The Basics

The Nobel Prize

Who are the other Nobel Prize winners in physics?

The table below lists the prize winners. In some cases, the award was split between winners.

Year Recipient Awarded For
2010 Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov For groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene
2009 Charles K. Kao For groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication
  Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith For the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor
2008 Yoichiro Nambu For the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics
  Makoto Kobayashi and Toshihide 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 and Peter Grünberg For the discovery of Giant magnetoresistance
2006 John C. Mather and George C. Smoot For their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation
2005 Roy J. Glauber For his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence
  John L. Hall and Theodor W. Hånsch For their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique
2004 David J. Gross, Frank Wilczek H. David Politzer, 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. and Masatoshi Koshiba For pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos
2002 Riccardo 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 I. Alferov and Herbert Kroemer For developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics
  Jack St. Clair Kilby For his part in the invention of the integrated circuit
1999 Gerardus T Hooft and Martinus J.G. Veltman For elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics
1998 Robert B. Laughlin, Horst L. Stormer, Daniel C. Tsui For their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations
1997 Steven Chu, Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, William D. Phillips For development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light
1996 David M. Lee, Douglas D. Osheroff, Robert C. Richardson For their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3
1995 Martin L. Perl For the discovery of the tau lepton
  Frederick Reines For the detection of the neutrino
1994 Bertram N. Brockhouse For the development of neutron spectroscopy
  Clifford G. Shull For the development of the neutron diffraction technique
1993 Russell A. Hulse and Joseph H. Taylor Jr. 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 I. Friedman, Henry W. Kendall, Richard E. 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 F. Ramsey For the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks
  Hans G. Dehmelt and Wolfgang Paul For the development of the ion trap technique
1988 Leon M. 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 J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alexander Müller For their important breakthrough in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials
1986 Ernst Ruska For his fundamental work in electron optics, and for the design of the first electron microscope
  Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer For their design of the scanning tunneling microscope
1985 Klaus von Klitzing For the discovery of the quantized Hall effect
1984 Carlo Rubbia and 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 Subramanyan Chandrasekhar For his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars
  William A. 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 G. Wilson For his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions
1981 Nicolaas Bloembergen and Arthur L. Schawlow For their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy
  Kai M. Siegbahn For his contribution to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy
1980 James W. Cronin and Val L. Fitch For the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons
1979 Sheldon L. 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 Leonidovich Kapitsa For his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics
  Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson For their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation
1977 Philip W. Anderson, Sir Nevill F. Mott, John H. van Vleck For their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems
1976 Burton Richter and
Samuel C.C. Ting
For their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind
1975 Aage Bohr, Ben Mottelson, James 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 Sir Martin Ryle and 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 and Ivar Giaever For their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively
  Brian D. 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 N. Cooper, J. Robert 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 For fundamental work and discoveries in magneto-hydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics
1970 Louis 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 W. 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 Albrecht 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 P. Feynman For their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles
1964 Charles H. Townes and jointly to Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov and Aleksandr Mikhailovich 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 P. 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
  Maria Goeppert-Mayer and J. Hans D. Jensen For their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure
1962 Lev Davidovich Landau For his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium
1961 Robert Hofstadter For his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons
  Rudolf Ludwig Mossbauer 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 A. Glaser For the invention of the bubble chamber
1959 Emilio Gino Segré and Owen Chamberlain For their discovery of the antiproton
1958 Pavel Alexseyevich Cherenkov, Il’ja Mikhailovich Frank, Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm For the discovery and the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect
1957 Chen Ning Yang and 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 Houser Brattain For their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect
1955 Willis Eugene Lamb For his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum
  Polykarp Kusch For his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron
1954 Max Born For his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction
  Walther Bothe For the coincidence method and his discoveries made therewith
1953 Frits (Frederik) Zernike For his demonstration of the phase contrast method, especially for his invention of the phase contrast microscope
1952 Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell For their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith
1951 Sir John Douglas Cockcroft and Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton For their pioneer work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles
1950 Cecil Frank 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 Lord Patrick Maynard
Stuart Blackett
For his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation
1947 Sir Edward Victor Appleton For his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer
1946 Percy Williams 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 Isidor Isaac 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
1940–42 No prizes awarded because of World War II
1939 Ernest Orlando 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 Joseph Davisson and Sir George Paget Thomson For their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals
1936 Victor Franz Hess For his discovery of cosmic radiation
  Carl David Anderson For his discovery of the positron
1935 Sir James Chadwick For the discovery of the neutron
1934   No prize awarded
1933 Erwin Schrodinger and Paul Adrien Maurice 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
1930 Sir Chandrasekhara Venkataraman For his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him
1929 Prince Louis-Victor de Broglie For his discovery of the wave nature of electrons
1928 Sir Owen Willans Richardson For his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him
1927 Arthur Holly Compton For his discovery of the effect named after him
  Charles Thomson Rees Wilson For his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapor
1926 Jean Baptiste Perrin For his work on the discontinuous structure of matter, and especially for his discovery of sedimentation equilibrium
1925 James Franck and Gustav Hertz For their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom
1924 Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn For his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy
1923 Robert Andrews 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 Edouard 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 Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck In recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of physics by his discovery of energy quanta
1917 Charles Glover Barkla For his discovery of the characteristic Rontgen radiation of the elements
1916   No prize awarded
1915 Sir William Henry Bragg and Sir 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
For his investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures which led, inter alia, to the production of liquid helium
1912 Nils Gustaf 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 Diderik van der Waals For his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids
1909 Guglielmo Marconi and Carl Ferdinand Braun In recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy
1908 Gabriel Lippmann For his method of reproducing colors photographically based on the phenomenon of interference
1907 Albert Abraham Michelson For his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid
1906 Sir Joseph John Thomson In recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases
1905 Philipp Eduard Anton Lenard For his work on cathode rays
1904 Lord John William
Strutt Rayleigh
For his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies
1903 Antoine Henri Becquerel In recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity
  Pierre Curie and Marie Curie In recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel
1902 Hendrik Antoon Lorentz and Pieter Zeeman In recognition of the extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomena
1901 Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen In recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him (X rays)


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