People in Physics

Lists

nobel laureates in physics

Since 1901, the Nobel Prize has been honoring men and women from all corners of the globe for outstanding achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and for work in peace. The foundations for the prize were laid in 1895 when Alfred Nobel wrote his last will, leaving much of his wealth to the establishment of the Nobel Prize.

year laureate(s) achievement
2013


François Englert
Peter Higgs
for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributes to our understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles, and which recently was confirmed through the discovery of the predicted fundamental particle, by the ATLAS and CMS experiments at CERN's Large Hadron Collider
2012


Serge Haroche
David J. Wineland
for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems
2011


Saul Perlmutter
Brian P. Schmidt
Adam G. Riess
for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae
2010


Andre Geim
Konstantin Novoselov
for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene
2009


Charles K. Kao
Willard S. Boyle
George E. Smith
[Kao] for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication, [Boyle and Smith] for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor
2008


Yoichiro Nambu
Makoto Kobayashi
Toshihide Maskawa
[Nambu] for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics, [Kobayashi and Maskawa] for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature
2007


Albert Fert
Peter Grünberg
for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance
2006


John C. Mather
George F. Smoot
for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation
2005


Roy J. Glauber
John L. Hall
Theodor W. Hänsch
[Glauber] for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence, [Hall and Hänsch] for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique
2004


David J. Gross
H. David Politzer
Frank Wilczek
for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction
2003


Alexei A. Abrikosov
Vitaly L. Ginzburg
Anthony J. Leggett
for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids
2002


Raymond Davis Jr.
Masatoshi Koshiba
Riccardo Giacconi
for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, [Davis and Koshiba] for the detection of cosmic neutrinos, [Giacconi] for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic x‑ray sources
2001


Eric A. Cornell
Wolfgang Ketterle
Carl E. Wieman
for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates
2000


Zhores Alferov
Herbert Kroemer
Jack Kilby
for basic work on information and communication technology, [Alferov and Kroemer] for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics, [Kilby] for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit
1999


Gerard 't Hooft
Martinus Veltman
for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics
1998


Robert Laughlin
Horst Störmer
Daniel Tsui
for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations
1997


Steven Chu
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji
William Phillips
for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light
1996


David Lee
Douglas Osheroff
Robert Richardson
for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3
1995


Martin Perl
Frederick Reines
for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics, [Perl] for the discovery of the tau lepton, [Reines] for the detection of the neutrino
1994


Bertram Brockhouse
Clifford Shull
for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matte, [Brockhouse] for the development of neutron spectroscopy, [Shull] for the development of the neutron diffraction technique
1993


Russell Hulse
Joseph Taylor
for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation
1992


Georges Charpak for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber
1991


Pierre-Gilles de Gennes for discovering that methods developed for studying order phenomena in simple systems can be generalized to more complex forms of matter, in particular to liquid crystals and polymers
1990


Jerome Friedman
Henry Kendall
Richard Taylor
for their pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics
1989


Norman Ramsey
Hans Dehmelt
Wolfgang Paul
[Ramsey] for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks, [Dehmelt and Paul] for the development of the ion trap technique
1988


Leon Lederman
Melvin Schwartz
Jack Steinberger
for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino
1987


Georg Bednorz
Alexander Müller
for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials
1986


Ernst Ruska
Gerd Binnig
Heinrich Rohrer
[Ruska] for his fundamental work in electron optics, and for the design of the first electron microscope, [Rohrer] for their design of the scanning tunneling microscope
1985


Klaus von Klitzing for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect
1984


Carlo Rubbia
Simon van der Meer
for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction
1983


Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
William Fowler
[Chandrasekhar] for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars, [Fowler] for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe
1982


Kenneth Wilson for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions
1981


Nicolaas Bloembergen
Arthur Schawlow
Kai Siegbahn
[Bloembergen and Schawlow] for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy, [Siegbahn] for his contribution to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy
1980


James Cronin
Val Fitch
for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons
1979


Sheldon Glashow
Abdus Salam
Steven Weinberg
for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current
1978


Pyotr Kapitsa
Arno Penzias
Robert Wilson
[Kapitsa] for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics, [Penzias and Wilson] for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation
1977


Philip Anderson
Nevill Mott
John van Vleck
for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems
1976


Burton Richter
Samuel Ting
for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind
1975


Aage Bohr
Ben Mottelson
Leo Rainwater
for the discovery of the connection between collective motion and particle motion in atomic nuclei and the development of the theory of the structure of the atomic nucleus based on this connection
1974


Martin Ryle
Antony Hewish
for their pioneering research in radio astrophysics: Ryle for his observations and inventions, in particular of the aperture synthesis technique, and Hewish for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars
1973


Leo Esaki
Ivar Giaever
Brian Josephson
[Esaki and Giaever] for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively, [Josephson] for his theoretical predictions of the properties of a supercurrent through a tunnel barrier, in particular those phenomena which are generally known as the Josephson effects
1972


John Bardeen
Leon Cooper
John Schrieffer
for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory
1971


Dennis Gabor for his invention and development of the holographic method
1970


Hannes Alfvén
Louis Néel
[Alfvén] for fundamental work and discoveries in magneto-hydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics, [Néel] for fundamental work and discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism which have led to important applications in solid state physics
1969


Murray Gell-Mann for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions
1968


Luis Alvarez for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analysis
1967


Hans Bethe for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars
1966


Alfred Kastler for the discovery and development of optical methods for studying Hertzian resonances in atoms
1965


Sin-Itiro Tomonaga
Julian Schwinger
Richard Feynman
for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles
1964


Charles Townes
Nicolay Basov
Aleksandr Prokhorov
for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maser-laser principle
1963


Eugene Wigner
Maria Goeppert-Mayer
Hans Jensen
[Wigner] for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles, [Mayer and Jensen] for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure
1962


Lev Landau for his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium
1961


Robert Hofstadter
Rudolf Mössbauer
[Hofstadter] for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the stucture of the nucleons, [Mössbauer] for his researches concerning the resonance absorption of gamma radiation and his discovery in this connection of the effect which bears his name
1960


Donald Glaser for the invention of the bubble chamber
1959


Emilio Segrè
Owen Chamberlain
for their discovery of the antiproton
1958


Pavel Cherenkov
Ilya Frank
Igor Tamm
for the discovery and the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect
1957


Chen Ning Yang
Tsung-Dao Lee
for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles
1956


William Shockley
John Bardeen
Walter Brattain
for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect
1955


Willis Lamb
Polykarp Kusch
[Lamb] for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum, [Kusch] for his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron
1954


Max Born
Walther Bothe
[Born] for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction, [Bothe] for the coincidence method and his discoveries made therewith
1953


Frits Zernike for his demonstration of the phase contrast method, especially for his invention of the phase contrast microscope
1952


Felix Bloch
Edward Purcell
for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith
1951


John Cockcroft
Ernest Walton
for their pioneer work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles
1950


Cecil Powell for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method
1949


Hideki Yukawa for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces
1948


Patrick Blackett for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation
1947


Edward Appleton for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer
1946


Percy Bridgman for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made therewith in the field of high pressure physics
1945


Wolfgang Pauli for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle
1944


I.I. Rabi for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei
1943


Otto Stern for his contribution to the development of the molecular ray method and his discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton
1942


   
1941


   
1940


   
1939


Ernest Lawrence for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements
1938


Enrico Fermi for his demonstrations of the existence of new radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation, and for his related discovery of nuclear reactions brought about by slow neutrons
1937


Clinton Davisson
George Thomson
for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals
1936


Victor Hess
Carl Anderson
[Hess] for his discovery of cosmic radiation, [Anderson] for his discovery of the positron
1935


James Chadwick for the discovery of the neutron
1934


   
1933


Erwin Schrödinger
Paul Dirac
for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory
1932


Werner Heisenberg for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen
1931


   
1930


C.V. Raman for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him
1929


Louis de Broglie for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons
1928


Owen Richardson for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him
1927


Arthur Compton
Charles Wilson
[Compton] for his discovery of the effect named after him, [Wilson] for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour
1926


Jean Perrin for his work on the discontinuous structure of matter, and especially for his discovery of sedimentation equilibrium
1925


James Franck
Gustav Hertz
for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom
1924


Karl Siegbahn for his discoveries and research in the field of x‑ray spectroscopy
1923


Robert Millikan for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect
1922


Niels Bohr for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them
1921


Albert Einstein for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect
1920


Charles Guillaume in recognition of the service he has rendered to precision measurements in Physics by his discovery of anomalies in nickel steel alloys
1919


Johannes Stark for his discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields
1918


Max Planck in recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of Physics by his discovery of energy quanta
1917


Charles Barkla for his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements
1916


   
1915


William Henry Bragg
William Lawrence Bragg
for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of x‑rays
1914


Max von Laue for his discovery of the diffraction of x‑rays by crystals
1913


Heike Kamerlingh Onnes for his investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures which led, inter alia, to the production of liquid helium
1912


Nils Dalén for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys
1911


Wilhelm Wien for his discoveries regarding the laws governing the radiation of heat
1910


Johannes van der Waals for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids
1909


Guglielmo Marconi
Carl Braun
in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy
1908


Gabriel Lippmann for his method of reproducing colours photographically based on the phenomenon of interference
1907


Albert Michelson for his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid
1906


J.J. Thomson in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases
1905


Philipp Lenard for his work on cathode rays
1904


John Strutt, Lord Rayleigh for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies
1903


Henri Becquerel
Pierre Curie
Marie Curie
[Becquerel] in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity, [the Curies] in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel
1902


Hendrik Lorentz
Pieter Zeeman
in recognition of the extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomena
1901


Wilhelm Röntgen in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him
Nobel laureates in physics

ig nobel laureates in physics

The Ig Nobel Prizes honor achievements that first make people laugh, and then make them think. The prizes are intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative — and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology.

year laureate(s) achievement
2014

Kiyoshi Mabuchi
Kensei Tanaka
Daichi Uchijima
Rina Sakai
for measuring the amount of friction between a shoe and a banana skin, and between a banana skin and the floor, when a person steps on a banana skin that's on the floor
2013

Alberto E. Minetti
Yuri P. Ivanenko
Germana Cappellini
Nadia Dominici
Francesco Lacquaniti
for discovering that some people would be physically capable of running across the surface of a pond — if those people, and that pond, were on the moon
2012

Joseph Keller
Raymond Goldstein
Patrick Warren
Robin Ball
for calculating the balance of forces that shape and move the hair in a human ponytail
2011


Philippe Perrin
Cyril Perrot
Dominique Deviterne
Bruno Ragaru
Herman Kingma
for determining why discus throwers become dizzy, and why hammer throwers don't
2010


Lianne Parkin
Sheila Williams
Patricia Priest
for demonstrating that, on icy footpaths in wintertime, people slip and fall less often if they wear socks on the outside of their shoes
2009


Katherine K. Whitcome
Daniel E. Lieberman
Liza J. Shapiro
for analytically determining why pregnant women don't tip over
2008


Dorian Raymer
Douglas Smith
for proving mathematically that heaps of string or hair or almost anything else will inevitably tangle themselves up in knots
2007


L. Mahadevan
Enrique Cerda
for studying how sheets become wrinkled
2006


Basile Audoly
Sebastien Neukirch
for their insights into why, when you bend dry spaghetti, it often breaks into more than two pieces
2005


John Mainstone
Thomas Parnell
for patiently conducting an experiment that began in the year 1927 in which a glob of congealed black tar has been slowly, slowly dripping through a funnel, at a rate of approximately one drop every nine years
2004


Ramesh Balasubramaniam
Michael Turvey
for exploring and explaining the dynamics of hula-hooping
2003


Jack Harvey
John Culvenor
Warren Payne
Steve Cowley
Michael Lawrance
David Stuart
Robyn Williams
for their irresistible report "An Analysis of the Forces Required to Drag Sheep over Various Surfaces"
2002


Arnd Leike for demonstrating that beer froth obeys the mathematical Law of Exponential Decay
2001


David Schmidt for his partial solution to the question of why shower curtains billow inwards
2000


Andre Geim
Michael Berry
for using magnets to levitate a frog
1999


Len Fisher
Jean-Marc Vanden-Broeck
Joseph Keller
[Fisher] for calculating the optimal way to dunk a biscuit, [Vanden-Broeck and Keller] for calculating how to make a teapot spout that does not drip
1998


Deepak Chopra for his unique interpretation of quantum physics as it applies to life, liberty, and the pursuit of economic happiness
1997


John Bockris for his wide-ranging achievements in cold fusion, in the transmutation of base elements into gold, and in the electrochemical incineration of domestic rubbish
1996


Robert Matthews for his studies of Murphy's Law, and especially for demonstrating that toast often falls on the buttered side
1995


D.M.R. Georget
R. Parker
A.C. Smith
for their rigorous analysis of soggy breakfast cereal, published in the report entitled "A Study of the Effects of Water Content on the Compaction Behaviour of Breakfast Cereal Flakes"
1994


   
1993


Louis Kervran for his conclusion that the calcium in chickens' eggshells is created by a process of cold fusion
1992


David Chorley
Doug Bower
for their circular contributions to field theory based on the geometrical destruction of English crops
1991


   
Ig Nobel laureates in physics

names that appear in this book