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Who was smarter?

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how does one measure smartness?
Not by how many patents one has taken out.


BTW, what patents did Newton take out?


As for the initial question, Newton was by far a better mathematician than Einstein. Both had great insight and it's hard to give a comparative.

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I'm gonna have to side with Newton.


Granted - Einstein gave us the bomb, but he was standing on the shoulders of giants. Newton had a lot less to work with.


I mean - inventing calculus over a weekend because the mathematics of the day was simply inadequate for your requirements takes cajones. BIG ones, at that.


It's a pity there's only two choices, because Kepler and a few other candidates spring to mind as well.

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Defining “smarter” as meaning “having more raw mental computing ability”, I guess Newton was smarter that Einstein.


Both were pencil & paper users, and while Einstein could keep his work neat and on track, it’s rumored that Newton could churn out flawless Math for manic periods of days or weeks, from his teenage Oxford days to his old age as the Most Famous Natural Philosopher in the World. The two were similar in that, during and for a generation after their lives, common people would invoke their names to mean “a genius”.


I don’t think either were as smart as Ramanujan, von Neumann, Godel, or a pack of Math-types too obscure to come to mind.


(Newton was, by all accounts, as crazy as Godel. It's believed Newton systematically poisoned himself with a plethora of exotic toxins in a search for physical immortality, while Godel literally starved himself to death in the irrational belief that everyone in the world meant to poison him).


IMHO, the freakishly mentally endowed tend toward the study of pure Math, attracted by the sheer difficulty of it. Physicists seem more pragmatic and cognizant of their own mental limitations.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think that due to the deep understanding that is required of Einstein's ideas, he was smarter. whereas, Newton's ideas were based on brand new fundamentals, but very easy to understand. but no doubt, the mental capabilities they both had were relatively pretty high. I would also consider Euler a genius of the same category.

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