Related to: 'Ten Women Who Changed Science and and the World'

Robinson

Ten Physicists who Transformed our Understanding of Reality

Rhodri Evans, Brian Clegg
Authors:
Rhodri Evans, Brian Clegg

Acclaimed popular-science writer Brian Clegg and popular TV and radio astronomer Rhodri Evans give us a Top Ten list of physicists as the central theme to build an exploration of the most exciting breakthroughs in physics, looking not just at the science, but also the fascinating lives of the scientists themselves. The Top Ten are: 1.Isaac Newton (1642-1727)2.Niels Bohr (1885-1962)3.Galileo Galilei (1564-1642)4.Albert Einstein (1879-1955)5.James Clerk Maxwell (1831-1879)6.Michael Faraday (1791-1867)7.Marie Curie (1867-1934)8.Richard Feynman (1918-1988)9.Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937)10.Paul Dirac (1902-1984)Each of these figures has made a huge contribution to physics. Some are household names, others more of a mystery, but in each case there is an opportunity to combine a better understanding of the way that each of them has advanced our knowledge of the universe with an exploration of their often unusual, always interesting lives. Whether we are with Curie, patiently sorting through tons of pitchblende to isolate radium or feeling Bohr's frustration as once again Einstein attempts to undermine quantum theory, the combination of science and biography humanizes these great figures of history and makes the Physics itself more accessible.In exploring the way the list has been built the authors also put physics in its place amongst the sciences and show how it combines an exploration of the deepest and most profound questions about life and the universe with practical applications that have transformed our lives. The book is structured chronologically, allowing readers to follow the development of scientific knowledge over more than 400 years, showing clearly how this key group of individuals has fundamentally altered our understanding of the world around us.

Allison Vale

Allison Vale has written more than a dozen books, many of which have indulged a fascination with the obscured lives of women in British history, such as The Lost Art of Being a Lady, How to Push a Perambulator and Amelia Dyer: Angel Maker, a biography of the murderous, thirty-year career of Britain's most prolific baby farmer.She lives near Bristol with her husband, their two children and an unruly dog named Douglas.

Catherine Whitlock

Catherine Whitlock's PhD in Immunology at the University of London was followed by ten years of post-doctoral research in cell biology and immunology. More recently she has taught these subjects. She has an ongoing research interest in evaluating the power of science communication initiatives, such as Café Scientifique, and having gained a Diploma in Science Communication from Birkbeck College, University of London, she now works as a freelance writer. Her most recent work, including her latest book, can be found at www.catherinewhitlock.co.uk. She is a Chartered Biologist and a member of the British Society for Immunology and the Association of British Science Writers. She lives in Kent.

Daniela Lamas

Following her graduation from Harvard College magna cum laude in 2003, Daniela Lamas was a medical reporter at the Miami Herald. She went on to earn her M.D. at Columbia College of Physicians & Surgeons, where she completed her internship and residency. In 2011, she served as an editorial fellow at the New England Journal of Medicine, under Harvard Medical School Professor and Journal editor-in-chief Dr. Jeffrey Drazen. She is currently a Pulmonary and Critical Care Fellow at Harvard, where she works at Ariadne Labs, an innovation laboratory headed by Dr. Atul Gawande. She has also worked on the ABC News Medical Unit, led by Dr. Richard Besser. As a writer, she has been published in Newyorker.com, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic and she has had numerous pieces published in the New York Times.

Derek Wilson

DEREK WILSON is a renowned Tudor historian. A graduate of Peterhouse, Cambridge, he has written over 50 critically acclaimed books including A Brief History of the Circumnavigators, and The Uncrowned Kings of England, as well as recent biographies of Charlemagne and Holbein.He is a writer and presenter for radio and television and is also the founder of the Cambridge History festival. He lives in North Devon. Visit his website: www.derekwilson.com

Elaine Kasket

Elaine Kasket is a digital immigrant masquerading as a digital native, an American masquerading as a Brit, and a committed urbanite masquerading as a chicken farmer, but she is a genuine psychologist, writer, and public intellectual. A former principal lecturer in counselling psychology, she left formal academia behind to spend more time communicating to general audiences about the topics that most fascinate her. When she isn't writing or speaking about the murky and weirdly compelling junctures where life, death and the digital meet, she provides psychological therapy, is a producer for the Mortified live storytelling project, tells tales on stage, and makes unsuccessful attempts at learning the banjo. She has appeared in various print, broadcast and online media, to include BBC television, ITN Channel 4, Radio 4 and the Mortified podcast. She lives in East London with her husband, daughter and a revolving cast of troublesome bantams.

Eric R. Kandel

Eric R. Kandel, M.D., is University Professor at Columbia; Kavli Professor and Director, Kavli Institute for Brain Science; Co-Director, Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behaviour Institute; and an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is an editor of Principles of Neural Science, the standard textbook in the field. His book The Age of Insight won the Kreisky Award in Literature, Austria's highest literary award. Kandel has received 23 honorary degrees, is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences as well as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London. He has been recognized with the Albert Lasker Award, the National Medal of Science, and the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 2000.

Graham Davey

Graham Davey is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex. His research interests extend across mental health problems generally, and anxiety and worry specifically. He is a former president of the British Psychological Society and is currently editor-in-chief of the Journal of Experimental Psychopathology which publishes cutting-edge research on anxiety and anxiety-related problems.

J.P. McEvoy

Joe McEvoy has a MS in physics from the University of Pennsylvania and a PhD from the University of London. In the USA, he was an associate at the RCA Research Laboratories in Princeton, NJ. For the following 15 years he worked in solid state physics as a research scientist in the USA, Switzerland and Britain. His two previous books Introducing Stephen Hawking, and Introducing Quantum Theory have been acclaimed worldwide and translated into a dozen languages. In October 2006, he received the prestigious founder's award given by the American School in London for Inspiring and Dedicated Service to Education.

Jon Kabat-Zinn

Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD, is founding Executive Director of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He is also the founding director of its renowned Stress Reduction Clinic and Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He teaches mindfulness and Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) in various venues around the world. He received his Ph.D. in molecular biology from MIT in 1971 in the laboratory of Nobel Laureate, Salvador Luria.He is the author of numerous bestselling books about mindfulness and meditation. Overall, his books have been translated into over 30 languages.

Kimberly Arcand

Kimberly Arcand is the visualization lead for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, specializing in image and meaning research, and in data representation. She lives near Providence, RI.

Lucy Maddox

DR LUCY MADDOX is a consultant clinical psychologist, lecturer and writer. She has worked clinically in a variety of NHS and third sector settings and academically in a variety of universities, including as module convenor on child development at Anna Freud Centre. She currently works with children, teenagers and caregivers in Bristol, as a visiting lecturer in London and as senior clinical advisor for the British Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies. Lucy has written for various publications including the Guardian, Science, Prospect, The Psychologist and the Times.

Mark van Vugt

Mark van Vugt is Professor of Evolutionary, Work and Organizational Psychology at VU University, and research associate at Oxford University. He is the author of the international success Leadership (2011), and a regular contributor to national and international media channels such as the BBC, Channel Four, ABC, CNN, Nature, New Scientist, The Times and The Daily Telegraph. Van Vugt is also consulting editor of various psychology journals.

Mary S. Lovell

Mary Lovell lists her chief interests as horses, sailing, aviation and book collecting. She enjoys overseas travel and is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. She is the author of four previous biographies including the international bestseller STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING: The Biography of Beryl Markham.

Megan Watzke

Megan Watzke is the press officer for NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, specializing in communicating astronomy with the public. She lives in Seattle, WA..

Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. Her TED talk on the subject of refugees has been viewed more than 1.3 million times. She writes regularly for the Guardian.https://go.ted.com/CLTR

Nick Mann

Nick Mann is the photographer of The Elements: A Visual Exploration of Every Known Atom in the Universe. Aside from having photographed more elements and compounds than probably anyone in the world, he is an accomplished landscape, sports, and event photographer. He lives in Urbana, Illinois.

Rhodri Evans

Dr Rhodri Evans studied Physics at Imperial College London, graduating with First Class honours, before gaining his PhD in Astrophysics from Cardiff University. He has taught at the University of Toledo in the United States, at Swarthmore College and done post-doctoral research at the University of Chicago's Yerkes Observatory, 'the birthplace of modern astrophysics'. He is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Physics at the University of Namibia. Rhodri is the author of numerous academic papers as well as popular-science articles, he speaks regularly at conferences and is a regular contributor to the BBC on Physics and Astronomy. His popular blog can be found at thecuriousastronomer.wordpress.com.

Ronald Giphart

Ronald Giphart is an award-winning and best-selling novelist with a strong interest in psychology and human behaviour. He met Professor Mark van Vugt when he worked as a creative writing teacher at the VU University Amsterdam.

Sharon Begley

Sharon Begley is the senior science writer at STAT, the life sciences publication of The Boston Globe. She previously worked at Reuters, Newsweek, The Daily Beast and The Wall Street Journal. She is the author of Can't Just Stop, The Emotional Life of Your Brain (with Richard J. Davidson), The Plastic Mind and The Mind and the Brain (with Jeffrey Schwartz). She has received numerous awards for communicating science to the public.