Ed Witten is the smartest man in the world

yeah, i just watched a bunch of interviews of this man, and looked at his accomplishments… this guy is widely considered the greatest living phyiscist

if you were to ask the top physicists in the world who the greatest physicist was, i bet you over half of them would say “Ed Witten”

this guy is the only non-mathematician to win a fields medal,

he came up with M-Theory, the 11 dimension string theory, which sparked the second revolution in string theory and which is the dominating theory right now

he is the highest rated scientist according to H-Index in the world

Yep, he’s pretty damn smart.

I understand completely the argument for the premise, but I am far more impressed with a jack-of-all-trades kind of intelligence/aptitude.

Witten may be some kind of kick-ass physicist, but there are people who are above and beyond their peers in most every field of endeavour.

Appropriately-chosen forum for this OP, which would have benefited at least somewhat from the inclusion of any kind of link.

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=689456 - You’ve already asked this once

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=689305 - Oops, twice

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=685459 - My bad, three times, kinda

http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=684114 - Honorable mention

This is an argument against him, not in his favor. Show me someone who can figure out a way to test the string model, and that guy I’ll call a genius. As it exists right now, though, it’s mostly just mental masturbation.

Personally, I’d say that the greatest living physicist right now is Kip Thorne. But I doubt you’d get half of all physicists to agree on any one candidate.

While Witten may well be the greatest living physicist, I am waiting for the physicist who will lead us out of the morass and find a scientific (that is, testable) theory that unifies gravity and the other forces. That one will be universally acknowledged as the greatest living physicist. However, Witten is also a top mathematician.

there arn’t alot of universal intelligent people like that…especially in the sciences, in this day and age you have to specialize

Witten is by far the most influential physicist in the world right now

Maybe he actually IS Witten!

I’m pretty sure Witten uses correct grammar, punctuation and capitalization.

No, the most influential physicist in our world right now is Sir Isaac Newton.

I’d put in an argument for James Clerk Maxwell; aside from being the father of electrodynamics and laying the groundwork for both quantum field theory and special relativity, he did considerable work to advance the field of optics and color photography, published the seminal paper on early control theory, and laid teh foundations for statistical mechanics and modern thermodynamics. That’s one smart Scot. But Newton is more recognizable to the general public.


Then the OP is his publicist. His very devoted but slightly misguided publicist.

Everybody knows Sir Isaac departed our world in 1727, only to be cruelly resurrected in 2369 and cursed to eternally play poker with the likes of Einstein, Hawking and a wide-eyed albino who asks too many questions.

Apparently, he’s thanatical about physicists.

It’s his mother, isn’t it…

He can’t touch the wheel chair guy for popularity, not to mention having one best seller book. As regards the “smartest,” I’m partial to artists.

Is that so bad when so many people are obsessed with celebrities and the Kardashians, for someone to be a fanboy for physicists?

I have no idea who is ‘smarter’ but Terence Tao is possibly the greatest mathematician alive. I’m sure he could give Witten a run for his money.

That is the extent of my understanding of the leaders in math and physics. You’re welcome internet.

I do not recall where I read it, but physicists were asked to rate their colleagues to find the most (maybe top 50 or 100) groundbreaking and influential in their field. Hawkings was not on the list, but he is good at public relations for science.

Sure, why not?

Just because it might be better to be obsessed over physicists than vacuous celebrities doesn’t make it a good thing.