Talk:List of physicists

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I think that we should ditch the classification by century, since the dividing lines are artificial. For instance, most of Isaac Newton's work was done in the late 17th century, and he contributed to the 18th. Might I suggest that we go either for a straight chronological order (by birth, or death but pick one) or alphabetical by last name. If we decide not to ditch the century categories, at least order the names within the categories. --BlackGriffen— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:43, 25 February 2002 (UTC)

I tried to do the alternative 'sorting' of physicists according to their Landau like 'influence classes' but I've failed and the article was abandonded. --XJamRastafire—Preceding undated comment added by XJaM (talkcontribs) 02:58, 25 January 2003 (UTC)
They're now all sorted by DOB, except for the 20th century ones who are sorted by name. There were a few mistakes which I just fixed. The century headings were inserted at arbitrary locations into the sorted list. Resorting the 20th century physicists by DOB and removing the headings is probably a good idea.-- Tim Starling 07:01 25 Jul 2003 (UTC)

How long do we want this list to be? Is Carl-Gustav Arvid Rossby a physicist? He's usually thought of as a meteorologist. List could get very long. Cutler 17:16, 10 Feb 2004 (UTC)


begin from Talk:List of best physicists

This seems like a silly idea for an article. I don't think 'best of' or 'top 100' lists belong in an encyclopedia.

Totally POV. -- Zoe

needs to be nominated...
20th centuary and popular press bias: no Newton, yet has Hawking ?
Hey, this article was mentioned very serious. I can't help if it looks like totally POV. Perhaps it was not well defined -- that's true. No in a sence of 'the best of' but more in a sence of 'the most influential'. What is wrong with such definitions? Some physicist are more influential (or 'better') than the others. Even Landau himself irrespective of his temper tried to 'classify' them in a strange way. So, classification of physicists is also physicist's work -- in my opinion. We are classifying all the time here in Wikipedia. Forget such arguments. Physicist mind is very wide, not just plain intelligence and such. Just look and examine Einstein's life. It speaks for itself. Well, thank you anyway for deleting one serious attempt to make some more order here. It was just a simple alternative againts the alphabetic or timed sortings. Best regards. --XJamRastafire 01:17 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)
Yes, look at Einstein's life - A-Bombs-R-US... he later regretted his entire life in physics. Edward Teller was also a famous creep who was really good at physics. The word 'best' simply should not be applied to such infamous people.
Be aware that we can't blame Einstein that atomic bombs were made in fact. All of his life he just tried to figure it out how a gravity really works.
Buckminster Fuller actually claimed credit for pointing out to Einstein that the A-bomb was possible. But Einstein wrote Roosevelt. That's enough. Yes, Einstein can be blamed. When he was asked to be President of Israel he also refused, that might have sorted out another mess before it got started. But no. His curiosity made millions suffer to this day, maybe billions by the time all the bombs have gone off.
If Einstein would not exist those times atomic bombs for sure would be built -- but it is a question if General relativity would be known today? That is his influence I was speaking. But no, someone has his own opinion... --[XJam]
Simple as that. Just like Newton, Hawking, ..., man. This is a great effort for me. To devote your life for such 'nonsensical' things -- don't you think. Physicists can't also simply be named creeps. Where do you get such terms? --XJamRastafire
Not all physicists are creeps, but Edward Teller most certainly was. Those devoting their lives to physics may well all be sociopaths at this point. There seems little constructive stuff to learn, and much damage to be done. The fields with potential for non-military use, like aneutronic fusion, seem to be regularly abandoned...
I think this debate has occurred due to two definitions of "best". Hitler was one of the best dictators of the 20th century because he was very good at dictating -- that doesn't mean he should have done any dictating, or that the world was a better place as a result of his dictatorship. In this since, the best physicists would be those that contributed the most to the science of physics, no matter what the negative results were, or how much of an asshole the physicists were or anything else. A list of best physicists as in nice people who do good things would be totally useless. This article doesn't deserve to exist under either definition, though, because it is all POV -- the List of physicists does the same job just fine.Tokerboy
Exactly right. To those supporting dictatorship Hitler was "best" at it, to those supporting H-bombs Teller was "best" and Einstein "better than best". Hopelessly subjective, stuck in the POV of the profession of physics itself - thus not a good article title. This talk file should be moved to meta though, to avoid this happening in other fields. Lists of Nobel Prize winners etc, are not out of place, although ironic, as Alfred Nobel himself regretted his own invention of dynamite.

Much as it's a very interesting topic, this (the whole article) is not a suitable one for an encyclopedia, as there is no possible way to define "best" without taking a point of view, and even ignoring this, it's difficult to imagine a way to apportion merit.

Take it to the proper place - a web discussion forum - and I, like many others, will be only too happy to join in. Wikipedia is not a discussion forum. Tannin 01:52 Jan 25, 2003 (UTC)

yeah, "whos best" is just a bungled way of saying "most famous", though fame isnt encyclopedic whatsoever either. Or maybe it is...maybe a list of "physicists" would somehow have to do with their work being known.

what a thought, so fame is relevant in an encyclopaedia! -- But (big but), only as a byproduct of accomplishment. Ac-comp-lish-ment. Accomplishment. I agree with Zoe, Tannin, and all the other sensible people... nix the 'ticle.-Stevert

Strange POV you have about the world of physics, I guess. A simple list of physicists does not help me much. If then such is a matter why don't we find any physicists from, let us say, Sierra Leone here? I agree what Tokeboy said -- only one thing about useless. Landau tried to do a job -- as it is so impossible. But since this seems like discussion forum I'll stop argueing. --XJamRastafire

good point. in that case, your energies are saying "the physicists article isnt organised in a way which makes sense to me," and to this i suggest that you boldly reorganise it in a logical way. perhaps by date, since scientific accomplishments tend to rely on previous ones.. -Stevert

end from Talk:List of best physicists—Preceding undated comment added by MartinHarper (talkcontribs) 11:03, 24 July 2003 (UTC)


Despite previous efforts there seems to be no consistent sorting/grouping happing on this page. Actually, it appears to be more or less alphabetically sorted within century, but which century someone gets placed in is not consistent. I say we ditch the chronological ordering and go with a straight alphabetical listing. This would at least be consistent with the List of mathematicians. Any takers? -- Fropuff 20:30, 2004 Mar 15 (UTC)

I vote for straight alphabetical listing Cutler 00:05, 16 Mar 2004 (UTC)Me to— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:25, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

Alphabetical listing, physicists beginning "A" have all disappeared[edit]

i don't believe that there have been no living physicists whose surnames begin with A! Lkcl (talk) 12:43, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Date format[edit]

Some dates were given in BCE format rather than BC. I've changed them all to BC for the simple reason that apart from people in the USA and Canada not many people really know what BCE means; it is hardly used outside North America. So this is not a political or POV statement, it is merely using terminology that the majority of people recognise. If BCE ever supplants BC as the dominant style then that would be the time to change - I would humbly suggest. See Anno Domini for a discussion of this. Arcturus 19:08, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)


Somebody changed Einstein from

Albert Einstein — Germany, Switzerland, USA (18791955


Albert Einstein — German-born Jewish (18791955).

I think the first was better. We don't write

Isaac Newton — English born Christian (1642–1727)

Happy to discus though. --Bucephalus talk to me 20:37, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

I like the first better, too, because it better reflects the three countries that have variously tried to lay claim to him. — Laura Scudder | Talk 00:21, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

Lance Boyer[edit]

Somebody has added Lance Boyer, a red link. Fine if he is a real and notable physicist who will, in the long run, get an article, but I can't find any verification. Google is not helpful. Can anyone provide a source showing this person exists. I've left it in for now. --Bucephalus 17:15, 29 December 2005 (UTC)

  • As nobody replyed I've removed the entry. --Bucephalus 23:43, 3 January 2006 (UTC)
I would say that if we can't find in that the redlinked person has ever published in a physics journal that we should go ahead and delete. Alison Chaiken 03:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

Missing physicists[edit]

I notice that not even all the physics Nobelists with existing articles are listed here. When I have a chance, I'll add some more. We should try to make a more complete list if we're going to have the article at all. Which raises the question, why isn't this a category instead? Alison Chaiken 05:53, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

This article has also attracted the addition of lots of joke entries lately. I'll try to keep a better eye on it. — Laura Scudder 15:39, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I decided while I was at it to purge the redlinked entries altogether. Many are in fact real physicists, but since this list is supposed to function partly as a navigation tool on Wikipedia, I think that they should have articles before being listed here. — Laura Scudder 15:44, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
I strongly suspect that some of the entries may not be physicists at all, but I don't have the energy to check them all right now. Thanks as always for your efforts! Alison Chaiken 03:30, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
that arbitrary and unilateral decision unfortunately completely destroyed the efforts of many people to add legitimate entries that happen not to have wikipedia pages, such as Halima Abramowicz (see another section in this talk page). if that arbitrary and unilateral decision is to be enforced, then this page might as well not exist *at all* as it would be absolutely no different from the Category:Physicists page. Lkcl (talk) 12:52, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

WikiProject class rating[edit]

This article was automatically assessed because at least one WikiProject had rated the article as start, and the rating on other projects was brought up to start class. BetacommandBot 09:59, 10 November 2007 (UTC)


can we make a timeline list here? and then sort either alphabetically or by time? does wikipedia already have a tool to support this kind of sorting? (talk) 02:40, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

it does have: List_of_countries_by_population (talk) 23:36, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

should this page be a category instead?[edit]

that would solve the Missing_physicists problem, as placing a cat tag on their pages would do the work. (talk) 02:42, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

There is already the Category:Physicists and a large number of subcategories. Having a list allows us to include physicists such as Abramowicz, who don't yet have a Wikipedia article. -David Schaich Talk/Cont 01:36, 6 August 2008 (UTC)
well... it would... if the entire "A" section hadn't disappeared! :) Lkcl (talk) 12:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
btw which one are you referring to? or halina? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Lkcl (talkcontribs) 12:49, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Selection criteria[edit]

I'm moving here a note added to the article by Fredkinfollower (talk · contribs), since I think it merits discussion. Also, it's currently commented out and likely to be overlooked by most readers and editors of the article itself.

I don't have any problem with marking prize recipients (perhaps with superscript symbols after their names, which might be easier to spot?), and we do need to determine selection criteria for the list. However, I think including only Nobel or Wolf laureates (or people likely to become Nobel or Wolf laureates) is too limiting. If nothing else, such lists already exist, at List of Nobel laureates in Physics (a featured list) and Wolf Prize in Physics.

In addition to Nobel and Wolf laureates, I think recipients of other notable awards merit inclusion, for instance the Sakurai Prize in theoretical particle physics and comparable awards in other fields. I would also be inclined to include Fellows of the American Physical Society and others who have received comparable recognition. Would we be able to get any guidance on selection criteria from List of mathematicians, List of statisticians, or other similar articles? -David Schaich Talk/Cont 22:16, 29 July 2009 (UTC)

Nikola Tesla and Boskovic[edit]

As it is criteria for the place of birth to write just nowadays country I deliberately changed place of birth for Nikola Tesla (it was totally wrong and false "Serbia", as we know he was born in Lika, Croatia) and for Rudjer Boskovic (it was written Dubrovnik, that is a city as we know it is in Croatia) into Croatia as places of birth for those two scientists. Please, I appeal to you to prevent false and malicious, politically motivated abuses. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Pavlemocilac (talkcontribs) 23:48, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

John Hagelin anonymous delete[edit]

I added John's name to the list and someone logged on simply to delete the entry. Should people who contributed to physics early in life but went on to other careers later on be included in the list? Why or why not?Sparaig2 (talk) 15:38, 24 May 2012 (UTC)

Gustave Le Bon[edit]

I would like to recommend Le Bon due to his Book about "The evolution of matter" (wherein he talks about the physics of atoms of and the electrons of electricity without reference to Einstein (Published 1905).WFPM (talk) 01:57, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Bob Lazar[edit]

What kind of an idiotic joke was this? Bob Lazar was listed in a list of physicists?

That was either vandalism to the page or advances the utter lack of credibility of Wikipedia. Or both. (talk) 02:06, 14 September 2013 (UTC)

Needed Categorization[edit]

Areas  - Quantum Physics  - Cosmology— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 14 November 2016 (UTC)


Fumihiko Takasaki

Female Jewish cosmologist living in Venice with theory on the Universe as a wave function, she was in BBC Horizon Programme about edge theories in physics and cosmology which is no longer available.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:28, 14 November 2016 (UTC)

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