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Who is the most intelligent person who has ever lived
- Isaac Newton. As a 23 year old divinity student, he left London to go home to the countryside when a plague epidemic hit the cities. Bored out of his mind, he went to a flea market and bought a book on mathematics. That book included a definition of problems that “cannot be solved”. Well, he solved them and invented (or discovered) Calculus. Then he defined how the Universe works. There is no doubt in my mind that if he had known that the speed of light was a constant, he would have derived special relativity.
- Albert Einstein. He took two observations: the speed of light is a constant and the orbit of Mercury does not agree with Newtonian predictions, and he redefined the Universe. He predicted gravitational waves a hundred years before they were observed. If you ever read about a scientist or team of scientists who say that they have discovered (observed) something that contradicts Einstein, bet your money on Einstein.
- Neil deGrasse Tyson. Neil deGrasse Tyson is a high-profile American astrophysicist and research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, and he is also Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium in New York City. Tyson was born in New York in 1958 and loved astronomy from a young age. In 1980 he graduated from Harvard with a bachelor’s degree in physics, and he went on to earn his master’s in astronomy from the University of Texas in 1983. He then went to Columbia, where he obtained his M.Phil. in astrophysics in 1989 and his Ph.D. two years later. Tyson achieved pop culture fame presenting educational PBS show NOVA ScienceNow from 2006 to 2011, and he has made numerous TV guest appearances. The awards he has received include a NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and in 2001 Asteroid 1994KA was renamed 13123 Tyson in his honor.
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