Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Mysterious and great, physics is the leading discipline of natural science, dedicated to the study of matter, energy, space, time, and especially their respective properties and interrelationships with each other.

Physics is the study of the forms and laws of all matter, from the universe down to the smallest particles, and is the most sophisticated natural discipline today.

And physicists are also known as the greatest scientists, so who are the top five physicists in human history?


Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Isaac Newton (January 4, 1643 - March 31, 1727), undisputedly the greatest physicist of all time. Born in Lincolnshire, England, he graduated from Cambridge University and was a renowned physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and natural philosopher, and is known as the "father of modern physics.

Newton was so great that we don't even know about his tragic childhood.

Newton was born in a small farm family, but three months before he was born, his father died of illness, the small farm also because of the lack of manpower and no harvest, the family became very poor.

Drinking milk? That was a luxury, and Newton's family was already in a state of destitution. After three years, Newton's mother could not get any food to feed her children, so she had no choice but to marry a widower in his 60s, but eight years later the widower also died.

Newton couldn't play like other children after school because he had to go herd cattle to earn tuition. Such a life made Newton's dream stop at being a wagon driver.

The good thing is that the family still has some books, the Bible, theology, poetry, mathematics, history, law, mechanics, etc. This is probably the best treasure of the family, Newton can benefit a lot from reading whenever he has time.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

By the time he reached high school, Newton began to show his talent. When he made a kite at school, his classmates immediately cut the paper and made the stand, but Newton calculated the size and then made the kite. During the test flight, Newton's kite flew so high that it amazed everyone.

With superhuman talent, Newton got into Cambridge University, the most prestigious university in England. University dude cool to drink and play cards, but Newton was just a poor student, must do experiments for the teacher's assistant to earn a living.

It was for this reason that Newton came into contact with Henry Moore, a famous professor at Cambridge University, and inherited his mantle. Directly, Newton stood on the shoulders of giants.

Henry. Moore discovered something different about Newton: while other students were still learning from books, Newton was already reading more advanced studies than that class. Newton himself wrote: When I walked into the classroom, I found that I knew more about the content of the class than my teacher did.

Moore was so pleased that he gave Newton a straightforward little lecture. He gave Newton his collection of eighteen hundred books to read for free, and also gave him two books, Kepler's Optics, and Sanderson's Logic.

In 1665, the Black Death broke out in England and Cambridge University was closed. Newton had no classes to attend and no place to go, but began his "thinking" of the highest order.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Thus, calculus, gravity, and the three laws of motion were born.

Newton invented calculus, which directly opened up higher mathematics, and since then, mathematicians and physicists began to "separate". Later, Gauss and Euler also benefited from Newton's inventions.

Historically, however, there has been a calculus battle between Newton and Leibniz, but in the end the calculus was awarded to Newton.

However, the great mathematician John Bernoulli expressed his support for Leibniz, so he challenged Newton and sent him the "problem of solving the most rapid descent".

This puzzle, which had plagued mathematicians for nearly 200 years, was solved by Newton overnight.

Even Leibniz said: "In the whole of mathematics from the beginning of the world to the time in which Newton lived, Newton did more than half of the work".

Gravity and the three laws of motion

Newton explained gravity, that is, any two masses attract each other by a force in the direction of the line of conjoined centers. The magnitude of this gravitational force is proportional to the product of their two masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.

Three major laws of motion were proposed.

1、In the absence of external forces isolated masses remain at rest or do uniform linear motion.

2、The acceleration of an object is proportional to the external force applied to the point and inversely proportional to the mass, and the direction of acceleration is the same as the direction of the external force.

3, the interaction between the two masses of the force and the reaction force is always equal in size and opposite in direction, acting in the same line.

It is important to know that there are four forces in nature, namely: gravity, electromagnetic force, strong interaction force, and weak interaction force. Newton explained two of them (gravity, strong interaction force), and it can be said that Newton explained most of the macroscopic phenomena.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Newtonian mechanics is the foundation of modern engineering and machinery, the basic theory of ten thousand feet tall buildings, cross-sea bridges, airplanes, trains, rockets, submarines, etc. Everything you see, including the part you can't see, can be explained by Newtonian mechanics.

Aristotle's erroneous view on "force", which lasted for more than 2000 years, was corrected by Newton. For the first time, people had an accurate understanding of the laws of motion of the Sun, Earth and Moon.

When I was in school, I was just memorizing Newton's laws and constantly brushing up on them. When I grew up and re-read Newton, I realized that his greatness was by no means defined by a few formulas and a few concepts.

Einstein commented on Newton: In the history of mankind, there was only one person who could combine physical experiments, mathematical theories, and mechanical inventions into a scientific art - and that was Newton.

Albert Einstein

Einstein came in second and deservedly so.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Albert Einstein, a Jewish-American, is a world-renowned physicist, the founder of modern physics, the originator of the theory of relativity, the "mass-energy relationship" and the laser. On December 26, 1999, he was selected by Time magazine as one of the "Great Men of the Century".

Einstein was 22 years old when his application to stay in college was rejected. The despondent Einstein thought, ""I have grown into a man, but I am still doing nothing. I can only add to the burden of my family."

But instead of despairing, Einstein spent much of his time reading. What a terrible thing it is for a person with an IQ of 165 to read seriously.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

At the age of 24, Einstein got married and soon had two sons. Genius is really different, the family is poor but still have to move on.

When Einstein asked his wife for a divorce, it was refused because Einstein could not pay child support. Once again, Einstein made a convincing statement when he said, "If you agree to a divorce, the prize money will be given to you after I win the Nobel Prize."

If someone says this now, everyone must think he is crazy, but Einstein said so, that can only blame the Nobel Prize judges do not work well.

In 1905, Einstein exploded into a small universe in the field of physics.

Propose special relativity theory

1, the principle of relativity: the laws of physics are the same for all inertial systems, there is no one particular inertial system.

2、The principle of invariance of the speed of light: the speed of light in vacuum is independent of the reference system.

Proposed general relativity

After publishing the special theory of relativity, Einstein did not revel in his self-achievement and immediately began to think about the general theory of relativity, which he eventually proposed alone, i.e., that the laws of physics are the same in all coordinate systems.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

General relativity has only one premise, which is a step further than special relativity. It

mass-energy equation

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Einstein published "Is the inertia of an object related to the energy it contains? , which contains the mass-energy equation E=mc2.

The guiding significance of the mass-energy equation can really be called great, it solves not only the source of energy of the later star luminosity, much less the explosion principle of the atomic bomb and hydrogen bomb, but the material source of the birth of the universe!

Photovoltaic theory

Einstein published a paper "A tentative view of the production and transformation of light" to give an alternative explanation for the photoelectric effect.

He argued that the energy possessed by each quantum that makes up a light beam is equal to the frequency multiplied by Planck's constant. If the frequency of a photon is greater than a certain limiting frequency, the photon has enough energy to make an electron escape, causing the photoelectric effect.

Einstein's thesis explains why the energy of photoelectrons is related only to frequency and not to irradiance.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

In addition to these, Einstein published "A New Determination of the Size of Molecules" and "The Motion of Small Particles Suspended in a Stationary Liquid as Required by the Theory of Molecular Motion of Heat".

It can be said that Einstein published five major Nobel Prize-level theories in physics in one year. Interestingly, the Nobel Prize was awarded to Einstein's most obscure theory of photoelectricity.

The expected special and general relativity has never been able to enter the Nobel Prize selection for members of the law, because the judges can not see the theory of relativity.

It has been said that Einstein's lifetime achievements were enough to win seven Nobel Prizes: photoelectric effect, special relativity, general relativity, quantum of light, spontaneous and excited emission, de Broglie waves and Bose-Einstein condensates.


Galileo is the father of modern physics, and he pioneered modern physics.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Galileo was truly from a humble background (fallen aristocracy), his father was a musician, proficient in Greek and Latin, and knew mathematics, Galileo showed a strong interest in mathematics, physics and excessive talent from an early age.

He worked tirelessly to learn physics and mathematics, among other things, and did not give up the study of mathematics and physics, even when he gave up his studies because of a family slump.

Through continuous study and research, Galileo discovered the principles of velocity and acceleration, gravity and free fall, and inertia. He also had a deep knowledge in astronomy and was called the "father of observational astronomy".

Two iron balls hit the ground at the same time

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

One day in 1589, at the age of 25, Galileo came to the Leaning Tower of Pisa together with his debating opponent.

Galileo climbed to the top of the tower and threw an iron ball weighing 100 pounds and a 1-pound ball at the same time. In full view of the public, the two iron balls unexpectedly fell to the ground almost parallel together.

In the face of this relentless experiment, everyone watching was dumbfounded and at a loss for words. Gam

This overturned Aristotle's false assertions. This is proved by Galileo, now known as the law of free fall.

The physical concepts of force, center of gravity, velocity, acceleration, inertial reference, and the laws of pendulum, inertia, falling body motion, the principle of independence of motion and the laws of synthesis and decomposition of motion, and the principle of relativity of motion, which he established in the study of mechanics, laid the foundation of kinematics and dynamics of classical mechanics.


Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Galileo stumbled upon the news that "two lenses superimposed on each other can see invisible objects in the distance". So he used this principle to manufacture the first telescope.

After that, the process continued to improve, gradually increasing the magnification of the telescope from three times, five times to thirty-three times. The transformed telescope pointed to the sky and opened a new chapter in astronomy.

His discovery that the surface of the moon was uneven directly destroyed Aristotle's doctrine of the flawlessness of the celestial bodies.

Through the telescope, Galileo found sunspots and periodic variations on the surface of the Sun and periodic variations on Venus.

On January 7, 1610, Galileo began observing Jupiter, and through his telescope he observed four of its moons and further calculated their orbital periods.

Galileo's book, The Starry Messenger, strongly supported Copernicus' heliocentric theory.

In 1617, Galileo used a telescope to observe the Kaiyang Gemini in the constellation Ursa Major, which was far beyond the reach of the naked eye.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

In general, Galileo was the first to observe with a telescope the Saturn halo, sunspots, lunar mountain ranges, Venus and Mercury's surplus and deficit phenomena.

Galileo established the physical concepts of force, center of gravity, velocity, acceleration, inertial reference, etc., and proposed the principles of motion, inertia, and free fall, which laid the foundation of kinematics and dynamics of classical mechanics.

Galileo's later years were miserable. His book Dialogue supported the heliocentric theory, which made the Roman Church at that time extremely unhappy, and not only banned the publication of Dialogue, but also set up a special committee to censor the content of Dialogue and imprisoned Galileo.

The life of imprisonment caused Galileo's health to deteriorate, first the daughter who cared for him passed away, and then Galileo lost his eyesight and died in 1642.


Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Maxwell, English physicist and mathematician. The establishment of the electromagnetic field theory, which unified electricity, magnetism and optics, was the most glorious achievement in the development of physics in the 19th century and one of the greatest syntheses in the history of science.

Currently our most advanced communications, 5G, satellite, WiFi6, etc. are all based on electromagnetic theory.

Maxwell was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, to a well-to-do father who was a defense lawyer, and at the age of 8, Maxwell's mother became ill and died, causing him to become quiet.

Luckily, his father and aunt were very caring and had a positive influence on the quiet Maxwell.

At the age of 15, Maxwell published his first paper, "The Ovoid Line," in the Journal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, causing quite a stir in the area.

At the age of 16, Maxwell entered the University of Edinburgh and began to specialize in mathematical physics, with a rigorous training in experimental physics and logic.

In 1850, Maxwell transferred to Cambridge University. Because of his excellent academic performance, he joined the Cambridge Apostles, the secret elite society of Cambridge University.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

In 1855, Maxwell came across Faraday's book "Experimental Studies in Electricity" and was attracted by the various electromagnetic induction experiments in the book and formally began to study electromagnetism.

Of course Maxwell's electromagnetic theory also stands on the shoulders of giants.

First, in 1820, the Danish scientist Oster discovered the phenomenon of deflection of the magnetic needle and suggested the existence of magnetic effect of electric current. In turn, the famous Björ-Savard law was proposed.

Later, Ampere discovered a simple way to calculate the magnetic effect, namely Ampere's loop theorem, and also proposed Ampere's law (right-handed spiral rule).

Later, after repeated experiments, Faraday proposed the law of electromagnetic induction, and introduced the concept of electric and magnetic fields to break the traditional concept of Newtonian mechanics "super distance action".

Finally, Maxwell came out and proved Faraday's law of electromagnetic induction using mathematical formulas.

But Maxwell is too low-key, nothing gossip news, life is also uneventful, and not like Ampere, Hertz, get the name into the physical units, which greatly affects the visibility.

Some people even think that it is not just a few systems of equations.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Maxwell's system of equations is composed of calculus equations, which is not difficult for professionals, but ordinary people look at it and are dumbfounded.

These four equations, which explain the nature of the electric field, the nature of the magnetic field, the law of excitation of the electric field by a changing magnetic field, and the law of excitation of the magnetic field by a changing electric field, respectively.

The changing electric and changing magnetic fields are not isolated from each other; they are always closely linked and mutually excited to form a unified electromagnetic field as a whole.

Although Maxwell laid the foundation of electromagnetic theory through perfect mathematical formulas, the theory was not widely recognized by the public at that time because it was too sophisticated and complex, and the formulas were too abstract.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

It was decades after his death that his greatness was discovered, and Einstein confessed that Maxwell's electromagnetic theory was the most profound and fruitful work in physics since Newton.

Newton unified the laws of motion in the sky and on earth, while Maxwell unified the laws of motion of light, electricity and magnetism, which is the "second" unification of motion in human history.

People say that Maxwell's On Electricity and Magnetism is comparable to Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy and Darwin's Origin of Species.

Chen Ning Yang

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Chen Ning Yang, born in Hefei, Anhui Province in 1922, is the greatest living physicist, a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences, a foreign member of the Royal Society, a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1957.

Yang's most famous work is the "cosmological non-conservation", which refers to the asymmetry of the motion of matter that is the mirror image of each other in weak interactions.

What does it mean? It means that the laws of physics in the universe are not perfectly symmetrical. This actually disproves some of the theories of Newton and Einstein.

We learned from Newton, Einstein and other physicists that the laws of physics are symmetrical, but now Yang's law says "no", that there is no symmetry in the weak interaction forces.

This major discovery is absolutely subversive, right?

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

However, he did not stop there, he proposed the "Yang-Mills canonical field theory" and the "Yang-Baxter equation".

After that, seven Nobel Prizes were awarded one after another for finding the particle predicted by Yang, including the Chinese American Ding Zhaozhong.

Three people were awarded the Fields Medal for their work on the Yang-Baxter equation, which is known as the Nobel Prize in mathematics.

It can be said that Yang has almost monopolized the theory of physics, and the results derived from his theory have almost encompassed the theoretical physics and particle physics parts of the Nobel Prize in physics for six decades.

In other words, for nearly six decades, the founder of the world of physics is Yang, and countless scientists have stood on Yang's shoulders to win the Nobel Prize.

Who are the top five physicists in human history? Could Chen Ning Yang make the cut?

Yang has made great contributions to particle physics, statistical mechanics, and condensed matter physics, but he has also been overshadowed by negative news such as returning to his home country for retirement and his grandfather-son relationship.

Many netizens are blind to Yang's contributions to physics, but are obsessed with the so-called "negative news", which is actually quite sad. This is actually quite sad because even the Americans give Yang a very high rating.

(a) Yang is considered by the American physics community as the third physics all-rounder after Einstein and Fermi.

Yang is known as the greatest genius of the post-World War II era, behind him are: Gell-Mann, Feynman, Turing, Von Neumann, Gödel, etc. Neumann, Gödel, etc..

Yang Chen-ning in physics best ranked "top five": Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Maxwell, Yang Chen-ning.

There are 4 forces in nature, Newton elaborated the universal gravitational force, Maxwell elaborated the electromagnetic force, and Yang elaborated the weak interaction force. Of course, they also jointly elaborated the strong interaction force.

Therefore, Yang's contribution is able to be ranked in the top 5.

Write to the end

If you cling to Yang Lao's lace news and cling to Hawking as a great physicist, you really need to learn the basic theory properly.

If we did vote, would Yang be in the top 5 in physics? I think so, how about you?

I am Technology Mingsheng, welcome to discuss together!