powerful (capitalistic) nations expanded into new lands, the expansion inevitably caused a reaction within the native people and eventually changed their habits and ways of relating to each other.

Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009)

Claude Lévi-Strauss is regarded as one of the most famous, respected and important social anthropologists of all time. He’s known as the “founder of structuralism” and made a name for himself far beyond the world of academia and his circle of anthropologists. He applied theories of structural linguistics to the field of anthropology and gained fame for a new way of thinking called structuralism. He put forward the idea that there are

worldwide unconscious structures, or laws, that exist in everything that we do (for example, rituals, mythologies and kinship), and this gives us the means to compare and analyse cultures. His four-volume work, “Mythologiques,” examined the structure and duality of tribal myths throughout the Americas and their influence on culture. Some of his other notable works include “Tristes Tropiques” (“A World on the Wane”) and “Le Pensée Sauvage”(“The Savage Mind”).

Ruth Benedict (1887-1948)

Benedict was one of the first women to earn international recognition for her work in anthropology andfolklore and made huge progress in her research regarding culture and personality. She studied tribes in the American South West, and this research served as the basis for her hugely popular book, “Patterns of Culture.” She explored the connection between culture and the individual and emphasised that understanding traditional cultures could help us understand modern man. She worked as a graduate student with Franz Boas (see below) forming close bonds with him and Margaret Mead (also below).

Margaret Mead (1901-1978)

Margaret Mead is often regarded as the original rebel anthropologist of the United States, her easy-to-follow style of writing, controversial research regarding sex and outspoken personality heightened her fame even beyond the world of anthropology. Her research brought her to the South Pacific, specifically Samoa, where she suggested that culture, not just biology, has an impact adolescent behaviour (this was published in her first book, “Coming of Age in Samoa”). Through close observation of Samoan children, and the ease with which they entered adulthood, Mead came to the conclusion that teenage angst and

stress had more to do with external factors than anything internal. She continued to return to Samoa for research, but also collected information in Papua New Guinea and Bali and this breadth of information led her to publish more than 30 books and hundreds of other works. Her openness about her own methodologies as well as her addressing of sensitive research topics such as sexuality, made her one of the most talked about anthropologists and read authors in the world.

Franz Boas (1858-1942)

Franz Boas is known as “the father of modern cultural anthropology”. He contributed to the establishment of an anthropology department at Columbia University that taught some of the world’s most promising students (including Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead). He helped to challenge outdated beliefs and demystified advanced theories that allowed the development of entirely new and innovative ways of observing and analysing the human race. Unlike some of his peers at the time, Boas conducted research whilst considering the perspectives of other sciences, including linguistics, ethnology and even statistics, and spent time studying the Eskimos of the Canadian Arctic and Native Americans along the northern Pacific coast. Boas was a pioneer within the field of anthropology, pointing out that the individual is only as important as their social group, and that cultural settings affect people differently (even those of the same descent). He is often celebrated for refuting the notion of Western superiority with his theory of relativism, and was able to apply his theories practically in the form of disproving racist beliefs of the time.

More Famous Anthropologists

Edward Burnett Tylor (1832-1917)

Tylor was a British anthropologist who many consider the founder of cultural anthropology. Tylor argued that people in different locations were all equally capable of progressing through culture in stages from savagery through barbarism and then to civilisation, and that “primitive” groups had reached their position by learning, not unlearning. His most widely recognised works, Primitive Culture (1871) and Anthropology (1881), defined the context of the scientific study of anthropology based on evolutionary theories (you can read more about social evolutionism here) which are now outdated but laid the foundations for anthropology as a science today. He also brought the theory of animism forward into common anthropological thought; he believed that animism was the first phase of development for religions.

Mary Douglas (1921-2007)

Mary Douglas was a British anthropologist whose interest lay with comparative religion, and is known for her writings on symbolism and culture. Her reputation was established by her book ‘Purity and Danger‘ (1966) which analyses ideas of ritual purity and impurity within different societies, and is considered a key text in social anthropology. Her concept of group-grid was introduced in ‘Natural

Symbols‘ (1970) and later refined into the foundations of cultural theory. Douglas also contributed to the creation of the Cultural Theory of risk and has also become known for her interpretation of the book of Leviticus.

Edmund Leach (1910-1989)

Another British anthropologist, Leach’s work inhabited a gap between structural-functionalism (see Radcliffe- Brown) and structuralism, although he always considered himself a functionalist. Despite this, Leach worked extensively with Lévi-Strauss’ writings, and his book ‘Lévi- Strauss’ has become used by many as a way of engaging with Lévi-Strauss’ work without having to navigate the often over-complicated language. Leach’s first book was ‘Political Systems of Highland Burma’ (1954) which challenged theories of social structure and cultural change, and criticised generalisations about political systems in different societies. Leach also engaged critically with contemporary ideas on kinship systems, disagreeing especially with several aspects of Lévi- Strauss’ kinship theory outlined in ‘Elementary Structures

of Kinship’. Leach argued that kinship was in fact a flexible concept which shared commonalities with language structures, both in terms for kin and also the fluid nature of language and meaning.

Edward Evan (E.E.) Evans- Pritchard (1902-1973)

Evans-Pritchard was Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford from 1946 to 1970. His most widely recognised work was based on fieldwork done among the Azande people of the upper Nile in 1926, and resulted in his classic text ‘Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande’ (1937). Later Evans-Pritchard began developing Radcliffe-Brown’s program of structural functionalism and as a result his work on the Nuer (‘The Nuer’, ‘Nuer Religion’, and ‘Kinship and Marriage Among the Nuer’) and ‘African Political Systems’ have become classic texts in British social anthropology. In 1965, he published ‘Theories of Primitive Religion’ which argued against existing theories of what were then called “primitive” religious practices and also became a highly influential text. Some notable anthropologists who studied under Evans-Pritchard include Mary Douglas and Talal Asad.

Victor and Edith Turner (1920-1983)

Victor Turner was a Scottish anthropologist whose work is most often referred to as symbolic and interpretive anthropology. He spent much of his career studying the Ndembu tribe of Zambia, and his theoretical interest lay in the exploration of rituals. In his later career Turner shifted his attention and applied his studies of ritual practice to world religions and religious heroes. Turner is also known for expanding theories on the liminal phase, the transition state between states of being, by building on the work of Van Gennep which put forward that liminality consisted of a pre-liminal phase (separation), a liminal phase (transition), and a post-liminal phase (reincorporation). Victor Turner was also married to Edith Turner, who worked alongside her husband on many projects and became a successful anthropologist in her own right, continuing to develop their topics after her husband’s death. Some of the Turner’s most notable work includes: ‘The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual’ (1967); ‘Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture’ (1978), and ‘Liminality, Kabbalah, and the Media’ (1985).

Alfred R. Radcliffe-Brown (1881-1955)

Radcliffe-Brown was a British anthropologist widely considered the founder of the theory of structural functionalism and coadaptation. Originally trained in psychology he was greatly influenced by the work of Émile Durkheim and his studies of social function examine how customs aid in maintaining the overall stability of a society.

Radcliffe-Brown travelled to the Andaman Islands and Western Australia to conduct fieldwork, these experiences serving as the inspiration for his later books The Andaman Islanders (1922) and The Social Organization of Australian Tribes (1930). In 1920 moved to Cape Town to become professor of social anthropology, founding the School of African Life, and later also founded the Institute of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford.

Marvin Harris (1927-2001)

Harris was an American anthropologist, and was highly influential in the development of the theory of cultural materialism. He often focused on Latin America, but also focused on the Islas de la Bahia, Ecuador, Mozambique, and India where his research spanned the topics of evolution, culture, and race. Published in 1968, Harris’ ‘The Rise of Anthropological Theory’ (affectionately known as “The RAT” among graduate students) critically examined classical and contemporary macro-social theory to construct new understanding of human culture that Harris came to call Cultural Materialism. Several of Harris’ other publications explore the cultural and material roots of dietary traditions in many cultures, his publications including: ‘Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture’ (1975); ‘Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture’ (1998) and his co-edited volume, ‘Food and Evolution: Toward a Theory of Human Food Habits’ (1987). Throughout his career, Harris helped to focus anthropological interest into cultural-ecological relationships.

Roy Rappaport (1926-1997)

Rappaport was an American anthropologist known for his contributions to the study of ritual and to ecological anthropology. His text, ‘Pigs for the Ancestors: Ritual in the Ecology of a New Guinea People’ (1968), is an ecological account of ritual among the Tsembaga Maring of New Guinea, and is often considered the most influential and most cited work in ecological anthropology. In this text Rappaport coined the distinction between a people’s cognized environment (how a people understand the effects of their actions in the world) and their operational environment (how an anthropologist interprets the environment through measurement and observation). Throughout his work Rappaport was interested in how ecosystems maintained themselves through regulatory force, and he aimed to show that this was done through adaptive cultural forms that maintain pre-existing relationship with the environment.

Marshall Sahlins (1930-present)

Sahlins is an American anthropologist best known for his ethnographic work in the Pacific and for his contributions to anthropological theory.He is known for theorising the interaction of structure and agency and his demonstrations of the power that culture has to shape people’s perceptions and actions. One of his most widely recognised text, ‘Stone Age Economics’ (1972) collects some of Sahlins’s key essays in substantivist economic anthropology. The substantivist approach puts forward the idea that economic life is produced through cultural rules that govern the production and distribution of goods, so any understanding of economic life has to start with cultural principles, not from the assumption that the economy is made up of independently acting, “economically rational” individuals. Hiss most famous essay from the collection, “The Original Affluent Society,” builds on this theme through an in depth exploration of hunter-gatherer societies. Other notable publications by Sahlins include: ‘Culture and Practical Reason’ (1976); ‘The Use and Abuse of Biology: An Anthropological Critique of Sociobiology’ (1976), and ‘Islands of
History’ (1985).

Nancy Scheper-Hughes (1944- present)

Scheper-Hughes is an American anthropologist known for her writing on the anthropology of the body, hunger, illness, medicine, psychiatry, mental illness, social suffering, violence and genocide. In 2009 her investigation of an international ring of organ sellers based in New York, New Jersey and Israel led to a number of arrests by the FBI. Her first book ‘Saints, Scholars and Schizophrenics: Mental Illness in Rural Ireland’ (1979), won the Margaret Mead Award from the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1980 and established her ability to provoke controversy through her writing. She has also discussed the challenges and ethics of ethnography, which are issues of growing importance as anthropologists are increasingly working in communities that can read and critique their work. She has also worked extensively as an activist and with social movements in Brazil (in defence of rural workers, against death squads, and for the rights of street

children) and in the United States (as a civil rights worker for the homeless mentally ill).

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Famous Paleontologists

William Buckland (1784-1856)

Even at an early age, William Buckland found his interest in the field of paleontology. Among his contributions in the field were the following:

Key Contributions of William Buckland in Paleontology

  • He wrote the first ever complete account of a dinosaur fossil.
  • Later on, he called the giant reptilian organism the Megalosaurus (which will be later called as the dinosaur).
  • He pioneered the used of fossilized fecal matter (called coprolites) in the reconstruction of the ideas about primitive ecosystems.

Further Reading: Strange Science

Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002)

A professor at Harvard himself, Stephen Gould rose to fame in the field of paleontology during the 20th century.

Key Contributions of Stephen Jay Gould in Paleontology

  • Perhaps, his greatest contribution was being the lead promoter of the theory about evolutionary change.
  • His theory, better known as punctuated equilibrium, suggested that changes in fossil records are not a result of a slow and steady process but rather caused by a sporadic changes.

Further Reading: Stephen Jay Gould & NYTimes Article on his life.

John Ostrom (1928-2005)

If you are greatly fascinated by the discovery of dinosaurs, this scientist is the one you should also give the credits to.

Key Contributions of John Ostrom in Paleontology

  • In 1969, John Ostrom discovered the remains of an organism he called the “Deinonychus” which means “terrible claw“. As its name suggests, the human size animal is characterized by sharp-pointed claws and clutching hands.
  • Years after, it was found out that this animal is a hundred and ten million year old dinosaur.

Further Reading: National Geographic (Scroll down to Dinosaurs) and Berkeley Journal.

Alan Walker (1938-)

Alan Walker is another great paleontologist who supposedly became interested in paleontology when he was 11 years old by examining fossils near his home.

Key Contributions of Alan Walker in Paleontology

  • He studied on the very first stages of human evolution, particularly in the different epochs (Miocene, Pliocene, and Pleistocene) in the geologic time scale.
  • Basically, he focused mainly on data and fossils obtained from East Africa. As a result, he was able to deduce ancient behaviors exhibited by the organisms’ biological remains.
  • In addition to this, Walker discovered hundreds of fossils which include: skeleton of a young Homo erectus and a skull of an Australopithecus.

Further Reading: The Ape in Trees.

Henry Fairfield Osborn (1857-1935)

For 25 years, Osborn was the president of the American Museum of National History and had led the expansion of the museum in terms of research programs and its facilities.

Key Contributions of Henry Osborn in Paleontology

  • In the early 20th century, Osborn rose to fame after leading various fossil hunting expeditions and after training new vertebrate paleontologists in the Western United States.
  • Osborn also described and named several dinosaur species such as the Ornitholestes, Tyrannosaururs rex, Pentaceratops, and Velociraptor.
  • Osborn also conducted several studies about the brains of T.rex by dissecting the fossils using a diamond chainsaw.

Further Reading: The Osborn Problem.

James Hall (1811-1898)

Dubbed by many as the “Father of Modern Geology”, James Hall is very much known for his work on the geosyncline principle in mountain-building.

Key Contributions of James Hall in Paleontology

  • In this geosyncline principle, he discovered the main reason why a basin sinks–because of the gradual buildup of sediments forcing it to slowly subside.
  • Aside from that, Hall also founded the famous New York Natural and History Museum.

Further Reading: James Hall Legacy.

Benjamin Franklin Mudge (1817-1879)

B.F.Mudge is very much known to be a collector of fossils. In fact, he was one of the very first paleontologists that documented detailed information about every fossil he found.

Key Contributions of Benjamin Franklin Mudge in Paleontology

  • One of his greatest contribution in the field was his discovery of the Ichthyomis, the first “bird with teeth”.
  • Together with John Parker, he founded the Kansas Academy of Science (formerly Kansas Natural History Society) in 1878.

Further Reading: Robinson Library Archives.

Louis Agassiz (1807-1873)

A renowned American biologist and geologist, Louis Agassiz focused on living and fossil fishes on glaciers. Such discoveries founded the very basis for ichthyological (fish) identification and classification.

Key Contributions of Louis Agassiz in Paleontology

  • During his time, as a result of his extensive research, Agassiz’s discoveries became another evidence that somehow disproved the theory of the “Biblical flood”.
  • However, he focused too much on glaciers, being the main driving mechanism that changed the Earth’s geology, that he rejected the very idea of evolution.

Further Reading: Berkeley Journal.

John “Jack” Horner (1946-)

Jack Horner’s research centered on the growth and behavior of dinosaurs. In particular, his contributions are the following:

Key Contributions of John Horner in Paleontology

  • He discovered that like any other animals, dinosaurs do nurture their young. He also found that they were social animals and some can be found in groups.
  • Furthermore, he found out that some dinosaurs are “unevolved” versions of other species.
  • At present, he is on search of a way to reactivate dinosaur DNA in birds in order to “revive” and create modern dinosaurs.

Further Reading: Famous Scientists.

John Fleagle (1946-)

John Fleagle, by studying fossils, has extensively documented the evolutionary history and biology of higher primates including apes, monkeys, and humans.

Key Contributions of John Fleagle in Paleontology

  • He worked on the functional and comparative anatomy of primates from Asia and Africa.
  • He also studied primate behavioral abilities and compared their ecological roles in their communities.

Further Reading: Stony Brook School of Medicine.

Luis Alvarez (1911-1988)

An experimental physicist himself, Luis Alvarez also made a mark in the field of paleontology.

Key Contributions of Luis Alvarez in Paleontology

  • Together with his son named Walter and colleagues, Luis Alvarez proposed the reason why dinosaurs became extinct—an destructive asteroid (the size of San Francisco) that slammed into planet Earth.
  • Later, this idea was called the “Alvarez Hypothesis” in honor of their work.

Further Reading: About Luis Alvarez.

Mary Anning (1799-1847)

Did you know that the creation of the tongue twister “She sells sea shells by the sea shore” was inspired from a paleontologist? One of the most renowned females in this field, Mary Anning is considered by many as the “Greatest Fossilist in the world”.

Key Contributions of Mary Anning in Paleontology

  • Her greatest contribution was discovering the Jurassic fossils beds in Lyme Regis in Dorset. Aside from that, the London Geological Society awarded her for discovering the fossil of Ichthyosaurus.

Further Reading: Famous Scientists – Mary Anning.

Edwin Colbert (1905-2001)

As a paleontologist himself, Colbert’s expertise on the field had greatly improved after being the caretaker of the American Museum of Natural History for 40 years. Aside from that the following are Colbert’s remarkable contributions in the field of paleontology.

Key Contributions of Edwin Colbert in Paleontology

  • He has led various expeditions that had excavated important dinosaur fossils like the Staurikosaurus.
  • In South Africa, Colbert discovered the remains of the Lystrosaurus, a primitive therapsid (a mammal-like reptile)

Further Reading: About Edwin Colbert.

Charles Darwin (1809-1882)

When one talks about evolution, Charles Darwin is probably the first person that comes into his mind. Other Darwinian contributions in the field are the following.

Key Contributions of Charles Darwin in Paleontology

  • Famous for that controversial theory, Darwin drew conclusions from the fossils and likelihood between related living organisms.
  • After finalizing all the evidence he found, Darwin was able to write his book entitled On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

Further Reading: History of Evolution.

George Cuvier (1769-1832)

Perhaps the most important person on this list, George Cuvier is referred by many as the “Father of Paleontology“. Below are just some of the reasons why.

Key Contributions of George Cuvier in Paleontology

  • He was the founder of vertebrate paleontology as a separate scientific discipline.
  • His contributions in the field include several research on the comparative biology of invertebrates and vertebrates.
  • The principle of the endangerment and extinction of organisms also came from Cuvier.

Influential Sociologists of the 20th Century

Sociology–the scientific study of human social behavior–is a relatively new discipline. The first social survey–that is, the collection of responses from individuals–can be traced back to the 11th century, but sociology didn’t rise to the auspices of “science” until the end of the 19th century. It flourished in the 20th century, and hundreds of sociologists have done research and published articles, books, and studies that have furthered the human race’s understanding of our own social interactions, organizations, and development–including issues of social class, culture, religion, and gender. Here are 10 influential sociologists of the 20th century, listed in birth order:

#1: Emile Durkheim (1858-1917) 

The first professor of sociology in France, Emile Durkheim is known as one of the three “fathers of sociology,” and he is credited with helping sociology be seen as actual science–which we think makes him pretty influential. He first made a splash with 1893’s “The Division of Labor in Society,” which refuted Karl Marx’s critique of industrialization. [Karl Marx is also one of the three founding fathers of sociology, but since he was born and died in the 19th century, he didn’t make this list.] Durkheim’s seminal work was introduced in his 1895 publication, “Suicide,” which pioneered the separation of social science from psychology (hence the acceptance of sociology as “legitimate science”). The work presented his research on the connection between social integration and suicide rates; in short, he theorized that individuals with low social interaction are more likely to commit suicide.

#2: Max Weber (1862-1920) 

Along with Durkheim and Marx, Max Weber is cited as the third founding architect of sociology. Weber’s primary battle cry was the role of religion–not economics, a theory endorsed by Marx–as the catalyst of social change. His understanding of peoples’ actions emphasized the meaning or purpose behind them, and he’s famous for his theory of “Protestant Ethic,” which states that the cultural influences of the Protestant religion brought about the rise of capitalism. After the First World War, he was one of the founders of the liberal German Democratic Party.

#3: Charles Wright Mills (1916-1962) 

C. Wright Mills is perhaps most famous for coining the phrase “power elite,” a term he used to describe the people who ran a government or organization because of their wealth and social status. This theory is usually seen as opposed to the goals of democracy, which aim for the government to be directed by the will of the masses–that is, of the entirety of the population, not just those with the money and power to achieve the political ends that benefit themselves first and foremost. Mills’ work focused on these alliances between the elites as well as the political engagement of intellectuals in the post-World War II society.

#4: Daniel Bell (1919-2011) 

Daniel Bell is the primary thought leader in the field of post- industrialism, a concept that defines a society that has developed to a point where the service sector generates more wealth than the manufacturing sector. In such a society, the economy refocuses on providing services (like legal, science, IT, business, etc.) instead of goods; knowledge becomes a form of capital; the production of new ideas becomes the primary way to grow the economy (instead of increasing the amount of goods produced by increasing manual labor); and society becomes more capable of supporting a thriving creative culture thanks to nuanced changes in education. Bell popularized the concept in his 1973 book, “The Coming of the Post- Industrial Society.”

#5: Erving Go man (1922-1982) 

Named by fellow sociologists as one of the most influential of the 20th century, Erving Go man developed the theory of dramaturgy, which addresses the social construction of self. He believed that we are all actors playing our respective roles in everyday life, as outlined in his seminal 1959 book, “The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life.” Go man theorized that our concept of self is dependent on time, place, and audience–in other words, we work to fit ourselves to cultural norms and values in order to gain acceptance. His work on the concepts of stigma, spoiled identity, and impression management are also cited often.

#6: Michel Foucault (1926-1984) 

Named by Times Higher Education as the most cited humanities author in 2007, Michel Foucault is known for his work in philosophy and criticism as well as sociology. Foucault is sometimes listed primarily as a philosopher, rather than a sociologist, but his contributions to the theory around the relationship of power and knowledge place him squarely in the “influential sociologists” category. He popularized the idea that institutions can use a combination of power and knowledge as a form of social control; for example, in the 18th century, unsavory members of society–the poor, sick, homeless, disagreeable–were described as “mad” and stigmatized. In this way, the powerful succeeded in defining knowledge.

#7: Jurgen Habermas (b. 1929) 

A prominent German figure and an internationally respected intellectual, Jurgen Habermas has focused his work on the areas of critical theory and pragmatism. His theory of communicative rationality states that successful communication inherently leads to human rationality. It follows that if we come together in the public sphere and identify how people understand or misunderstand each other, we can reduce social conflict.

#8: Pierre Bourdieu (1930-2002) 

Building on the work of Marx, Durkheim, Weber, and others, Pierre Bourdieu established what he called the “cultural deprivation theory,” which states that people tend to think higher class cultures are better than lower class cultures. As a result, members of the higher classes believe that members of the lower classes are to blame for their childrens’ shortcomings in learning and advancement. It follows that the higher classes’ assumptions of superiority are self-propelling prophecies; to declare oneself better is an act of social positioning, not necessarily truth. The ruling classes, Bourdieu said, have the power to impose meaning, to instate their own cultural choices as “correct,” to declare their culture as worthy of being sought. But he cautioned that people should not assume higher classes are necessarily better; Bourdieu blamed the education system, not the values of the working class, for the gaps in the academic achievements of children (a theory that has gained traction, even after Bourdieu’s death). His most famous work is 1979’s “Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste.”

#9: Anthony Giddens (b. 1938) 

Anthony Giddens is a prominent thinker in the field of sociology, having published at least 34 books since 1971. His contributions to sociology as a discipline have been threefold: In the ‘70s, he helped redefine the field itself through a reinterpretation of classic works on society. In the ‘80s, Giddens developed his theory of structuration–one of his biggest contributions to date and a pillar of modern sociological theory. The theory addresses a long-standing debate in social science over whether structure (recurring patterns) or agency (free choice) is the primary shaper of human behavior; Giddens theorizes that neither is prime, but that they work in conjunction and must be studied as such. Third, in the ‘90s Giddens began publishing work on his theories of modernity (the historical period marked by the move from feudalism toward capitalism and industrialization) and its relationship to globalization and politics; he suggests a Third Way that reconciles the policies of the political left and the political right in order to form a system of ethical socialism–a balance of capitalism and socialism.

#10: Gary Alan Fine (b. 1950) 

An admirer of Erving Go man and a truly contemporary sociologist himself, Gary Alan Fine has made a number of contributions to the discipline in the area of social culture. His ethnographies have touched on topics of visual artists, high school debaters, restaurant establishment culture, and fantasy games like Dungeons & Dragons–all expressive cultural outlets shaped by our social system. Fine’s work focuses on how these groups give meaning to our shared experience. In addition, his work on collective experience and memory has helped clarify how reputations, rumors, and urban legends operate within our society. He’s published eight books in the past 20 years, including 2012’s “Tiny Publics: A Theory of Group Culture and Action.”

Influential Psychologists 


B. F. Skinner 

B.F. Skinner’s staunch behaviorism made him a dominating force in psychology and therapy techniques based on his theories are still used extensively today, including behavior modification and token economies. Skinner is remembered for his concepts of operant conditioning and schedules of reinforcement.

Jean Piaget 

Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development had a profound influence on psychology, especially the understanding of children’s intellectual growth. His research contributed to the growth of developmental psychology, cognitive psychology, genetic epistemology, and education reform.

Albert Einstein once described Piaget’s observations on children’s intellectual growth and thought processes as a discovery “so simple that only a genius could have thought of it.”


Sigmund Freud 

When people think of psychology, many tend to think of Sigmund Freud. His work supported the belief that not all mental illnesses have physiological causes and he also offered evidence that cultural differences have an impact on psychology and behavior. His work and writings contributed to our understanding of personality, clinical psychology, human development, and abnormal psychology.

Albert Bandura 

Albert Bandura’s work is considered part of the cognitive revolution in psychology that began in the late 1960s. His social learning theory stressed the importance of observational learning, imitation, and modeling.”Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do,” Bandura explained in his 1977 book “Social Learning Theory.”

Leon Festinger 

Leon Festinger developed the theories of cognitive dissonance and social comparison. Cognitive dissonance is the state of discomfort you feel when you hold two conflicting beliefs. You may smoke even though you know it is bad for your health. His social comparison theory says that you evaluate your ideas by comparing them with what other people believe. You are also more likely to seek out other people who share your beliefs and values.

William James 

Psychologist and philosopher William James is often referred to as the father of American psychology. His 1200-page text, “The Principles of Psychology,” became a classic on the subject and his teachings and writings helped establish psychology as a science. In addition, James contributed to functionalism, pragmatism, and influenced many students of psychology during his 35-year teaching career.

Ivan Pavlov

Ivan Pavlov was a Russian physiologist whose research on conditioned reflexes and classical conditioning influenced the rise of behaviorism in psychology. Pavlov’s experimental methods helped move psychology away from introspection and subjective assessments to objective measurement of behavior.

Carl Rogers 

Carl Rogers placed emphasis on human potential, which had an enormous influence on both psychology and education. He became one of the major humanist thinkers and an eponymous influence in therapy with his client-centered therapy. As described by his daughter Natalie Rogers, he was “a model for compassion and democratic ideals in his own life, and in his work as an educator, writer, and therapist.”

Erik Erikson 

Erik Erikson’s stage theory of psychosocial development helped create interest and research on human development through the lifespan. An ego psychologist who studied with Anna Freud, Erikson expanded psychoanalytic theory by exploring development throughout the life, including events of childhood, adulthood, and old age.


Lev Vygotsky 

Lev Vygotsky was a contemporary of some better-known psychologists including Piaget, Freud, Skinner, and Pavlov, yet his work never achieved the same eminence during his lifetime. This is largely because many of his writing remained inaccessible to the Western world until quite recently.
It was during the 1970s that many of his writings were translated from Russian, but his work has become enormously influential in recent decades, particularly in the fields of educational psychology and child development.
While his premature death at age 38 put a halt to his work, he went on to become one of the most frequently cited psychologists of the 20th-century.

11. Carl jung—Carl Jung


Known for 

Analytical psychology

Psychological types Collective unconscious Complex

Anima and animus Synchronicity
Extraversion and introversion

Carl Gustav Jung (/jʊŋ/; German: [ˈkarl ˈɡʊstaf ˈjʊŋ]; 26 July 1875 – 6 June 1961) was a Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who founded analytical psychology. His work has been influential not only in psychiatry but also in anthropology, archaeology, literature, philosophy, and religious studies. As a notable research scientist based at the famous Burghölzli hospital, under Eugen Bleuler, he came to the attention of the Viennese founder of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The two men conducted a lengthy correspondence and collaborated on an initially joint vision of human psychology.

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