The World's Smartest Men

Beyond the rock stars like Neil DeGrasse Tyson and multi-billion dollar, cutting-edge facilities like CERN, a lot of physics (especially the theoretical sort) is still done the same way it was at the turn of the last century — by hand, on blackboards. Our friends at Oobject have assembled a gallery of history's brightest minds leveraging old-school tech to do what they do best.

When you've wrapped your mind around that, check out these exclusive shots from inside CERN, these ghostly particle detectors, and this gallery of scientific laboratories.

Heisenberg Teaches Quantum Theory

Richard Feynman Sizes Up The Blackboard

Peter Higgs And The Higgs Mechanism

Max Planck (R) And Niels Bohr In Front Of Maxwell's Equations

John Bell, Author Of The Most Profound Theorem In Science

John Bardeen, Father Of Both The Transistor And Superconductivity

The first person to win two Nobel prizes in the same field, Bardeen invented what made modern computers possible and superconducting magnets. Without him there would be neither the web nor the LHC.

Wolfgang Pauli During A Lecture In Copenhagen, April 1929

Pauli, one of the founders of quantum theory, preferred to correspond with colleagues rather than formally publish. so much so that many of his ideas went uncredited.

Paul Dirac At A Workshop In The Early 1930S

Dirac is famous as the creator of the complete theoretical formulation of quantum mechanics.

John Wheeler And His Elaborate Blackboard Presentations

Wheeler, who revived interest in General Relativity, and the idea that information flow may be at the heart of physics also coined the term Black Hole. He was know for pre-preparing very elaborate coloured diagrams on a series of blackboards which he would then work through during a presentation.

Einstein Writes The Spacetime Curvature Tensor From General Relativity

Abdus Salam, Electroweak + Higgs

Weinberg Glashow and Salam shared the Nobel prize for the Electroweak unification.

Steven Weinberg, Electroweak + Higgs

Weinberg Glashow and Salam shared the Nobel prize for the Electroweak unification.

Sheldon Glashow, Electroweak Theory

Glashow formed the basis of the Standard Model by unifying electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force.

Erwin Schrodinger

Schrodinger created the equivalent of Newtons laws of motion but for quantum systems. One of his lesser known achievements, however, was a lecture titled What is Life, which predicted the essential mechanism of DNA — that it should be an aperiodic crystal so that it could contain information.


    Please google Satyendra Bose to understand where the 'Boson' in the Higgs Boson is derived from. Having googled, please then include Satyendra Bose in your article. All the smartest men in the world weren't only from the Western world you know.....

      ^^ THAT. Im quite sure there were great achievements from non-western people. Indians, Chinese, Russians, etc. Lets include them in this list for a "real list". This list seems very one-sided/biased or poorly researched t only include the most popular.

        Ash: Unfortunately we in Asia missed the boat and in reality Western world did bring about the scientific change with much greater propotion by their research work. So it is difficult to artificially nominate Asian people. It will take another century to add more names from Asia. It is an unfrtunate truth. Mughals built more tombs and larger palaces rather patronising science. While European Royalty patronised scientific research and their socieities divorced it from religion to create a better soil for science to grow. We still lack this in our Eastern world.

      You are right Bose was a genius in his own right but the above mentioned people have much more contribution to the science. Salam alone had a work comparable to 150 to 200 PhDs. His theory for proton half life is still out there to be proven one day.

    Your also missing Nikola Tesla... the comic on The Oatmeal (hilariously) explains why he is at least as smart as everyone else.

    Alan Turing - for his contribution to computer science and computers today, not to forget also his code breaking during WWII with the enigma codes

    While your at it how about going with 'smartest minds' and putting the likes of Madam Curie In there. This is particle physics and radiation were all agog about after all.....

      Apparently only the men count. Unless they're planning to segregate it and have a 'Smartest Women' article too...

    Tesla doesn't make the list? Really?

      Isaac Newton also! He was Einsteins inspiration. He called him the "father of something" (can't remember what).

        his second child!!!

    I'm sure there are many many more people that could qualify for this list, nowhere does it say that this is a complete and definitive list though.

    So... only the men? Is there a particular reason?

    steven wienberg , abdus salam and glashow didnt created the electroweak theory but it was an idian from america

    george sudarshan

    and WTF wolfgang pauli is doing here?

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