Nikola Tesla was an inventor and scientist, born in Croatia. His career began as an electrical engineer at a telecoms company in Budapest. It was here he created the first design for the induction motor which he drew in the sand whilst walking with a friend. In 1884 he moved to the United States of America to work for Thomas Edison in his New Jersey laboratory. It was here that his disagreement with Edison over Direct Current versus Alternating Current began leading to what was known as the “War of the currents”. Ultimately Tesla, supported by George Westinghouse won and the AC system of power distribution is still used today. Tesla was a pioneer in many fields, his AC induction motor is considered one of the ten greatest inventions to date. Among his discoveries are the fluorescent light, laser beams, wireless communication and wireless energy transmission. With over 700 patents worldwide he was a true visionary and inventor without whom the world in which we live in would not be the same.”

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“Werner Heisenberg was a German theoretical scientist who was born at the beginning of the 20th century. He is best known for his work into quantum mechanics and the Uncertainty Principle but also made important contributions to nuclear physics, quantum field theory and particle physics. The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle states that it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of an object at the same time. This has led to many further developments into quantum theory and he was awarded the Nobel prize in 1932 for the creation of Quantum Mechanics.”

Niels Henrik David Bohr, Born in 1885 in Copenhagen, into a family whose atmosphere helped with the development of his genius. His father, a professor of physiology, sparked his interest in physics and by 1911 he had gained his Doctors degree. Niels focused his energy on the theoretical side of physics and his work into metal properties and electron theory acquainted him for the first time with Planck's quantum theory. Later, when working in Professor Rutherford's laboratory, he introduced quantum theory to Rutherford's discovery of the nucleus of an atom, thereby providing a previously unseen picture of atomic structure. In 1922 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his work on the structure of atoms.“

“Albert Einstein, German scientist born in 1879. Even as a child, Einstein was curious and when he was 4 or 5 years old had a magnetic compass that inevitably pointed north and which fascinated him. This led him to believe that there was “something behind things, something deeply hidden”. He is famous for his work on General and Special Relativity which led to the understanding of the relationship between matter and energy E=MC2; a principle that is used in nuclear reactions.”

“Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, was a British scientist who worked with Albert Einstein to help prove the Theory of Relativity. Eddington was born in 1882 and in 1906 was given the post of chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He developed statistical methods and modelling for astronomical effects to help explain the universe in which we all live. However, with World War I cutting communication between England and Germany his work with Einstein was delayed. Yet despite this, in 1919 he observed a solar eclipse that proved the Theory of Relativity.”

“Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck was born in Germany, 1858. He studied at the universities of Munich and Berlin where he was taught by Kirchhoff and Helmholtz. His most notable work came from experimentation in observing a black body (perfect emitter and receiver of radiation). He noticed that the wavelength of energy was different to that predicted by classical theory . From this he was able to deduce the relationship between energy and frequency based on his revolutionary theory that energy emitted could only take certain values or quanta. Thus the creation of quantum physics for which he won the Nobel prize in 1918.”

“George Stephenson, Born in 1781, in Wylam, England. Stephenson left school at the age of 8 to work on a farm. However he was fascinated by machines and took night classes to learn to read, write and count. He went on to join his father working at a colliery, quickly becoming an engineman. Later he moved to work at Killingworth and, thanks to his affinity for machines, in 1812 was appointed enginewright. During this time he invented a new safety lamp that would not explode when near the explosive gases found in mines. Together with his son, he later formed Robert Stephenson & Company, the first locomotive manufacturer in the world, based in Newcastle. He was asked to construct many railways, but perhaps his greatest success came when he entered a competition set by the Liverpool and Manchester railway directors, where he won the competition to see which locomotive would be used on their track.”