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Famous Scientists Radiation of energy from the sun. Many scientists have devoted their lives to understanding many aspects of light and energy. * What is light and how does it transfer energy from the Sun to the Earth and from Earth to outer space? * What is the Earth's radiation budget and how does the radiation budget help us understand the Earth's climate? * How do people influence the radiation budget and how important is that influence compared with other things that cause changes? Here are some of the scientists who have contributed to our understanding of the answers to these questions. The Earth Observatory has information on other prominent scientists. * Svante Arrhenius - a scientist who provided the first written explanation of why the Earth's surface is as warm as it is and suggested that thinking of the Earth's atmosphere as a greenhouse was useful. * Robert Cess - a professor widely recognized as providing an understanding of how water vapor, carbon dioxide, and clouds influence the radiation budget. * Jule Charney - considered the father of numerical weather prediction. His contributions to planetary wave theories provide the modern-day dynamical foundation for understanding general circulation and weather forecasting. * Marie Curie - a famous scientist best known for her discovery of radioactivity, and was also the first woman to win a Nobel prize. * Albert Einstein - showed that light could also be described as particles that carry energy from one place to another. * Benjamin Franklin - researched that white cloth absorbs less sunlight than dark cloth and suggested that people should wear light colors to keep cool in the summer. * Samuel Pierpont Langley - the third secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, developed one of the first instruments which measured the amount of energy radiated by the Sun. * James Clerk Maxwell - showed that light was made of alternating electric and magnetic fields and that light, radio and television waves were the same kind of natural phenomenon. * Max Planck - provided a theory that can be used to calculate how much light energy an object emits at a given temperature. * Roger Revelle - an oceanographer who determined that the oceans could not continue to absorb carbon dioxide from burning oil and coal. Such practices would increase the greenhouse effect. * Karl Schwarzschild - an astronomer who demonstrated that light flowing through the outer layers of the Sun determines the temperature there - laying the ground work for remote sensing the Earth's atmosphere and for understanding temperatures in the stratosphere.