Top 5 Smartest People of All Time

most people try to get above average

grades in order to go to a good college

and get a good job some succeed while

others struggle to excel academically

which over the course of history a small

but powerful group of individuals have

broken the scale of human intelligence

today we're looking at the top five

smartest people in the world James

Maxwell is widely regarded as one of the

greatest scientists of any era his work

on the theory of electromagnetism makes

him the father of modern physics and he

also made fundamental contributions to

mathematics astronomy and engineering in

1931 on the centenary of Maxwell's

birthday Albert Einstein described

Maxwell's work as the most profound and

the most fruitful that physics has

experienced since the time of Newton

Maxwell's ideas also ushered in other

major innovations of 20th century

physics the quantum theory his

description of electromagnetic radiation

led to the development of the ultimately

unsatisfactory lore of heat radiation

which prompted Max Planck's formulation

of the quantum hypothesis ie the theory

that radiant heat energy is emitted only

in finite amounts or quanta the

interaction between electromagnetic

radiation and matter integral to

Planck's hypothesis in turn has played a

central role in the development of the

theory of the structure of atoms and

molecules James Clark Maxwell was born

on June 13th 1831 in Edinburgh Scotland

having a keen intellect from childhood

he had one of his geometry papers

presented at the Royal Society of

Edinburgh during his adolescence by 16

he'd enrolled at the University of

Edinburgh pursuing a fervent interest in

optics and color research he studied

there for three years and eventually

attended Cambridge University's Trinity

College graduating in 1854 in 1856 aged

25 he was awarded Edinburgh highest

prize in mathematics the straighten gold

medal and in the same year he was

appointed to the chair of natural

philosophy at the University of Aberdeen

where he stayed for four years during

this time he formulated and published

his brilliant analysis of how Saturn's

rings could be stable for a long time it

was this insight that has since caused

many to consider Maxwell to be the key

influence on physics between Newton and


and to rank alongside both in overall

importance it was never officially

measured but most people estimate

Maxwell's IQ was between 190 and 205

though he isn't a household name in the

same way as Newton or Einstein this

Scottish scientist is easily one of the

most intelligent people of all time

Isaac Newton is considered one of the

most important scientists in history

even Albert Einstein said that Isaac

Newton was the smartest person that ever

lived during his lifetime Newton

developed the theory of gravity the laws

of motion which became the basis for

physics a new type of mathematics called

calculus and made breakthroughs in the

area of optics such as the reflecting

telescope Newton was born into a Puritan

family in Woolsthorpe a small village in

Lincolnshire England on 25th December

1642 Isaac's father a farmer died two

months before Isaac was born when his

mother Hannah married the 63 year old

Barnabas Smith three years later and

moved to her new husband's residence

Isaac was left behind with his maternal

grandparents who taught him to read and

write when Newton arrived in Cambridge

in 1661 the movement now known as the

Scientific Revolution was well advanced

and many of the works basic to modern

science had appeared his natural

philosophy lectures based their courses

on Aristotle's incorrect ideas from

ancient Greek times this was despite the

fact that 25 years earlier in 1638

Galileo Galilei had established a new

scientific basis for the physics of

motion with his masterpiece two new

sciences Newton began to disregard the

material taught at his College

preferring to study the recent and more

scientifically correct works of Galileo

Boyle disc art and Kepler in 1687 Newton

published his most important work called

the mathematical principles of natural

philosophy in this work he described the

three laws of motion as well as the law

of universal gravity this work would go

down as one of the most important works

in the history of science it not only

introduced the theory of gravity with

defied the principles of modern physics

Newton died on March 31st

17:27 in London England today he is

considered one of the most influential

scientists of all time alongside greats

such as Albert Einstein

Aristotle and Galileo his IQ is

estimated to be between 190 and 200

making him the fourth smartest person in

history with an estimated IQ of between

180 and 220 Leonardo da Vinci is

considered to be the third smartest

person in history Leonardo da Vinci was

the epitome of the Renaissance man he

was a genius a polymath and a pioneer in

fields as diverse as Anatomy and

hydrodynamics Leonardo invented the tank

the helicopter the flying machine the

parachute and the self powered vehicle

undoubtedly he was a man ahead of his

time da Vinci showed his gift at a very

young age he's considered to be one of

the best painters of all time two of his

works the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper

are debatably the most famous paintings

of all time virgin of the rocks-- was

another masterpiece which was painted by

da Vinci among his drawings but true V

and man is regarded as the cultural icon

the virgin and the child with santan is

another example of his famous drawings

he was trained in Florence in the 14th

70s when the workshops of some major

artists not only took on art in every

kind of medium but also tasks that we

would now classify as engineering both

civil and military his master Andrea del

Verrocchio was famed chiefly as a

sculptor but was also responsible for

the soldiering and erection of the great

copper ball on top of the dome of

Florence's Cathedral this brought the

young engineer into direct contact with

the lifting and construction devices of

the great Filippo Brunelleschi the

architect of the dome Leonardo's famous

efforts to devise various kinds of

flying machines were directed by the

emulation of nature not literally to

imitate a bird but to apply the

principles of bird flight to endow man

with the capacity to fly in his own way

his genius lay in his aspiration to

create a second nature in the world his

dual mastery of engineering design and

natural law and no one ever drew

machines with more attention to reality

the mental sculpture that he conducted

in his mind was transmitted onto the

paper with total conviction he knew that

such portraits of devices did not

necessarily clarify all the details of

construction and needed to be amplified

with drawings of the individual parts

for clarity of his vision and the

numerous disciplines that he excelled in

da Vinci is deservedly considered one of

the smartest people ever Albert Einstein

was a german-born physicist who

developed the special and general

theories of relativity and won the Nobel

Prize for Physics in 1921 for his

explanation of the photoelectric effect

Einstein is generally considered the

most influential physicists of the 20th

century and his name is often used as a

synonym for genius Einstein would write

that two wonders deeply affected his

early years the first was his encounter

with a compass at age five

he was mystified that invisible forces

could deflect the needle this would lead

to a lifelong fascination with invisible

forces the second one they came at age

12 when he discovered a book of geometry

which he devoured calling it his sacred

little geometry book contrary to popular

belief young Albert was a good student

he excelled in physics and mathematics

but was more a moderate pupil in other

subjects however Einstein rebelled

against the authoritarian attitude of

some of his teachers and dropped out of

school at 16 he later took an entrance

exam for the Swiss Federal Polytechnic

School in Zurich and while his

performances in physics and math were

excellent his marks in other areas were

subpar and he did not pass the exam the

aspiring physicist two additional

courses to close the gap in his

knowledge and was admitted to Swiss

Polytechnic in 1896 and in 1901 received

his diploma to teach physics and

mathematics in 1905 often called

Einsteins miracle year he published four

papers in the annalen ten physic each of

which would alter the course of modern

physics from 1909 to 1916 Albert

Einstein worked on a generalization of

his special theory of relativity the

results of his efforts were published in

March 1916 in the paper the foundation

of the general theory of relativity this

theory investigates coordination systems

that experience acceleration relative to

each other and also the influence of

gravitational fields to time and space

whereas the special theory of relativity

was still intelligible to the layman

this did not apply to the general theory

of relativity this would prove to be his

most defining work and he is still

regarded for the theory of relativity

more so

his other achievements of which there

are many his brain was kept intact and

his IQ is estimated to be between 205

and 225 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe has

often been seen as one of Europe's big

cultural heroes comparable to the likes

of Shakespeare Dante and Homer he

excelled in a wide range of areas he

wrote many poems he was a huge hit as a

novelist and made scientific

contributions in physiology geology

botany and optics he was also a diplomat

fashion guru a senior civil servant and

head of a university a fine artist an

adventurous traveler the director of a

theatre company and the head of a mining

company with an estimated IQ between 210

and 225 many people consider him to be

the most intelligent person in history

Goethe was educated with his sister at

home by tutors until he was 16 his

father had very definite ideas about his

education and intended that Goethe

should follow the pattern he himself has

pursued as a young man studying law and

gaining experience at the Supreme Court

of the Holy Roman Empire in Wetzler he

is a giant in German and world

literature in fact he coined the term

both literature and spoke Greek Latin

French English and Italian aside from

its quality the sheer volume of work

during his 82 year lifetime is

impressive among other works Goethe

wrote a worldwide best-selling novel

volumes of poetry and several dramas

including his masterwork Faust a massive

two volume drama that was not entirely

finished by the time of the poet's death

Goethe also dabbled in painting and the

science of the theory of color although

his greatest achievements by far were in

literature he is considered by many to

be the greatest genius of all time