This page contains extensive links to the biographies and ideas of some of the most influential scientists. Scroll down and click on the name of the scientist to go to the section of this page where web links can be found.

**Chronological
Index of Selected Scientists**

**
Euclid **--
*c.* 330BCE?* to* 260 BCE?

Brief useful references about this ancient Greek
mathematician can be found in the Oxford University of Science <http://www.xrefer.com/entry.jsp?xrefid=487989&secid=.-&hh=1
> and the Oxford English Reference Dictionary <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/487989>.

Euclid is famous for his great work *Elements of Geometry* covering plane
geometry, the theory of numbers, irrationals, and solid geometry. Note that
Euclid's work was the standard until other kinds of geometry were discovered in
the 19th century and makes up part of the core of basic mathematics still used
today. He also developed the axiomatic method of
reasoning.

An excellent biography coupled with a useful overview of the early history of
mathematics with links to other early Greek mathematicians can be found at St.
Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.: <http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Euclid.html
>.

**
Pythagoras** -- c.560 BCE to c.480 BCE

Pythagoras was interested in mathematical principles, the number concept, the concept of mathematical figures and the abstract idea of a proof. He made remarkable contributions to the mathematical theory of music and was a said to be a very good musician.

An excellent biography and overview of Pythagoras' contributions and works -- including his realization that irrational numbers exist -- from St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Pythagoras.html>

Examine this extremely useful biography of Pythagoras from Eric Weinstein at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Pythagoras.html>.

A brief biography of Pythagoras can be found at the Faculty of Sciences, Central University of Venezuela.

<http://euler.ciens.ucv.ve/English/mathematics/pitagora.html >

This site from Bellview Community College has a brief note of history on Pythagoras and a proof of the theorem.

<http://scidiv.bcc.ctc.edu/math/Pythagoras.html >

Click here to go to a number of theorem proof sites that can be of interest.

**Aristotle** -- 384 BCE to 322 BCE, considered the
father of life sciences.

Aristotle believed that the Earth was the centre of the universe, with the sun
and the planets orbiting around it. The stars, unchanging and eternal, were
solidly attached to a crystal sphere beyond the planets. Aristotleís n atural
philosophy saw Nature as orderly, hierarchical, and
teleological.

*"Aristotle, more than any other thinker, determined the orientation and the
content of Western intellectual history. He was the author of a philosophical
and scientific system that through the centuries became the support and vehicle
for both medieval Christian and Islamic scholastic thought: until the end of the
17th century, Western culture was Aristotelian. And, even after the intellectual
revolutions of centuries to follow, Aristotelian concepts and ideas remained
embedded in Western thinking.*" -- Biography in *Encyclopaedia Britannica*

An excellent biography and overview of Aristotle's contributions and works can
be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K. where the above quotation
originates:

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Aristotle.html>

Another excellent biography and summary of Aristotle's accomplishments,
including Life, Writings, Logic, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Nature, The Soul and
Psychology, Ethics,Politics and Art is provided courtesy The University of
Tennessee at Martin:

<http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/a/aristotl.htm>

A brief biography <http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~rsauzier/Aristotle.html>
from San Francisco State University.

From *Guide to Philosophers *-- an excellent historical overview and list
of works

<http://www3.baylor.edu/~Scott_Moore/aristotle.html>

From *Epistemelinks.com* -- an excellent selection of links

<http://www.epistemelinks.com/Main/Philosophers.aspx?PhilCode=Aris>

See also "The Ancient City of Athens" where Aristotle lived:

<http://www.indiana.edu/~kglowack/athens/>

**Eratosthenes** -- 276 BCE to 194 BCE

Eratosthene**s** was an early interdisciplinary intellectual and served as
librarian at Alexandria. He studied prime numbers, calculated the
circumference of the Earth and the tilt of the Earth's axis ( both with
great accuracy), the distance to the moon and the sun, , a calendar that
included leap years, the foundations of a systematic chronography of the world
and a star catalogue containing 675 stars -- no insignificant list of
achievements. All of this can be found here:

<http://www.chuckiii.com/Reports/Mathematics/Eratosthenes.shtml>

An excellent brief biography and explanation of Eratosthenes**'** major works
is located at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Eratosthenes.html>

A brief biographical overview and links to some of his discoveries can be found
at Albertson College <http://www.albertson.edu/math/History/emacy/Classical/biography.htm>.

**Archimedes -- **287BCE to
212 BCE**
**Archimedes is thought of as one of the three greatest mathematicians of all
time, along with Isaac Newton and Carl Friedrich Gauss. He was famed for his
mechanical
inventions, especially what became known as his "engines of war", but pure
mathematics was his passion. He derived formulae for the ratio of the radius of
a circle to its circumference, as well as for surface and volume. One of his
most famous discoveries is what was later called the Archimedes principle [1],
[2] (do you ever understand
something and shout, "Eureka"?).
He also invented compound pulley systems, the planetarium and a shaft-driven
water pump still used today has been attributed to him (the
Archimedes screw),

<http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Archimedes.html>

Another wonderful site about Archimedes with many links and references can be found at Drexel University.

To Index

**
Ptolemy**, Claudius -- a

Following Aristotle, Ptolemy created an astronomical system where the sun, planets, and stars revolved round the Earth which was the foundation of the medieval world picture. The Ptolemaic view was accepted until Copernicus devised the heliocentric system. Ptolemyís work on astronomy and navigation remained a textbook until superseded by the discoveries of the 15th century.

An excellent brief biography and explanation of Ptolemy's contributions and major works can be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Ptolemy.html>

Brief bibliographic overview and summary of contributions, this time from The University of Arizona.

<http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/billa/psc/theman.html>

**Galen of Pergamum -- **23 CE to 79 CE

By performing extensive dissections and vivisections on animals, Galen studied
the muscles, spinal cord, heart, urinary system, and proved that the arteries
are full of blood. A brief introduction to the knowledge context of Galen and
his contributions to our understanding of the human circulatory system, thanks
to TimeLineScience, can be found here:

<http://www.timelinescience.org/resource/students/blood/galen.htm>

**Al-Khwarizmi**, Abu Ja'far Muhammad ibn Musa --
770 to 840 C.E.

Al-Khwarizmi was an Islamic scholar who influenced mathematical thought more
than any other mediaeval writer. His book on algebra, *Al-Maqala fi Hisab-al
Jabr wa-al- Muqabilah*, was translated into Latin in the 12th century, and it
was this translation which introduced this new science which had been completely
unknown till then to the West. His astronomical tables were also translated into
European languages and, later, into Chinese.

A high-quality overview of Al-Khwarizmi's contributions can be found at St.
Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Al-Khwarizmi.html>

Another brief but high-quality biography can be found at <http://members.tripod.com/~wzzz/KHAWARIZ.html>.

**Al-Kindi**, Abu Yusuf Yaqub ibn Ishaq al-Sabbah --
*approx. *801 CE to 873 CE

An Islamic scholar, Al-Kindi was influenced most stro ngly by the writings of
Aristotle but other philosophers such as Plato can also be seen in al-Kindi's
ideas. An informative biography can be found at <http://www-history.mcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/history/Mathematicians/Al-Kindi.html>,
St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

**Bacon**, Francis --1561 CE to1626 CE

An excellent overview of Bacon's life and his primary contributions can be found
in The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, University of Tennessee at Martin:

<http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/b/bacon.htm>

Another good biographical overview can be found, with the tull text of *The
Advancement of Learning* (1605) (books I and II), at:

<http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~rbear/adv1.htm>

Biographical overview, dates of Bacon's major accomplishments from the Galileo
project, Rice University.

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/Catalog/Files/bacon.html>

A good biographical overview with emphases on his advancement of the philosophy
of science from the Radical Academy is located at:

<http://www.radicalacademy.com/philfrancisbacon.htm>

**Copernicus**, Nicolas -- 1473 CE to 1543 CE

Copernicus provided the first impulse to question Aristotle's world view when he
showed in 1543 that the movement of the planets were better explained if the sun
was the center for the Earthís and the planetsí movements.

Copernicus' complete biographical time-line can be found at the Nicolas
Copernicus Museum in Frombork, Poland:

<http://www.frombork.art.pl/Ang11.htm>

An excellent biography and overview of Copernicus' contributions and works can
be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.:

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Copernicus.html>

See also, "The Copernican System," at Rice University.

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/Things/copernican_system.html>

**Brahe**, Tycho -- 1546 CE to 1601 CE

Tycho Brahe was the first scientist to show that the sphere of stars was not at
all unchanging, when he in 1572 observed the strong light from a supernova, and
could prove that this was far beyond the planets. He went on to develop a
number of new astronomical instruments, and together with his assistants on the
island of Hven, he carried out a great number of astronomical observations with
a precision that had never been achieved before.

Here is the extremely informative and complete official Tycho Brahe website: <http://www.tychobrahe.com/>.

Another excellent biography and summary of Brahe's contributions and works can
be found at Rice University.

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/People/tycho_brahe.html>

**Bruno**, Giordano -- 1548 CE to 1600 CE

Excellent biography and overview of Bruno's contributions and works. Remember he
was burned at the stake in Rome in 1600! This is from Rice University:

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/People/bruno.html>

**Kepler**, Johannes --1571 CE to 1630 CE

Kepler was a strong supporter of the heliocentric theory of Copernicus and the
discoverer of the three laws of planetary movement. He worked for Tycho Brahe,
and it was in part their relationship that allowed him to disvover these three
laws. An excellent biography can be found at <http://euler.ciens.ucv.ve/english/mathematics/
> (click on "Kepler, Johannes") from the Faculty of Sciences, Central University
of Venezuela.

Kepler was a man of firsts, some of which are listed here -- to correctly
explain planetary motion; to explain the principles of **how** a telescope
works; to investigate the formation of pictures with a pin hole camera; to
explain the process of vision by refraction within the eye; to formulate
eyeglass designing for nearsightedness and farsightedness; to explain the use of
both eyes for depth perception.

Another excellent biography and overview of Kepler's contributions and works is
provided by St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Kepler.html>

NASA's Kepler Mission page [1]
contains an excellent biography and overview of Kepler's accomplishments: <http://www.kepler.arc.nasa.gov/johannes.html>.

Find out about the relationship between Kepler and Brahe, and how "the Mars
problem" led him to discover elliptical planetary orbits here: <http://www.space.com/searchforlife/kepler_and_mars_010604-1.html>

Rice University provides another excellent biographical source on Kepler:

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/People/kepler.html>

**Galileo** Galilei --1564 CE to CE 1642

Galilei was
the first astronomer to use the telescope, and could with its help show new
relationships in the universe, such as Jupiter having its own moons and that the
solar activity was varied. Galilei also formulated the foundation for modern
physics. His inventive and inquiring scientific mind can be seen in his
invention of the
air
thermoscope.

Brief biography, good example of conformity enforcement. Good description of his
life and excellent links to other related web links. St. Andrew's University,
Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Galileo.html>

Institute and Museum of the History of Science of Florence, Italy. Describes his
inventions using graphical content, demonstrates diversity of his ideas Strong
multimedia emphasis on his mechanical inventions <http://galileo.imss.firenze.it/museo/4/index.html>

The Galileo Project, Rice University <http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/>.
Excellent biographical overview, historical links, summaries of Galileo's
conflicts with the church, his contributions and works <http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/Resources/galileo_links_tc.html>.

You can trace Galileo's entire life from beginning to end right here, also from
Rice University:

<http://es.rice.edu/ES/humsoc/Galileo/galileo_timeline.html>.

Very brief biography, Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, University of
Tennessee at Martin.

<http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/g/galileo.htm>

**Descartes**, René -- 1596 CE to 1650 CE

Descartes was a scientific philosopher who developed the theory of mechanical
philosophy. This philosophy was highly influential until replaced by Newton's
advances in explicit scientific methodology. Descartes believed that God created
the universe as a perfect clockwork mechanism of vorteces that functioned
deterministically without interventio and that that matter had no inherent
qualities, but was simply the "brute stuff" which occupied space. Descartes was
the first to make a graph permitting geometric interpretation of a mathematical
function and gave his name to
Cartesian coordinates . He is famed for the mind-body distinction,
scepticism and "I think, therefore I am."

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy provides a complete overview of
Descartes' contributions in science, philosophy and religion <http://www.utm.edu/research/iep/d/descarte.htm>.

From St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K., an excellent biography and
overview of Descarte's contributions and works.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Descartes.html>

A succinct and excellent biography with very useful links can be found at Eric
Weisstein's Science World site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Descartes.html>.

Courtesy the On-line Literature Library, here is the full text of *Discourse
on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason, and Seeking Truth in the
Sciences:* <http://www.literature.org/authors/descartes-rene/reason-discourse/>.

**Boyle**, Robert -- 1627 CE to 1691 CE

Boyle is famed for Boyle's Law (*pV* = constant) <http://www.xrefer.com/entry.jsp?xrefid=486076
>.

An excellent interactive web page illustrating Boyle's Law, from Davidson
College, N.C.: <http://www.chm.davidson.edu/ChemistryApplets/GasLaws/BoylesLaw.html>.

Excellent biography and overview of Boyle's contributions and works. St.
Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Boyle.html>.

Also see *gas laws* [1], [2].

**Newton**, Sir Issac -- 1643 CE to 1727 CE

Sir Isaac
Newton wrote in a letter to his colleague
Robert Hooke dated
5 February 1676, *"[i]f I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders
of Giants"*, meaning that he had been able to achieve such a great deal only
because of what he had learned from the work of those who had preceded him.

It is generally agreed that Newton contributed more to the development of
science than any other individual in history and was the
greatest single influence on theoretical physics until Einstein. He
generated an overarching conceptual framework for understanding the universe
which was more consistent, elegant, and intuitive than any developed before. His
work far surpassed the achievements of the great scientific minds of antiquity.
Newton developed improved methods of astronomical observation [1],
[2] and
stated explicit principles of scientific methods [1],
[2], [3]
which applied universally to all branches of science (*see*
induction,
deduction,
inference,
syllogism).

The basic principles of scientific investigation set down by Newton have
persisted virtually without alteration until today.

Newton created the most important and influential works on physics of all times,
*Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (Mathematical Principles of
Natural Philosophy)* (1687), often shortened to *Principia Mathematica*
or simply "the *Principia.*"

Newton formulated the classical theories of mechanics (see: Newton's universal
law of gravitation [1
], [2 ] and
laws of motion ) and optics and
invented
calculus years before Leibniz (but Newton did not publish his own material
until after Leibniz had published his).

*Biography* provides an excellent biography <http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=6205
>.

A succinct and excellent biography with very useful links can be found at Eric
Weisstein's Science World site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Newton.html>.

An encyclopaedic reference to Sir Issac Newton can be found at the Oxford
Xrefer site:

<http://www.xrefer.com/entry/220746>
which includes many useful cross-references.

Another excellent biography and overview of Newton's contributions and works can
be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Newton.html>

Also see <http://euler.ciens.ucv.ve/english/mathematics/>,
Faculty of Sciences, Central University of Venezuela -- go to "Newton, Sir
Isaac" for an excellent biography.

Also see empiricism,
skepticism,

**Leibniz**, Gottfried Wilhelm von --1646 CE to1716 CE

Leibniz was self-taught in mathematics, but nonetheless developed calculus
independently of Newton. His notation was by far superior (including the
integral sign and derivative notation) and is still in use today.

Leibniz was a universal genius and has been called one of the primary founders
of modern science. An excellent biography and overiview of Leibniz's
contributions and works can be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Leibniz.html>.

An encyclopaediac reference on Leibniz can be found at the Oxford xrefer site: <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/494769>
which includes many useful cross-references.

Also see <http://euler.ciens.ucv.ve/english/mathematics/>,
Faculty of Sciences, Central University of Venezuela -- go to "Leibniz,
Gottfried Wilhelm von" for an excellent biography

**Fermat**, Pierre de -- 1601 CE to 1665 CE

Although he pursued mathematics as an amateur, Fermat's work in
number
theory was of such great quality that he is generally regarded as one of the
greatest mathematicians of all times.

An excellent biography and overview of Fermat's contributions and works can be
found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Fermat.html>

A highly-detailed description of Fermat's work, including some of his letters in
French, can be found at University of Dublin, Trinity College, School of
Mathematics**:
**<http://www.maths.tcd.ie/pub/HistMath/People/Fermat/RouseBall/RB_Fermat.html>.

Also see Fermat's Last Theorum (1), (2), solved at last by Wiles in 1995, some 330 years after Fermat's death.

**Lavoisier**, Antoine Laurent
-- 1743 CE to 1794 CE**
**Here <http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/chemach/fore/all.html>
is an excellent introductory biography of Lavoisier from the Chemical Heritage
Association 'Achievers' web site which introduces his principal contributions to
modern chemistry -- the rebuttal of the phlogiston theory of heat; that matter
is conserved through any reaction; the understanding of combustion and
respiration as caused by chemical reactions with a part of air he called
"oxygen"; and that water is made of oxygen and hydrogen.

This page leads to other excellent biographies, stories and reviews of Lavoisier's contributions, including the following:

Lavoisier's Friends: an exceptionally complete and detailed resource:

<http://historyofscience.free.fr/Lavoisier-Friends/index.html>.

Sports Science History Maker: Lavoisier

<http://www.sportsci.org/news/history/lavoisier/lavoisier.html>

Chemical Revolutionary Executed!

<http://www.woodrow.org/teachers/ci/1992/Lavoisier.html>

Remember:

**Watt**, James -- 1736 to 1819**
**Watt was a Scottish inventor and mechanical engineer who is famed for his
improvements of the Savery and
Newcomen 's steam engine. Many
people are unaware that Watt did

A more detailed biography can be found in the

Also see

**Babbage**, Sir Charles -- 1792 CE to 1871 CE

Charles
Babbage was a polymath and has been called -- most would say quite rightly
-- the father of the modern computer. In many ways he was a man far ahead of his
time. He created word-puzzle dictionaries, researched differential and integral
calculus, invented the locomotive cow-catcher and the speedometer, totally
despised the noise of street musicians, loved railroads and railway technology
and did mathematical work to help set up the British
postal system. For 11 years he was also
Lucasian Professor of
Mathematics at Cambridge University.

Human error and general public ignorance about science strongly frustrated
Babbage. He is best known for his work in designing and
attempting to build three mechanical computers to overcome human failings in
calculation. Although he had minor success with his first simpler efforts, he
never lived to see the more complex of his "analytical engines" completed. Based
on Babbage's original designs, in 1991 the
Science Museum
in London built a full-sized version of one of
Babbage's last mechanical computers which has worked ever since.

A brief biography can be found in the Oxford Dictionary of Scienctists at the
Xrefer site: <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/493956>.

More comprehensive, high-quality bibliographies on Babbage can be found at the
Charles Babbage Institute <http://www.cbi.umn.edu/exhibits/cb.html>
and the Virginia Polytechnic's site: <http://ei.cs.vt.edu/~history/Babbage.html>.

Also see *History of Computing* [1],
[2].

**Dalton**, John -- 1766 CE to 1844 CE

Based on empirical evidence, Dalton developed the atomic theory of matter which
was the basis of much of the chemistry done in the rest of the 19th and early
20th century.

From the Chemical Heritage Association 'Achievers' web site, a good introductory
bibliography including a presentation of Dalton's 'Table of Elements and their
Combinations':

<http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/chemach/ppt/jd.html>.

From the TimeLine of Science, a simple introductory bibliography: <http://www.timelinescience.org/resource/students/matter/dalton.htm>.

From WebQuest, a basic introduction to thinking about atomic theory, including a
bit of history about Democritus (400 BCE) who speculated upon (but could derive
no empirical evidence for) what he thought to be the indivisible constituent
parts of matter, which he called "atomos," and the 2000-year hiatus in this type
of thinking until John Dalton appeared: <http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/webquest/dalton.htm>.

**Darwin**, Charles -- 1809 CE to 1892 CE

Sir Charles Darwin is one of the most famous naturalists to have lived within
the past 150 years, so it is no wonder that many biographies for him can be
found on the web. Two are listed below.

<http://darwin.baruch.cuny.edu/biography/index.html>

<http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~rsauzier/Darwin.html>

The Natural History Museum, London, U.K.,
has a full centre devoted to Charles Darwin which is worth a visit. It can be
found here: <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/darwincentre/>.

From the On-Line Literature Library, here are four full-text items, including
Origin of Species [1],
[2],
The Voyage of the Beagle and
The Descent of Man (still incomplete on-line). Here is another on-line
version of The Voyage of
the Beagle from the Zoologisk institutt in Bergen, Norway [in English].

Here is a fine site entitled "Charles
Darwin and the Galapagos".

To provide a good context for the work of Darwin, the University of California,
Berekely, has an excellent site on Evolution Theory and Science <http://www.ucmp.berkeley.edu/history/evotheory.html>,
including a clickable
300-year time line
of evolutionary thought.

You may wish to examine
The Journal of Syms
Covington, assistant to Charles Darwin on the second voyage of the HMS
Beagle.

Questions are raised
about Charles Darwin as a scientist and writer. What do you think?

Also see BBC's *ApeïMan*, adventures in human evolution [1],
[2].

**Faraday**, Michael -- 1791 CE to 1867 CE

Faraday was an
inveterate experimenter and collector but was not a mathematician. He discovered
that a magnet suspended over a wire conducting electricity would revolve,
leading him to envision magnetic force as circular. He also discovered magnetic
optical rotation, invented the dynamo for converting electricity to motion,
discovered electromagnetic induction and developed the laws of
electro-chemistry. Most importantly, Faraday's work led to others' mathematical
theories of electricity and magnetism. In particular, Maxwell's theoretical work
would not have been possible without Faraday's experimentation and discovery of
various laws.

An excellent biography of Faraday can be found through the *Groups, Algorithms
and Programming* page at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Faraday.html>

Another excellent brief biography can be found at Eric Weisstein's Science World
site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Faraday.html>.

**Maxwell**, James Clerk -- 1831 CE to 1879 CE

Maxwell extended and mathematically formulated Michael Faraday's theories of
electricity and magnetic lines of force. Independent of Ludwig Boltzmann,
Maxwell developed the Maxwell-Boltzmann
kinetic theory of gases which demonstrated that only molecular movement was
associated with temperatures and heat. He also developed the idea of "Maxwell's
Demon" (1
), (2 ), (3
), (4 ).
Maxwell's work created the foundation for Heinrich Rudolf Hertz's investigations
. Maxwell also calculated that the propagation speed of an electromagnetic field
is approximately that of the speed of light and proposed that the phenomenon of
light is therefore an electromagnetic phenomenon.

An excellent biography can be found at St. Andrew's University, Scotland, U.K. <http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Maxwell.html>.

Another excellent brief biography can be found at Eric Weisstein's Science World
site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Maxwell.html>.

**Röntgen**, Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen --1845 CE to 1923
CE

Röntgen was a keen naturalist, dedicated scientist, inventor and experimenter.
He did extensive work on cathode rays which led him to the discovery of X-rays.
He won the Nobel prize in physics in 1901 *"in recognition of the
extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays
subsequently named after him".*

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1901/rontgen-bio.html>

**Thomson**, Sir Joseph John --1856 CE to 1940 CE

Based on a scientific career investigating gases and the structure and
characteristics of atoms,
Sir John Thomson
is famed for his discovery of the electron. He won the Nobel prize in physics in
1906 *"in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental
investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases"*. Thomson also
developed the earliest form of mass spectroscopy. His son (GP Thompson) also
received the Nobel Prize for demonstrating that the electron had wave and
particle properties. Seven of his research students also received Nobel Prizes.

An excellent biography of his life and achievements can be found at the Nobel
e-Museum at:

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1906/thomson-bio.html>

An excellent exhibit on
Thomson's
discovery of the electron from the American Institute of Physics can be found
here: <http://www.aip.org/history/electron/>.

**Curie**, Marie Sklodowska -- 1867 CE to 1934 CE

Marie Curie was
the first person ever to receive two Nobel Prizes *"in recognition of her
services to the advancement of chemistry by the discovery of the elements radium
and polonium, by the isolation of radium and the study of the nature and
compounds of this remarkable element".* The first Nobel prize (1903) for the
discovery of the phenomenon of radioactivity was in physics, shared with her
husband Pierre and Henri Becquerel; the second Nobel prize (1911) was in
chemistry for the discovery of the radioactive elements polonium and radium.

From the Chemical Heritage Association 'Achievers' web site, here is an
excellent biograhpy with links to very good additional resources:

<http://www.chemheritage.org/EducationalServices/chemach/ans/msc.html>

Also see Curie's excellent Nobel e-Museum biography at:

<http://www.nobel.se/chemistry/laureates/1911/marie-curie-bio.html>

Here is an excellent exhibit on Marie Curie and radioactivity from the American
Institute of Physics: <http://www.aip.org/history/curie/>.

**Einstein**, Albert -- 1879 CE to 1955 CE

Although he did much of his most famous theoretical work while merely a third
class technician at the Bern patent office, there is probably no physicist whose
name has become so widely known as that of Albert Einstein. It is no wonder that
TIME Magazine named him "person
of the century " (meaning the 20th Century, of course).

Einstein received the Nobel Prize in Physics 1921 *"for his services to
Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the
photoelectric effect"*. Einstein contributed more than any other scientist to
the 20th-century understanding of physical reality, especially in terms of the
general and special theories of relativity [1],
[2],
Brownian movement and
quantum theory. His law of the photo-electrical effect gave him the Nobel
Prize and is the basis of quantitative photo-chemistry, but Einstein is much
more well-known for his relativity theories [3
], [4
]. Stephen Hawking does a first-rate job of explaining
the relativity achievement and provides an excellent biography of Einstein
here .

A thorough bibliography of Einstein is provided by St. Andrew's University,
Scotland, U.K.

<http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Einstein.html
>.

An excellent biography of Albert Einstein can be found at the Nobel e-Museum at

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1921/einstein-bio.html
>.

A biography relating Einstein to the
Manhatten Project can be found through *The Nuclear Files* <http://www.nuclearfiles.org/rebios/einsteinalbet.html
>.

Another excellent biography at <http://euler.ciens.ucv.ve/english/mathematics/>
(click on "Albert Einstein") is available from the Faculty of Sciences, Central
University of Venezuela.

A comprehensive compendium of web-based resources about Albert Einstein can be
found here <http://www.westegg.com/einstein/
>.

The NOVA website supporting the video
"Einstein Revealed"
contains excellent links to further resources.

This good overall biography is from -- where else? --
Biography.

Albert Einstein has been
quoted
very frequently.

Here is an excellent exhibit on Einstein from the American Institute of Physics
<http://www.aip.org/history/einstein/>
with many detailed links.

**Rutherford**, Ernest** --**1871 CE to 1937 CE

Rutherford received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1908) *"for his
investigations into the disintegration of the elements, and the chemistry of
radioactive substances"*.

Rutherford's investigations into the scattering of alpha rays and the nature of
the inner structure of the atom which caused such scattering led to the
postulation of his concept of the "nucleus", his greatest contribution to
physics. Rutherford was the first person to deliberately transmute one element
into another.

An excellent biography of Rutherford can be found at the Nobel e-Museum at

<http://www.nobel.se/chemistry/laureates/1908/rutherford-bio.html
>

**Bohr**, Niels Henrik David -- 1885 CE to 1962 CE

Niels Bohr
received the Nobel Prize in Physics (1922) *"for his services in the
investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from
them"*.

Working from concepts in quantum theory and incorporating improvements from
Heisenberg's ideas (1925), Bohr created a picture of atomic structure that still
largely describes the physical and chemical properties of the elements.

An excellent biography of Bohr can be found at the Nobel e-Museum at

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1922/bohr-bio.html
>

**Hubble**, Edwin Powell --1889 CE to 1953 CE

Based on empirical telescopic evidence, Hubble observed
many galaxies beyond our own receding at great speed in all directions and
demonsrating galactic red shifts, thus confirming the idea of an expanding
universe. He discovered a linear relationship between the velocity of receding
galaxies and their distance from the Earth, developing
Hubble's Law
(also see:
Hubble Parameter) and
calculated the approximate size and age of the observable universe. Every
current cosmological model now incorporates the concept of expansion of the
universe.

Through xrefer, an excellent biography and summary of Hubble's
achievements <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/494608
> is provided by the Dictionary of Scientists, Oxford University Press.

If you are intrigued with the idea of an expanding universe, you might wish to
check
this article from Scientific American, and
this column on 'the big crunch' from the Stanford University *Report*.

**Heisenberg**, Werner -- 1901 CE to 1976 CE

One of the founders of the quantum theory, he is best known for his
uncertainty principle
, or indeterminacy principle, which states that it is impossible to determine
with arbitrarily high accuracy both the position and momentum (essentially the
velocity) of a subatomic particle such as the electron. For this work he won the
1932 Nobel Prize in Physics *"for the creation of quantum mechanics, the
application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic
forms of hydrogen"*.

<http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Heisenberg.html>

An excellent exhibit on the uncertainty principle can be found here <http://www.aip.org/history/heisenberg/>
at the American Institute for Physics.

**Schr****ö****dinger**,
Erwin --1887 CE to 1961 CE

Schrödinger is known for his mathematical development of wave mechanics (1926),
a form of quantum mechanics (see
quantum theory ), and
his formulation of the wave equation that bears his name. The Schrödinger
equation is the most widely used mathematical tool of the modern quantum theory.
For this work he shared the 1933 Nobel Prize in Physics with
P. A. M. Dirac *"for
the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory"*.

A full biography of Schrödinger can be found at the Nobel e-Musem at

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1933/schrodinger-bio.html>.

Another excellent Schrödinger biography can be found in the Oxford Dictionary of
Scientists through xrefer at <http://www.xrefer.com/entry.jsp?xrefid=495147&secid=.->
where useful cross-references are also located.

A brief biography from San Francisco Statue University also provides background:
<http://userwww.sfsu.edu/~rsauzier/Schrodinger.html>.

**G** **ödel**, Kurt -- 1906 CE to 1978 CE

Gödel was a brilliant mathematician / logician who is most famous for showing [1],
[2] that in
any axiomatic mathematical system there are propositions that cannot be proved
or disproved within the axioms of that system. This demonstrated for the first
time that mathematics is not a complete and self-consistent system as had been
believed. This also proved that a computer can never be programmed to answer all
mathematical questions.

What is thought of as Gödel's first incompleteness theorem (1930) states that
all consistent axiomatic formulations of number theory include undecidable
propositions (Hofstadter
, 1989).

Gödel's second incompleteness theorem states that if number theory is
consistent, then a proof of this fact does not exist using the methods of
first-order predicate calculus . Stated more colloquially, any formal system
that is interesting enough to formulate its own consistency can prove its own
consistency* iff *it is inconsistent (*iff* = if and only if [i.e.,
necessary and sufficient]; "just if" or "exactly when" are sometimes used
instead) .

An excellent and thorough biography can be found at St. Andrew's University in
Scotland <http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Godel.html>.

A particularly fine and highly-recommended web resource appropriately entitled
"Godel on the Net" can be found
here.

Two other brief biographies with useful sidebar links can be found through
Xrefer in *Who's Who in the Twentieth
Century* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/170965>
and *A Dictionary of Scientists* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/494464>,
both from Oxford University Press.

Also see *Incompleteness Theorem* [1],
[2];
*Turing Machine* [3],
[4]; *Alan Turing* [5],
[6].

**Fermi**, Enrico -- 1901 CE to 1954 CE

Fermi won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics *"for his demonstrations of the
existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for
his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons"*.

In 1926, Fermi discovered the statistical laws, now called Fermi-Dirac
statistics, that govern the particles subject to Pauli's exclusion principle.
Studying the atomic nucleus itself, in 1934, Fermi evolved the beta decay
theory. Based on the work of Pauli and Curie, he demonstrated that nuclear
transformation occurs in almost every element subjected to neutron bombardment.

Following the discovery of fission by Hahn and
Strassman
(1939), Fermi recognized that a chain reaction of secondary neutrons was
possible. He then directed a classic series of experiments which ultimately led
to the construction of an atomic pile which produced the first controlled
nuclear chain reaction.

An excellent biography of Fermi with very useful links can be found at Eric
Weisstein's Science World site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Fermi.html>.

A brief but useful biography of Fermi is provided by *Biography*: <http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=14698>.

The Nobel e-Museum provides another excellent biography of Fermi at <http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1938/fermi-bio.html>.

**Oppenheimer**, J. Robert -- 1904 CE to 1967 CE

Robert Oppenheimer was an outstanding physicist and excellent teacher. He
successfully managed the
Manhatten Project,
comprised of the most brilliant minds in physics, which resulted in the
development of the first American atomic weapons at the close of WW II. After
the war Oppenheimer fell afoul of the U.S. anticommunist platform because he
opposed development of the hydrogen bomb and was permanently removed from
nuclear projects.

*Biography's* Oppenheimer biography: <http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=18160>.

Through Xrefer, an excellent biography on Oppenheimer can be found in the *
Dictionary of Scientists* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/494980>,
and additional detail can be found in *Who's Who in the Twentieth Century*
<http://www.xrefer.com/entry/171529>,
both from Oxford University Press.

**Teller**, Edward -- 1908 CE to ...

Often called the father of the hydrogen bomb, Teller was part of the Manhatten
Project but is most famous for having worked very closely with
Stanislaw
Ulam to develop and create a successful working hydrogen weapon. Teller also
played the most significant role in the removal of Robert Oppenheimer from his
career as a nuclear scientist after the Manhatten Project.

Through Xrefer, a brief but very clear biographical sketch can be found in *A
Dictionary of Scientists* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry.jsp?xrefid=495247&secid=.-&hh=1>,
Oxford University Press.

Brief but useful and interesting biographies of Teller are provided by *
Biography:* <http://search.biography.com/print_record.pl?id=20023>
and Eric Weisstein's Science World site at Wolfram Research <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Teller.html>.

Here is a revealing and highly-informative
interview with
Teller; his home page can be found
here.

**Gamow**, George -- 1904 CE to 1968 CE

Gamow was a Russian-American physicist who worked out the theory of
alpha decay and showed that, as a
star burns hydrogen, the star
heats up. Based on work with Ralph Alpher and Hans Bethe, he supported the "big
bang" theory of Lemaître.

**To Index**

**Alpher**. Ralph Asher -- 1921 to ...

Alpher's major work was in cosmology. Working with Hans Bethe and George Gamow
he generated the so-called "alpha-beta-gamma" [Alpher-Bethe-Gamow] theory of how
elements were created, , which Gamow incorporated into the big-bang theory.
Alpher predicted
microwave background radiation would be a "signature" of the big bang. This
radiation was first detected in 1965.

**Watson**, James (1928 CE to ...) and **
Crick**, Francis (1916 CE to ...)

Based on work done by Maurice Wilkins <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Wilkins.html>
who had worked on the atomic bomb, Francis Crick <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/Crick.html>
and James Watson <http://scienceworld.wolfram.com/biography/WatsonJames.html>
worked together at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge to develop the
breakthrough double-helix model of DNA.

The three shared the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962 *"for
their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its
significance for information transfer in living material"*.

Here are further biographies for
Crick,
Watson
and
Wilkins through the Nobel e-Museum.

**Gell-Man**, Murray -- 1929 CE to ...

Dr. Gell-Man received the Nobel Prize (1969) in physics *"for his
contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary
particles and their interactions"*. Professor Gell-Mann's "eightfold way"
theory brought order to the chaos created by the discovery of some 100 particles
in the atom's nucleus. He then found that all of those particles, including the
neutron and proton, are composed of fundamental building blocks that he named
"quarks." The quarks are permanently confined by forces coming from the exchange
of "gluons." He and others later constructed the quantum field theory of quarks
and gluons, called "quantum chromodynamics," [1
], [2
] which seems to account for all the nuclear paticles and their strong
interactions.

Gell-Man's biography can be found at <http://www.santafe.edu/sfi/People/mgm/mgmbio.html>
which comes from his home page at the *Santa fe Institute* <http://www.santafe.edu>.

A brief biography with other useful links can be found at the Nobel e-Museum at

<http://www.nobel.se/physics/laureates/1969/gell-mann-bio.html>.

**Hawking**, Stephen William -- 1942 CE to ...

Stephen Hawking holds the
Lucasian Chair
of Mathematics at Cambridge University in the U.K. Click
here
to learn who in the history of mathematics has held this very important and
prestigious research position (you will note that
Sir Isaac Newton and
Charles Babbage have been there!).

A great source of information about Hawking can be found through St. Andrew's
University, Scotland, U.K.<http://www-gap.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Hawking.html>.

Stephen Hawking is certainly not ignorant of the importance of the web -- here
is his home page. See
especially, "lectures"
and "physics colloquiums" the latter of which you can access from the bottom of
the "lectures" page (BTW, if you don't already have them mounted on your
computer, you will need
PDF viewer and
perhaps Ghostview).

The following is another good-quality biography and brief description of
Hawking's major contributions / works which contains a reflection back to
Galileo and Newton.

<http://www-groups.dcs.st-andrews.ac.uk/~history/Mathematicians/Hawking.html>

For background information, see also The University of Cambridge
Cavendish Laboratory.

**Dawkins**, Richard --1941CE to ...

Dawkins is a particularly thoughtful
sociobiologist . He
has argued in *The Selfish Gene* (1976; 1989) that apparently altruistic
acts of living organisms are actually selfish because their outcomes have an
evolutionary advantage. In *The Blind Watchmaker* (1986) Dawkins argued
that what appears as "divine design" in nature is the result of natural
selection, where ongoing small mutations maintain the momentum of evolution. In
*Climbing Mount Improbable* (1996) he showed how disparate examples of
biological diversity such as a spider's web and the vertebrate eye can have
evolved through natural selection.

A brief introduction to Dawkins can be found through
Xrefer in *Who's Who in the Twentieth
Century* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/170735
>, while an excellent introductory biography can be found in *The Dictionary
of Scientists* <http://www.xrefer.com/entry/494248
>, both from Oxford University Press.

You may also wish to examine the work of Stuart Kauffman [1 ], [2 ], [3 ], late of the Santa Fe Institute and now Chief Scientist of BiosGroup .