From the laws of motion to the theory of relativity, science is all around us. It's in how things work and how the planets align. And the noble men and women who have worked to explain it all are some of our most important figures in history.
Scientists have explored our universe and discovered truths about our bodies, our environment and plants, animals and things all around us. They have inspired us with their tenacity, creativity and insights. And they can also inspire us with naming our next generation.
Sometimes it's a concept that might be the perfect pick — like Nova or Aurora. Sometimes it's a person like Albert Einstein, Marie Curie or Galileo. But we can find inspiration in the world around us and the people that explain it to us. They embody the idea that studying hard and pursuing your dreams can lead to success. And what child doesn't love to explore the world and try a few experiments?
Science is one of the most in-demand fields in the economy these days, and it's definitely a noble profession to inspire your child to pursue. And naming them after a noble scientist might just do the trick.
Here are 15 baby names inspired by science or scientists.
For another atypical but not unusual pick, science lovers can point to one of the most famous physicists and mathematicians, Sir Isaac Newton.
Newton, who helped develop calculus, is known for his laws of motion and the law of gravitation. He also figured out optics, studying the refraction of light, which helped him develop the first known functioning reflecting telescope.
Newton isn't exactly a popular name, but it isn't unheard of. Take, for example, politician "Newt" Newton Gingrich. And it can also give a nod to football superstar Can Newton.
The pick fits the trend of using last names as first names, which could be appealing. But if you are more traditional, you can also consider his first name Isaac, which is a Biblical name that means "laughter." That's a pretty great option too.
A perfectly lovely pick, right in line with the vintage name trend, Rosalind would be a beautiful pick for a daughter. Plus, it is an ode to one of the founders of genetics.
Rosalind Franklin had to convince her father that she could be a scientist, but when she did, she made her mark on the study of DNA. She made X-ray images of DNA and was working on the structure. Her work lead to the determination of the double-helix from James Watson and Francis Crick, who were awarded the Nobel Prize for their work. Rosalind would have probably shared in the honor — after all, she started the work — but her research was cut short by a battle with ovarian cancer.
The rosy name is also found in many literary references including in Shakespeare's "As You Like It." We think it would be a great pick to pay tribute to an amazing scientist.
For the more adventurous baby namers, the name of one of the most legendary scientists from history could be the right pick. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and scientist who lived nearly 400 years before the birth of Christ.
Aristotle had theories on physics, motion, metaphysics, zoology, biology and medicine. Some of those were refuted, but he is still believed to be one of the most brilliant minds of his day. Aristotle also made his mark on politics and poetry, and he was a teacher for Alexander the Great. He's still a part of the history books, as well as the science curriculum to this day.
Very few people use the name Aristotle, which means "superior," in the United States, but it remains a Greek staple. It was the name of Jackie O's second husband, shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, but is otherwise a very unique and irresistible pick. And the nickname "Ari" is super cute.
Let's look to the heavens for the next pick, which comes from science, not a scientist. A nova is an explosion on a star, which causes a brightening. And it's also a pretty explosive baby name pick, if we do say so ourselves. What better inspiration than something that brightens even the brightest star?
Nova is considered a unisex name, although it is used more often for girls. It ranked No. 215 in 2015 for girls and there were more than 100 baby boys given the name that year.
Nova means "new," although it's also referenced in the name of the place Nova Scotia, a long-running science fiction television show and a kind of lox. There is no doubt about it; the name Nova is out of this world. It's been rising in popular, and we think that it is a great option for science lovers ready to welcome a boy or a girl into their family.
Charles is a classic, but if a mom and dad want a name that is a sure-fire nod to science, nothing could be better than Darwin. One of the most well-known scientists from history, Charles Darwin was a naturalist who studied animals and earth, figuring out his theory of evolution.
The theory is controversial in some circles, but Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" explains how selective breeding and natural selection allowed species to adapt to the environment and thrive, specifically the tortoises and the finches that lived on different islands in the Galapagos. His observations and theories have left a mark on history and guided science for more than a century.
As the theory becomes more accepted, the name has become more popular, especially in the 21st century, rising to No. 877 out of obscurity. The name means "dear friend," which is another perk, so we think it would be a great nod to an extraordinary scientist.
Women may be in the minority these days in the computer programming field, but the very first computer programmer was a woman, and her name would be a great pick for a tech geek having a baby girl.
Ada Lovelace (her first name was Augusta, which is also a pretty great name to put on your list of top scientists) worked on an early general-purpose computer. We are talking really early, as in first half of the 19th century early. But Ada's notes had the first algorithm created to be used by a machine.
She is the offspring of literary royalty, as the only legitimate child of Lord Byron, although her father left her mother shortly after her birth. But Ada left her mark on her own, and computer programmers know her name to this day. It means "noble," and is a great alternative to the popular Ava.
Nameberry, a website devoted to baby names, describes Kelvin as a hybrid of Kevin and Melvin, and that may be true. But it's also a great ode to a scientist and scientific unit. Originally the name of physicist William Lord Kelvin, the name is used by scientists today as a unit of measurement for temperature.
The kelvin scale is a thermodynamic scale that not only names the freezing point and boiling point of water but was designed to reach absolute zero, the temperature at which all thermal motion stops. Like Celsius, the freezing point is 0, but the boiling point is 273.16 K, and absolute zero is the flip side of that, -273.16 K.
The name also belongs to a Scottish river, and it's been a part of the American baby name set since not long after the thermal scale was developed a century ago. It's a cool — or hot — name for a science-loving kid.
What better way to give high hopes to your budding young scientist than to name her after the first woman to win a Nobel Prize? Marie Curie, a pioneer in radioactivity who worked along her husband Pierre, actually won two Nobel Prizes in two different fields of science, physics and chemistry, and she is the only person to have ever done so. Her family won a total of five Nobels, so it is fair to say that she left an incredible mark on science.
Marie Curie was actually born Maria before taking on the shortened version when she moved to Paris. And Maria also plays ode to another famous scientist, Maria Mitchell, who was the first American woman to work professionally as an astronomer. She discovered a comet that still bears her name, which would be also be out of this world on a baby. Either Marie or Maria would be great picks for aspiring female scientists.
Leo is a pretty popular name these days, and it is a short but sweet pick. But it also pays homage to a couple of amazing scientists out there.
The first is Leonardo da Vinci, who may be known more for his artistic talents. But the Italian great was also an astronomer, botanist, geologist, mathematician, inventor and engineer. Good ol' Leonardo was considered the father of paleontology and he invented the parachute, the helicopter and the tank. The true Renaissance Man delved into every topic and explored the world around him in so many ways.
Leo can also pay homage to Galileo, another amazing Italian who was the father of the scientific method and a legend for the fields of astronomy and physics. The 17th century scientist invented the military compass, and Albert Einstein called him the father of modern science. Any boy who bears his name is bound for great things.
An interesting mix of Tessa and Isla, this uncommon name is a Slavic moniker tied to the region of Thessaly. But more people these days may now it as a car brand. Tesla was the last name of Nikola Tesla, who was an electrical engineer and physicist.
Tesla helped design the alternating current electricity system, and he was an early visionary for wireless lighting and communication even at the turn of the 20th century.
He worked for Thomas Edison and brought a green energy take that became hot a century later. He also experimented with technology that later became known as X-rays.
It's such a great name that billionaire Elon Musk used it as the name for his green automobile company, and 100 baby girls were given the name last year.
We also like his first name of Nikola, which is considered unisex and is a cool variant on the once popular Nicole.
Gregor Mendel, the founder of modern genetics, didn't have any children of his own, as a Augustinian monk. Instead, he studied pea plants. At his monastery, Mendel made observations about inheriting genes that are still talked about today. The humble scientist wasn't acknowledged for his major accomplishments until after his death, so we think he deserves a little homage. Mendel took the name Gregor when he joined the order, and we think it's a great name for any science-loving parents to pick for their offspring.
Gregor means "vigilant" or "a watchman," and it's a variation on Gregory, which has been the name of 16 popes and 15 saints. Gregory was a top 30 name from 1950 to 1973, but it's become a kind of a dad name these days. The variation Gregor is a cool way to bring back Greg. Plus, it's a great science-oriented pick.
For the fans of Disney princesses, Aurora is a beautiful nod to Sleeping Beauty, but the name actually has its roots in science, harkening to the polar lights that streak across the sky. We've all seen some magnificent sunrises and sunsets, but the auroras are something entirely different. They are usually seen near the Arctic or Antarctic regions, and they happen when solar winds interfere with magnetospheric plasma, creating a light show like no other.
The ionization causes the sky to be streaked with green or blue or other beautiful colors, and it's one of nature's most interesting and gorgeous phenomena.
The name, which means "dawn," is also pretty gorgeous. It became more popular in the '20s, 30's and '40s before dropping down for a few decades. It's surged in the new millenium and is now in the top 100. That's because it's beautiful, just like the scientific light show that it is named after.
Many amazing scientists made discoveries that changed our view of the world, but there are also some whose breakthroughs saved lives. At the top of that list is Louis Pasteur, one of the fathers of microbiology who helped discover the causes — and therefore the ways to prevent — many diseases.
His last name lives on in the technique used to treat milk and wine to stop bacterial contamination, pasteurization, but he also discovered the principles of vaccinations that save millions of lives each year.
Louis is also a classic first name that is bound for a comeback thanks to the trend of vintage names. Louis, which means "renowned warrior," is a top 100 name in Britain, where it has been the name of kings, and we think it's also a great pick for the science fans out there thanks to the amazing contributions of Louis Pasteur.
A more modern-day scientist, Jane Goodall is a famous anthropologist and primatologist who spent 55 years studying the social and family interactions of chimpanzees in Tanzania. She's a well-known scientist and conservationist whose stance on social issues may appeal to science-minded parents who are animal lovers.
Jane is the only person who has ever been accepted into a chimpanzee family, which allowed her to learn a lot about their nature. She established the Jane Goodall Institute, which works to protect the species and their habitats.
Her name was once one of the most popular before falling out of favor in the 1960s when few people wanted their daughter to be known as "plain Jane." But the name is lovely and anything but plain, so it's rising again as part of the vintage name trend. With an amazing scientist in mind, it would be a eco-friendly pick for a baby girl.
We've left one of the most obvious science-inspired names for last. After all, a baby with Albert Einstein for a namesake is definitely bound for a life of discovery.
Albert was a theoretical physicist whose theory of relativity made a major impact on the philosophy of science. His mass-energy equivalence formula is "the world's most famous equation," even though most of us don't know what it means. The Nobel prize winner famously did disastrously in his early education, giving hope to all of us who started out struggling with academics.
Albert means "noble" and "bright," and his last name is synonymous for genius. So what better moniker would fit a baby born to science-minded parents hoping for a bright future for their little one?
There are many other scientists and scientific concepts that would make great baby names. For example, if you like "Al" but don't want to go with Albert, how about Alexander after Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone.
We hope this helped you with a little inspiration.