Alfred Wegener studied astronomy and meteorologyâ€”and was even a record-holding balloonistâ€”before he became famous for his theories on how the land and seas on Earth were formed and change. These ideas are continental drift and plate tectonics. Seeing that the continents fit together like a puzzle, Wegener proved the theory that all of Earth's continents were once connected. Although his theories weren't accepted until after his death, scientists use plate tectonics to explain volcanoes and many other changes on Earth.
Albert Einstein is probably the most influential scientist and greatest physicist of the twentieth century. He revolutionized our ideas about time and space and is best known for his theory of relativity and his equation E=mc^2, which explains the relationship between energy and mass. By age 30, he was considered by many to be one of the world's greatest scientific thinkers.
Thomas Edison's inventions changed the world. His most famous invention is the light bulb, but he also invented generators and the power grid. Edison holds 1,000 patentsâ€”the record for the most new inventions. He even started his own electric company.
Antoine Lavoisier has been called the founder of modern chemistry. The French scientist is most remembered for developing the scientific method, which is a careful, step-by-step process for proving or disproving something.
Hippocrates was a Greek doctor who is called The Father of Medicine. Before he was born around 460 B.C., there was little science in medicine. Doctors thought the gods were to blame for illness. Hippocrates studied the human body and tried to figure out what caused disease so he could develop cures. Hippocrates suggested rules for doctors to follow. The Hippocratic Oath, which doctors still follow, was based on his teachings.
Isaac Newton is considered one of the greatest scientists who ever lived. His work changed the way humans understand astronomy, physics, math, and more. He is probably most famous for three laws about the way things move, called Newton's Law of Motion.
Jane Goodall is the world's leading authority on chimpanzees. She moved to the African jungle to study them. Her visit to Kenya led to a meeting with famous paleontologist Louis Leakey. Although she wasn't a trained scientist, Goodall began working with Leakey in 1960. She earned the trust of the apes and observed their social interactions. She studied them for more than 30 years. She learned that chimps use tools and are more intelligent than was previously thought.