Five scientists who are our generation’s Einstein
It’s been 60 years since Einstein and science has moved way ahead of his time. Even as much of the discoveries of modern science can be credited to Einstein and his path-breaking theories, yet they were possible because of the genius and relentless efforts of modern day scientists. We can call these scientists our generation’s Einsteins but it is sad that we don’t the names of many of them. Stephen Hawking is an exception though, as he has become a household name and a celebrity scientist owing to his theories regarding Black Holes which captured the imagination of Scifi and his defiance against his physical disability. But there are many more such scientists who deserve to be known and remembered, here are some of them:
If you remember the extensive newspaper coverage in 2013 of the discovery of ‘God Particle’ you would know the magnitude of the contribution this man has made in modern science. The ‘God Particle’ is actually another name given to a subatomic particle discovered in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, its actual name is Higgs Boson named after Peter Higgs who first theoretically predicted the existence of such a particle. The Higgs Boson is the particle responsible for giving mass to the elementary particles such as electrons and protons.
Surprised to see a woman in this list? Well, science doesn’t discriminate. It is driven by reason not hypocrisy. And for those who believe women are inferior to men, this woman’s work will stun them to death. She stopped light. Yes you read it right, she stopped it (don’t confuse ‘stop’ with ‘block’), the fastest thing in the universe was tamed by the genius of this woman. It is believed that Lene Hau’s work has opened the gates for some radical advancements in humanity as it has its implications on development of Quantum Key Distribution (a secure communication method) and Quantum Computing (an advanced species of computers).
3. Andre Geim
Do you love your smart phone? Do you become a puzzled squirrel when you don’t find your smart phone on your bed? Well, if smart phones and other portable high end gadgets have become an important part of your, life this scientist- Andre Geim- deserves a salute. He is responsible for the discovery of graphene, the thinnest, strongest and hardest material which became a superior alternative to silicon. While Andre received a Nobel Prize for his discovery, the first successful application resulted in development of a flexible touch-screen phone. Rest is history.
4. Mildred Dresselhaus
Another woman with another outstanding contribution to science and humanity. She is known as the ‘queen of carbon science’ owing to her extensive work ongraphite, graphite intercalation compounds, fullerenes, carbon nanotubes, and low-dimensional thermo-electrics. In layman’s language she has worked for the development of carbon nanotubes. Her work has humongous implications in the fields of medicine, energy and electronics. Flat TVs, many organ and tissue transplants, solar cells have not just been practically possible but are gradually becoming economically affordable because of her studies.
This man’s field of study is in a very nascent stage today, but the revolution he has started in the field of science can have a cascading affect on generation to come. Jeremiah P Ostriker is an astrophysicist and a professor in Columbia University and has been a source of influence in advancing the theory of dark matter. He postulated that most of the mass in universe is not visible and called it Dark Matter. This theory later gave birth to Dark Energy theory and today scientists are trying to trap a so far hypothetical Dark Particle. If any experimental success is ever achieved in these fields, our whole understanding of universe will change forever. For instance it is believed, if we are able to tap Dark Energy, we can open and enter worm holes and travel through universes.