Over in Twitter-land, there’s a bunch of talk about how this is National Physics Day. I don’t know how I missed that, what with all the media coverage and all.
I have too much other stuff to do to generate any detailed physics content today, so we’ll settle for an informal poll to mark the occasion:
Who is your favorite physicist, other than Einstein, Newton, or Feynman?
The qualifier is just to knock out the too-obvious answers, and force a little more thought. Everybody likes Einstein and Newton and Feynman, but we hear about them all the time. For a major holiday like Physics Day, let’s go a little deeper.
Other than that one restriction, it’s wide open: could be living or dead, theorist or experimentalist, whatever. The definition of “favorite” is open as well– whatever you want that to mean. Though it would be nice if you explained your reasoning in the comments.
Restricting this to historical figured, because while picking living people is allowed, it just feels kind of creepy to me, I’d go with either Ernest Rutherford or Michael Faraday, because experimentalists don’t get enough love. If you put a gun to my head and made me pick only one, I’d probably go with Rutherford, whose experiments launched all of nuclear physics, and revolutionized our understanding of the atom. Plus, he’s more quotable than Faraday.