These are five of the most famous scientists and their most notable contributions to science. It’s interesting to see how the life, work, and inventions of each of these individuals have shaped our lives today, even though much of their work wasn’t completed until many years after they had passed away. Let’s take a look at these five great scientists and what they did to shape our understanding of science and technology.
#1 – Sir Isaac Newton
Newton was born on December 25, 1642. He is known for his foundational work in classical mechanics, universal gravitation, optics, and mathematics. In other words he described a body of system which could be used in many spheres from space technology to consumer electronics. He also refined much of Euclid’s geometry into what is now called calculus, which had never before been done as well as discovering a new branch of mathematics we use today. His laws are still used by NASA to keep spacecraft on target with upcoming planets or stars. Newton was one of those people who wrote papers such as Opticks and considered some of his discoveries more important than others but either way if you look at his contributions even just from gravity you’d get something useful today like Coriolis force for example.
#2 – Alexander Fleming
Throughout history, there have been a multitude of individuals who have influenced scientific development with one simple idea. One name that stands out above many is Alexander Fleming. For those who aren’t familiar with his story, Alexander Fleming was an avid researcher studying infectious diseases in London during 1928. As a precaution, he prepared several plates of Staphylococcus culture in his lab while he went on vacation for 2 weeks. While away, however, he noticed that something was wrong: air had infiltrated his laboratory and contaminated one of his cultures. The mold that grew on it would later be identified as Penicillium notatum (which we now know as penicillin). However, it would take scientists until 1940 to determine how Penicillium worked in treating infections.
#3 – Marie Curie
Developments in Radiology and Chemistry – Marie Curie is best known for her work with radioactive elements. And, although she did make advances in that area, one of her other contributions is lesser known: radiography. Most people know radiology as a medical tool used to detect abnormalities in bones, but what many people don’t realize is that it started out as a scientific development for scientists who were studying objects on a microscopic level. The role of a scientist requires study—after all, it’s hard to keep up with advancements otherwise—but having access to technology that helps us discover those advancements makes it even easier. What Marie Curie (and other scientists) did was create radiography so they could finally see what they were looking at instead of relying on their eyes alone.
#4 – Michael Faraday
Faraday was a renowned English scientist who discovered electromagnetic induction—the production of an electromotive force by a changing magnetic field. He also paved the way for modern electrical engineering through his invention of one of its first devices: the electric motor. His work was so important that Faraday was awarded numerous honors in his lifetime, including membership in Great Britain’s Royal Society—considered one of science’s most prestigious organizations.
#5 – Nicola Tesla
Thanks to Nikola Tesla, we’re able to power our homes with electricity instead of with coal or gas. Born in Croatia in 1856, Tesla studied at Karl-Ferdinand University in Prague before moving to Paris for further education at The Sorbonne. It was during his time in France that he discovered a magnetic rotating field that lead him on a path toward development of alternating current (AC) electricity, later recognized as more efficient than direct current (DC). In addition to helping fuel a lot of technological advancements we use today like electric cars and household appliances, Tesla also developed various devices including an electromechanical oscillator (which produces electromagnetic waves), turbine engines, gas discharge lamps, and much more.