Determining the "top 10 people who changed the world" is subjective and can vary based on cultural, geographical, and individual perspectives. However, here is a list of ten individuals, in no particular order, who have had a profound impact on the course of history through their actions, discoveries, ideas, or leadership:
1. Isaac Newton: Made groundbreaking contributions to physics, mathematics, and astronomy. His discovery of the laws of motion and universal gravitation fundamentally changed our understanding of the universe.
2. Martin Luther King Jr.: A key figure in the American civil rights movement, he advocated for non-violent resistance and played a significant role in ending segregation in the U.S.
3. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi: Led India to independence from British rule through non-violent civil disobedience. His philosophies have influenced many global civil rights movements.
4. Nelson Mandela: Fought against apartheid in South Africa. He spent 27 years in prison and later became the country's first black head of state, leading efforts towards reconciliation.
5. Marie Curie: Pioneered research in radioactivity, becoming the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the only person to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields (physics and chemistry).
6. Albert Einstein: Developed the theory of relativity, one of the two pillars of modern physics. His work has had a lasting impact on the world of science.
7. Rosalind Franklin: Made vital contributions to the understanding of molecular structures, including DNA, which would become foundational in genetics and biotechnology.
8. Leonardo da Vinci: A polymath of the Renaissance era, his contributions spanned art, science, anatomy, and engineering. His works, like the Mona Lisa and The Last Supper, are iconic.
9. Mother Teresa: Dedicated her life to helping the impoverished and sick in India, founding the Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.
10. Galileo Galilei: A central figure in the scientific revolution, he made major improvements to the telescope and made astronomical observations that supported Copernican heliocentrism.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and countless other individuals have had a transformative impact on history. Each region, culture, or academic field might have its own set of figures who've left an indelible mark.