Were famous or popular physicists like Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Feynman predominantly mathematicians or scientists (computing, experimenting, engineering, etc.)?

I am curious if people like the ones mentioned above spent much time on things that are more "purely" mathematical like proofs, or did they use math more as a means to an end and mostly compute number values based on experimentally-gathered inputs?

For example, there are stories about Feynman being good at computing and integrating or Newton "inventing" calculus, but I haven't heard anything about them proving anything in the way the Greeks did, or more recently Fermat, Euler, Gauss. Also, the university I attended only requires up through calculus and linear algebra for a BS in physics.


closed as too broad by Carl Witthoft, Geremia, Conifold, Alexandre Eremenko, José Carlos Santos Apr 17 at 6:49

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    $\begingroup$ It varied. Certainly Newton and Maxwell were great mathematicians, not only physicists. On the other hand, Galileo, Hooke and Faraday were not. $\endgroup$ – Alexandre Eremenko Apr 16 at 10:18
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    $\begingroup$ This question is a bit too wide. Every researcher had to know enough math to be able to analyse their data in a useful and valid way. Many mathematicians were useless in the "real world," and many engineers the reverse. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Apr 16 at 12:17
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    $\begingroup$ "Newton 'inventing' calculus" was not at all in a mathematically rigorous form like Cauchy et al. would put it in later. $\endgroup$ – Geremia Apr 16 at 14:29
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    $\begingroup$ This is quite a broad question, and it also elicits opinion-based answers. $\endgroup$ – Geremia Apr 16 at 14:30
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    $\begingroup$ @tau Then narrow the scope of your question down to calculus, if that's what you want to ask. However, there's already a related question here: "Did Newton and Leibniz lack rigour?." $\endgroup$ – Geremia Apr 16 at 17:21