Top 10 World’s Greatest Geniuses

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The dictionary defines a genius as someone with an exceptional power of mind, ingenuity, natural ability or creativity. The world has seen plenty of intellectual and otherwise adept individuals who have shaped the world as we see it today. So, who are the most influential ones that one could recall? While the responses maybe many and varied, here is our countdown of the top ten geniuses till date.
10. Galileo Galilee
With an IQ of 185, Galileo was naturally adept at his fields of mathematics, astronomy and philosophy. He made important contributions to the sciences of motion, astronomy and the strength that each material possesses. The perfect Renaissance man, his theories of circular inertia, parabolic trajectories and the law of falling bodies ushered in a change in the scientific thinking of his time. His discovery of the telescope revolutionised the field of astronomy and paved way from the logical acceptance of the model of the Copernican heliocentric system, thereby, challenging the lies propagated by Church for which he was constantly under the threat and finally resulted in the process of Inquisition against him.
9. Blaise Pascal
Blaise Pascal was a French mathematician, physicist, religious philosopher. He is credited with having laid the foundation for the modern theories of probability and formulated what came to be known as the Pascal’s law of pressure. Following Galileo and Toricelli’s methods, in 1646 he proved Aristotelian thinkers who believed nature abhors a vacuum wrong. He was a part of a religious movement within Roman Catholicism called Jansenism. He preached the importance of following our senses over cut and dry rational thinking. He claimed that God can be reached through the heart and not the head. He had great influence on the future generation of thinkers and even the existentialists, who were known for preferring reason over the senses.
8. Socrates
He was a classical Greek philosopher who was credited at having laid the foundation of western progressive thought. He never chronicled his own theories or philosophies and much of it was done by later writers like Aristophanes and historians like Xenophon. Plato’s Socratic Dialogues also provide a deep insight into the life of the man he was. He initially studied sculpture but abandoned that in his pursuit of the truth. Socrates began to question Athenian thinking and the system of democracy it followed. He asked constant questions and kept every matter under a constant probe that often resulted in the successful revelation of truth. This came to be known as the Socratic Method. He was famous for having said that he knows nothing except for the fact that he knows nothing. His thinking challenged the heart of Greek governance and he was brought to trial for disbelief in God and corrupting the minds of the young. He was sentenced to death by drinking hemlock.
7. Madame Marie Curie
Madame Curie was one of the first known woman scientists and one of the most influential scientists of the 20th century. She discovered radium, which proved to be of great help in the field of cancer treatment and nuclear physics. Born Maria Sklodowska, she went to France to study at Sarbonne where she met Pierre Curie whom she married and partnered with in several of her experiments. She coined the term ‘radioactive’ for the property exhibited by certain elements like thorium and radium. Both she and her husband were awarded the Nobel Prize for their significant contribution to the field of physics in the study of radium. Curie also received another Nobel Prize for her study of radioactivity. Curie also had to struggle against prejudices and chauvinism in her chosen field as it was mostly dominated by men. Being the first known woman scientist was not easy. Having been exposed to radiation in her extensive research, Curie developed leukemia and died in 1934.
6. Nikola Tesla
A Siberian-American inventor, Tesla was an engineer, a physicist and a revolutionary futurist thinker. He is regarded and revered for his contribution to the design of modern alternating current in the electric supply system. His isolation, eccentricity and brilliance earned him the title what the popular culture believes to be a ‘mad scientist’. Needless to say, Tesla was far from mad. His contributions became obscure after his death, but a renewed interest in the life and works of Tesla began in the 1990s. His reputation and inventions have become the centre of many conspiracy theories regarding pseudo sciences, New Age occultism and UFO theories. The International System of Units in 1960 dedicated the term tesla to the SI unit of magnetic field strength.
5. Leonardo Da Vinci
Leonardo Da Vinci is the most brilliant and versatile genius known till date. The ideal Renaissance man, he was a painter, sculptor, inventor, musician, engineer and scientist. Though we may know him today as the painter of the famous The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, he was much more than just that. His thinking was far ahead of his time and if he had been alive today to make use of the resources, he could have successfully brought to life many of his experiments and theories. In his secret notebooks, which he would write in mirror image writing, he chronicled his sketches and plans for airplanes, tanks, helicopter, underwater diving suits and parachutes.
4. Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton was an English physicist and mathematician. He is one of the most influential scientists of the modern age and paved way for the scientific revolution. Newton’s reflecting telescope made in 1668 brought the attention of the scientific community to his works and he was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1672. In 1687, with the support of his friend, the astronomer Edmond Halley, Newton published his single greatest work, the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica which translates in English as the Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. This contained his theories on the discovery of gravity as the universal force that affected all beings.
3. Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin was a British scientist and thinker who laid the foundations of the theory of evolution and challenged the prevailing perceptions regarding the natural world in his time. During his time, religious thought dominated all spheres and people believed that God created the earth in seven days as described in the Bible. On the voyage across the world, Darwin read Lyell’s Principles of Geology which claimed that the fossils found in rocks were actually petrified remains of animals that had lived many thousands or millions of years ago. Lyell’s argument along with the flora and fauna he observed in the Galapagos Islands helped him formulate the theory of evolution by the process of natural selection.
2. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking is an English physicist and cosmologist. He is currently author and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. He is well known for his theoretical predictions that black holes emit radiations called Hawking radiation. He has also contributed and furthered Einstein’s study on general relativity. His A Brief History of Time which attempts to explain the layman reader the intricacies cosmology and astronomy has been the New York Times bestseller for four years in a row. Despite having been inflicted with a motor neuron disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, he never let it hinder his passion for science. He is entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device.
1. Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein was a German physicist who had contributed remarkably in his chosen field. He developed the general theory of relativity and made considerable contribution to quantum mechanics and the development of modern physics. He received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921 for his contribution to theoretical physics and the discovery of the law concerning the photoelectric effect. His intellectual acumen and brilliant research results have made his name synonymous to the definition of genius. He is best known for his mass energy equivalence equation, E = mc2.

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