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    I just started college and we are doing EPQ in our first year. I need to write a 5000 word essay on a question that I can make up about anything I want. As I want to go into a career with maths/physics, I want to write it about a major mathematician or a physicist that has changed the world/subject. I would like to find some tips and ideas about who I could research ( apart from Hawking) who fits in this category and has a lot to write about and is interesting.
    Thank you for any tips and ideas
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    I'd say a couple of names, but it will have to be someone who you have an interest in, because you'll be spending hours of your life finding out things about them.
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    What particular areas of maths and physics are you interested in?
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    (Original post by thecatwithnohat)
    I'd say a couple of names, but it will have to be someone who you have an interest in, because you'll be spending hours of your life finding out things about them.
    That's why I wanted some ideas so that I can look up that person and see if they'd interest me
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    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    What particular areas of maths and physics are you interested in?
    In physics I'm mainly interested in astrophysics and nuclear physics and any part of maths really
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    (Original post by PeDro2012)
    In physics I'm mainly interested in astrophysics and nuclear physics and any part of maths really
    For maths you could really look at just about any mathematician. Pythagoras was a pretty cool (and terrifying!) guy. Or you could look at the Newton v Leibniz debate about who first "discovered" calculus. Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh talks about a lot of interesting people, so reading that might be worth it to find a starting point.

    For physics perhaps look at some of the key figures in the Manhattan or Tube Alloys (British nuclear weapon program) projects? e.g. Oppenheimer, Chadwick (discovered the neutron also). Or you could look at the research which lead up to the discovery of nuclear fission of heavy nuclides just before the outbreak of WW2. I am afraid off the top of my head I cannot remember what team discovered it. I think it included Lise Meitner (a good example of a physicist if you want to look at the historical role of women in science perhaps as she was overlooked for a Nobel prize pretty much just because she was a woman). Paul Dirac (not an astro-or-nuclear physicist) is a pretty interesting guy who was fundamental to the development of relativistic quantum mechanics.

    Just some ideas. I'm not going to lie I do not know that much about the history of physics anymore, I'm more of a maths guy now.
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    (Original post by 16Characters....)
    For maths you could really look at just about any mathematician. Pythagoras was a pretty cool (and terrifying!) guy. Or you could look at the Newton v Leibniz debate about who first "discovered" calculus. Fermat's Last Theorem by Simon Singh talks about a lot of interesting people, so reading that might be worth it to find a starting point.

    For physics perhaps look at some of the key figures in the Manhattan or Tube Alloys (British nuclear weapon program) projects? e.g. Oppenheimer, Chadwick (discovered the neutron also). Or you could look at the research which lead up to the discovery of nuclear fission of heavy nuclides just before the outbreak of WW2. I am afraid off the top of my head I cannot remember what team discovered it. I think it included Lise Meitner (a good example of a physicist if you want to look at the historical role of women in science perhaps as she was overlooked for a Nobel prize pretty much just because she was a woman). Paul Dirac (not an astro-or-nuclear physicist) is a pretty interesting guy who was fundamental to the development of relativistic quantum mechanics.

    Just some ideas. I'm not going to lie I do not know that much about the history of physics anymore, I'm more of a maths guy now.
    Thank you for the ideas, I was thinking about Pythagoras too and the Newton vs Leibniz debate sounds interesting
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    (Original post by PeDro2012)
    Thank you for the ideas, I was thinking about Pythagoras too and the Newton vs Leibniz debate sounds interesting
    Well good luck whatever you choose.

    Here is a good link for the history of maths.
    http://www-history.mcs.st-and.ac.uk/
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    (Original post by PeDro2012)
    Thank you for the ideas, I was thinking about Pythagoras too and the Newton vs Leibniz debate sounds interesting
    Plenty of resources for Newton / Leibniz e.g. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00mrfwq

    You could look at Archimedes who came close to calculus, how close was only discovered in the early 20th century https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes_Palimpsest

    or Archimedes contemporary Eratosthenes who (amongst other achievements) described an efficient way of finding primes
 
 
 
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