- PHYSICISTS rarely become household names. Pretty much anyone watching television in Britain will have heard of Brian Cox who is credited with making physics sexy again. But before him you would probably have to go back a century or so to Albert Einstein, or three centuries to Isaac Newton, to find a name that is universally recognised. One day, though, Peter Higgs and his eponymous boson might outshine them all
Is Stephen Hawking, another Brit, not a household name? One of the more famous American physicists in recent decades, Carl Sagan, had a major Hollywood blockbuster based on his book dedicated to him. Even though he's a trained engineer, Bill Nye also probably inspired a generation of scientists.