Science in the 20th century has advanced dramatically. There was a huge amount of technologies that were developed in the 20th century such as the worldwide web, penicillin, television, transistor, DNA profiling, and the microprocessor. These brilliant inventions were created at the end of the 19th century but they were universally used and perfected in the 20th century. The first television and computer were made during the 20th century and it forever changed the dissemination of information and communication. But all of these would not be possible without these brilliant minds. Let’s take a look at the greatest scientists in the 20th century and how they’d change the world forever.
1. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking was an English author, cosmologist, and theoretical physicist. He was the Director of Research at the Centre of Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge. Hawking’s was known for his studies about black holes. He formed the theory called “Hawking radiation” where he said that black holes emit radiation and he became the first person to set forth a cosmology that is explained through a union of the general quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. When Hawking was 21 years old, he was diagnosed with a rare condition called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis which left him almost completely paralyzed.
2. Albert Einstein
The 19th century did not only witnessed the birth of Albert Einstein, but it also witnessed the birth of modern physics. Einstein is known as the father of modern physics and his numerous works include the photoelectric effect which established the quantum theory within physics and the general theory of relativity. He also won several awards such as Max Planck medal, Copley medal, Matteucci medal, and a Nobel Prize in Physics.
3. Alan Turing
Alan Turing was a logician, philosopher, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist that was born in London, England. If it wasn’t for him computers would probably not exist because he invented the Turing Machine which is a simple but capable machine that can decipher any form of algorithms that can be measured and quantified. Turing and his team of code-breakers managed to defeat the German’s machine called “Enigma” because of his machine.
4. John Forbes Nash Jr.
Josh Forbes Nash Jr. was an American mathematician who is known for conducting the Game Theory and differential geometry and these studies were widely used in the field of economics, politics, accounting, and even biology. But it was the Game theory that earned him a Nobel Prize.
5. Sigmund Freud
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who is known for developing the psychoanalysis method where psychopathology is treated by a dialogue between a psychoanalyst and a patient. He believed that dreams and postulated slips of the tongue was a way to understand the unconscious mind.
6. Tim Burners-Lee
Sir Tim Burners-Lee is an English computer scientist and engineer. He is best known to invent one of the most revolutionary inventions of the 20th century, the World Wide Web. Sir Tim Burners-Lee is a qualified software engineer who was working at CERN when the idea of creating the global network system came into his mind. He is also the creator of the world’s first web browser and editor.
7. Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman was an American theoretical physicist who is famous for his work entitled The Principle of Least Action in Quantum Physics which served as the foundation for his Nobel Prize winning work on quantum electrodynamics. His other famous work was the Feynman Lectures of Physics which is one of the most popular physics textbooks.
8. Francis Harry Compton Crick
Francis Harry Compton Crick was a British biophysicist, molecular biologist, and neuroscientist. He was popularly known for co-discovering the structure of the DNA molecule along with James Watson and Maurice Wilkins. They were awarded a Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine for discovering the molecular structure of the DNA and its significance for information transfer in living material.
9. Frederick Sanger
Frederick Sanger was a British biochemist who is known for his research about the insulin molecule which led to his conclusions that all proteins have definite and unique sequence of chemical compositions. He also developed the Sanger Method for DNA sequencing which later utilized in the DNA mapping for the Human Genome Project. Sanger’s works landed him two Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
10. Larry Page
Larry Page is an American entrepreneur and computer scientist who founded Google, the giant search engine on the internet that offers a wide range of products and services like Google Maps, Gmail, Blogger, and Picasa. Aside from helping the people in finding answers in just a tap of a button, Google is also dedicated to finding technological solutions that will help address hunger and poverty.
11. Philio Farnsworth
Philio Farnsworth was an inventor and a television pioneer. He is popularly known for inventing the first fully functional electronic image pickup device or the television. He also developed a television system with a receiver and a camera.
12. Max Planck
Max Planck was a German theoretical physicist who is known for his theory of energy called energy quanta or also known as quantum theory. It played an important role in some of the significant scientific discoveries during the 20th century. Max Planck won a Nobel Prize in 1918 for his astounding work.
13. Neils Bohr
Neils Bohr was a Danish physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922 for his amazing work about understanding the structure of atoms. He also developed the Bohr model of the atom where he said that the energy levels of electrons are discrete and that it revolves in stable orbits around the atomic nucleus.
14. Jonas Salk
Jonas Salk was an American virologist and medical researcher who developed the world’s first successful polio vaccine. Before Jonas Salk invented the vaccine, polio was a viral disease that had become an epidemic wherein thousands of children died or was left paralyzed by the disease.
15. Robert Goddard
Robert Goddard was an American physicist, engineer, and inventor who created the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket which he called as “Nell”. He launched the liquid-fueled rocket on March 16, 1926, in Massachusetts which rose as high as 41 feet up into the air.
16. Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italian physicist who created the world’s first nuclear reactor called the Chicago Pile-1. His invention came accidentally when he was experimenting with neutron when he discovered how to create a nuclear chain reaction which led to his creation of the atomic bomb.
17. Ivan Pavlov
Ivan Pavlov was a Russian psychologist who discovered “condition reflexes” which explains why our tummy might rumble when we hear the lunch bell ring or why a dog drools when it sees food. He explained that our body can be conditioned by our surroundings. Ivan Pavlov won the Nobel Prize for Physiology in 1904 which made him the first Russian Nobel laureate.