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5 of The Greatest Scientists in History

Throughout different ages, science and scientists have always played an active role in history. This role affected various sides of peoples’ lives: economically, socially, and nationally. With scientific power, nations will be able to lead global economy by owning developed industries, and will also be able to develop their military arsenal with the latest equipment, and thus provide a safe society.

There have also been many influential scientists in the history of mankind. This influence has always been a double-edged sword. For example, some of them contributed to the discovery of a medicine for some of the most catastrophic diseases, whereas other scientists symbolized disasters to humanity. In this article we are going to mention some of scientists who had beneficial impact on human life and had provided various innovations and discoveries that lead to all the giant leaps in our history.

Marie Curie

She was born in Warsaw in 1867 A.C., in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, a part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw’s clandestine Flying University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with the physicist Henri Becquerel. She also won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win a Nobel Prize in two different sciences. Moreover, she was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and, in 1995, Marie Curie became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris.

Her achievements included the development of the theory of radioactivity, techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world’s first studies into the treatment of neoplasms were conducted using radioactive isotopes. During World War I, she developed mobile radiography units to provide X-ray services to field hospitals. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, and they both remain major centres of medical research today.  


Trio Francis Crick, James Watson and Maurice Wilkins

In the 1950s, there was a fierce competition between many scientific teams to discover the form and structure of the DNA. Watson and Crick formed one of those teams and were joined by Wilkins. It was worth mentioning that Wilkins was part of the Manhattan project that produced the first nuclear bomb. Wilkins felt guilty, as he was one of the makers of death. Therefore, he decided to atone for his sin by participating in the making of life, and so he took part in a project of discovering the form and structure of the DNA. Francis Crick and James Watson began their studies on the DNA in 1953, and Wilkins then introduced X-ray reflections by which he photographed genetic material to Watson. Watsons quickly showed Crick these images. Thus, Crick was able to reach the form of the DNA that is currently adopted: a helical duplex. Watson also discovered the chemical composition of DNA. Francis Crick, James Watson and Morris Wilkins won Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1963.

Nikola Tesla

Born in Croatia in 1856 A.C., and Nikola Tesla was the detector of the electric current. Tesla began his studies at the Polytechnic School. He then joined the University of Prague in the Czech Republic and specialized in electrical engineering where he began his career as an electrical engineer in the telephone company in Budapest. Then, he started to work in Edison company and moved to New York where he joined the great American scientist Thomas Edison. At the end, he founded his own laboratory in the same city.

About Mustafa Elhashash

Research Assistant at Ainshams University, interested in the new technologies in education and scientific research.

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