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The Rules - Apr 14, 2004 at 3:55PM
Admin Avatar
107 Posts

Submit an entry naming your 'favorite'
physicist and explaining why they have been
elevated to top dog in your eyes.

Entries are limited to one paragraph (we
have to read them all, so longer is NOT
better!), and must be posted by 5pm on
Friday, April 2nd.

Three top entries will be chosen based on
creativity and persuasiveness.  Winners will
receive a lavish no-expenses paid trip to  
whatever town they are already in.  We might
send you something worthwhile in the mail,

Dodge this.

Replies to The Rules

tie: Galileo and Mermin - Mar 17 2004 3:14PM
Society of Physics...
293 Posts

Today, for me, it's a tie between Galileo and David Mermin, both elevated to this enviable status by their ability to write copnvincingly about their ground-breaking scientific results, while simultaneously flouting the expected strictures of the genre. Galileo, who purportedly described wine as "light held together by moisture" and who skewered his opponents so cleanly they sometimes didn't even notice, and Mermin, who introduced "Boojums" to the staid physics research literature---we could use a few more like these in this business...

Adjunct Professor of Physics, Editor of The Physics Teacher, and GWU SPS Chapter Advisor

Marie Curie - Mar 23 2004 3:14PM
Dr. Karen Williams
8 Posts

For me, it was Marie Curie.  In elementary
school I read her biography and I guess that
was the first time that I realized a woman
could be a scientist, even a physicist.
Learning about her pioneering work seemed so
exciting.  Later I was fortunate enough to
have a woman, Janice VanCleave (now an
author of popular books) as my high school
physics teacher.  How about the other
women...did a female or male physicist
influence you more?

Professor of Physics AAPT Fellow (2014)

Me too! - Apr 14 2004 9:30PM
1 Posts

I also read a biography of Marie Curie in elementary school, third grade to be exact.  Her life and death have been an inspiration to me since I was eight!

Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein - Mar 25 2004 1:51AM
1 Posts

Isaac Newton just kicks ass, he invented the calculus, which is now a fundamental aspect of advanced physics and his famous book Principia is just astounding... not to mention his universally famous laws, especially of universal gravitation...

Albert Einstein, he fused philosophy and science very well, he also used science as a means to know more about God, rather than the other way around. Great person.

tie between Galileo and Einstein - Mar 25 2004 12:43PM
Dave Avatar
San Marcos, Texas
420 Posts

I would have to say that for me it's a tie between these two.  I like Galileo because he was willing to stand by his scientific results even in the face of severe sanctions by the Catholic Church.  Einstein is one of my favorites for two reasons:  first, he was a brilliant theorist, with work in a variety of areas.  Second, his work as an ethicist and humanist is also compelling (see the article "Albert Einstein on Science and Ethics (With Other Voices)" in the most recent issue of "Radiations".

Try not to become a man of success, but rather try to become a man of value -- Albert Einstein

Reminder - Mar 29 2004 2:27PM
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107 Posts

Just a reminder that posts must be completed by 5pm Friday.  Good luck!

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Feynman - Mar 30 2004 7:06AM
1 Posts

It's very relative to evaluate people you don't know in person, so however Einstein was realy unique physics, I think, Feynman bewitched me for his life syle too. I like him for his thoughts, that physics isn't nothing special, but that physics are all things around us, anywhere you are looking. And among other tings, I like his phylosophy, sence for humor, contrivance ...

Gell-Mann - Mar 30 2004 11:26AM
mormonator_rm Avatar
State College, PA
2 Posts

I believe that Murray Gell-Mann is perhaps one of the greatest contemporary physics geniuses.  His development of the first quark model and the "eight-fold way" are now a basis of understanding the composite structure of mesons and baryons of all types.  Current understanding of hadron multiplets now includes five dimensions (n-1 dimensions for n quark flavors), an extension from the days when Gell-Mann proposed the first three flavors of quarks (and the early two-dimensional multiplets).  In our time, quarks are a fundamental concept in particle spectroscopy.  Studying to be a meson spectroscopist myself, I hold Gell-Mann's work in highest esteem.

Richard Feynman - Mar 31 2004 3:24AM
Sanjay Arora
2 Posts

Richard Feynman was one of the most brilliant physicists of the 20th century, most famour for his Nobel Prize winning work on Quantum Electrodynamics, which has yielded some of the best and most precise agreements between theory and experiment in modern physics. I admire Feynman for his disregard of authority, his creativity and confidence and ofcourse for the excellent physics he produced. He was outspoken, frank and very intolerant of stupidity. I am an undergrad physics major and I have always wanted to be like Feynman, the greatest physicist accoding to me.

Feynman - Mar 31 2004 5:04AM
1 Posts

When Feynman was a kid, he started to write a book in his school notebook called, "Calculus for the Common Man."  He never forgot that he and his collegues and his students were all examples of the Common Man.  He lived his life fully to show that the Common Man could accomplish great things.  He is my unquestioned favorite.

Obviously Einstein - Apr 05 2004 5:44PM
1 Posts

For his intellectual integrity, incomparable
insight, sense of humor, and sheer
brilliance, he is one of the greatest
people, and certainly my favorite physicist.
He had his flaws, both as a physicist and as
a person, but his humility and devotion to
his work win me over.

You wish you though of it first... - Apr 06 2004 11:44AM
3 Posts

I was able to figure out the relationship between energy and frequency of radiation.  How did I do that?  Well, maybe it sounds strange, but perhaps the energy takes on discrete values.  Integral multiple of say, oh I don't know, hf.  What's h?  You mean it's never come up before?  Oh, well then I guess it's my constant then... Planck's constant that is.  That's right, I ushered in a new century (my "big" paper was published in 1900) and a new era in physics.  Einstein and Bohr kinda needed that relationship for some of their work.  And that little constant is used in a few of the more important equations in physics.  I am Max Planck, and I am the greatest physicist ever because I came up with h.

Ludwig Boltzmann - Apr 08 2004 8:11PM
zyxtan Avatar
30 Posts

If being the father of statistical mechanics is not enough, Boltzmann is largely responsible for the atomistic view of matter that we have today (and was met with many obstacles for this view). Einstein basically built most of his knowledge of the universe upon the ideas of Boltzmann-and Feynman in turn did too. Highly underated and misunderstood, Boltzmann also suffered from clinical depression that shortened his life with a short rope. His transort theory is still heavily in use today, and is still unsolved in general form. Boltzmann died never knowing if his theories were true. A sad story, but he definitely lives on through his work, and everytime I write "k" in my calculations, I think about the pain that lead to that constant.Plus I'm sick of talking about Einstein, Feynman and Newton. We need a few new heroes.

Deadline extended - Apr 15 2004 10:46AM
Admin Avatar
107 Posts

As many of our loyal readers are on Spring Break, we've decided to extend the deadline for contest submissions until Wednesday, April 14th.  Good luck!


Dodge this.

Feynman, all the way... - Apr 15 2004 2:25PM
1 Posts

Why?  One big reason: He named his theory QED.  How cool is that?  Maybe I'm just a sucker for puns, but that's a really good one.

Also, how many physicists can get work done in a strip club?

Judging - Apr 26 2004 2:53PM
Admin Avatar
107 Posts

Hi all,

We're in the process of judging the entries, and should have results by the end of the week.  

We're also cooking up the semester-end contest, so keep an eye out in the near future!


Dodge this.

Contest Winners... - May 06 2004 8:24AM
Admin Avatar
107 Posts

The envelope, please...

And the winners are:

Zyxtan - Ludwig Boltzmann

Taitnucleus - Max Planck

Sanjay Arora - Feynman

Each winner will be contacted for further information so we can send out their prizes.  Thank you to all who entered!

Dodge this.

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