A Complete List of Nobel Laureates in Physics (1901-2017)

The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of physics. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established in 1895 by the will of Alfred Nobel (who died in 1896), awarded for outstanding contributions in Physics. As dictated by Nobel’s will, the award is administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by a committee that consists of five members elected by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the death anniversary of Alfred Nobel. Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a monetary award prize that has varied throughout the years.

The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 1901 to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, of Germany, who received 150,782 SEK (Swedish Currency), which is equal to 7,731,004 SEK in December 2007. John Bardeen is the only laureate to win the prize twice—in 1956 and 1972. Marie Curie also won two Nobel Prizes, for physics in 1903 and chemistry in 1911. William Lawrence Bragg was, until October 2014, the youngest ever Nobel laureate; he won the prize in 1915 at the age of 25. Two women have won the prize: Marie Curie and Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963). As of 2017, the prize has been awarded to 206 individuals. There have been six years in which the Nobel Prize in Physics was not awarded (1916, 1931, 1934, 1940–1942).


Year Laureate Country Achievement
1901 Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen  Germany “in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him”
1902 Hendrik Lorentz  Netherlands “in recognition of the extraordinary service they rendered by their researches into the influence of magnetism upon radiation phenomena”
Pieter Zeeman  Netherlands
1903 Antoine Henri Becquerel  France “for his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity
Pierre Curie  France “for their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel
Maria Skłodowska-Curie  Poland
1904 Lord Rayleigh  United Kingdom “for his investigations of the densities of the most important gases and for his discovery of argon in connection with these studies”
1905 Philipp Eduard Anton von Lenard  Austria-Hungary
“for his work on cathode rays
1906 Joseph John Thomson  United Kingdom “for his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases”
1907 Albert Abraham Michelson  United States
“for his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid”
1908 Gabriel Lippmann  France “for his method of reproducing colors photographically based on the phenomenon of interference
1909 Guglielmo Marconi  Italy “for their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy
Karl Ferdinand Braun  Germany
1910 Johannes Diderik van der Waals  Netherlands “for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids”
1911 Wilhelm Wien  Germany “for his discoveries regarding the laws governing the radiation of heat”
1912 Nils Gustaf Dalén  Sweden “for his invention of automatic valves designed to be used in combination with gas accumulators in lighthouses and buoys”
1913 Heike Kamerlingh-Onnes  Netherlands “for his investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures which led, inter alia, to the production of liquid helium
1914 Max von Laue  Germany “For his discovery of the diffraction of X-rays by crystals”, an important step in the development of X-ray spectroscopy.
1915 William Henry Bragg  United Kingdom “For their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-rays”, an important step in the development of X-ray crystallography
William Lawrence Bragg  Australia
 United Kingdom
1916 Not awarded World War I
1917 Charles Glover Barkla  United Kingdom “For his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements”, another important step in the development of X-ray spectroscopy
1918 Max Planck  Germany “for the services he rendered to the advancement of physics by his discovery of energy quanta
1919 Johannes Stark  Germany “for his discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields
1920 Charles Édouard Guillaume   Switzerland “for the service he has rendered to precision measurements in physics by his discovery of anomalies in nickel-steel alloys”
1921 Albert Einstein  Germany
“for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect
1922 Niels Bohr  Denmark “for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them”
1923 Robert Andrews Millikan  United States “for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect
1924 Manne Siegbahn  Sweden “for his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy
1925 James Franck  Germany “for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom”
Gustav Hertz  Germany
1926 Jean Baptiste Perrin  France “for his work on the discontinuous structure of matter, and especially for his discovery of sedimentation equilibrium
1927 Arthur Holly Compton  United States “for his discovery of the effect named after him
Charles Thomson Rees Wilson  United Kingdom “for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour”
1928 Owen Willans Richardson  United Kingdom “for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him
1929 Louis Victor Pierre Raymond, 7th Duc de Broglie  France “for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons
1930 Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman  India “for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him
1931 Not awarded
1932 Werner Heisenberg  Germany “for the creation of quantum mechanics, the application of which has, inter alia, led to the discovery of the allotropic forms of hydrogen”
1933 Erwin Schrödinger  Austria “for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory
Paul Dirac  United Kingdom
1934 Not awarded
1935 James Chadwick  United Kingdom “for the discovery of the neutron
1936 Victor Francis Hess  Austria “for his discovery of cosmic radiation
Carl David Anderson  United States “for his discovery of the positron
1937 Clinton Joseph Davisson  United States “for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals”
George Paget Thomson  United Kingdom
1938 Enrico Fermi  Italy “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”
1939 Ernest Lawrence  United States “for the invention and development of the cyclotron and for results obtained with it, especially with regard to artificial radioactive elements”
1940 Not awarded World War II
1941 Not awarded World War II
1942 Not awarded World War II
1943 Otto Stern  United States “for his contribution to the development of the molecular ray method and his discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton
1944 Isidor Isaac Rabi  United States
“for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei
1945 Wolfgang Pauli  Austria “for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli principle
1946 Percy Williams Bridgman  United States “for the invention of an apparatus to produce extremely high pressures, and for the discoveries he made there within the field of high pressure physics
1947 Edward Victor Appleton  United Kingdom “for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer
1948 Patrick Maynard Stuart Blackett  United Kingdom “for his development of the Wilson cloud chamber method, and his discoveries therewith in the fields of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation
1949 Hideki Yukawa  Japan “for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces
1950 Cecil Frank Powell  United Kingdom “for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method”
1951 John Douglas Cockcroft  United Kingdom “for their pioneer work on the transmutation of atomic nuclei by artificially accelerated atomic particles”
Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton  Ireland
1952 Felix Bloch   Switzerland
 United States
“for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith”
Edward Mills Purcell  United States
1953 Frits Zernike  Netherlands “for his demonstration of the phase contrast method, especially for his invention of the phase contrast microscope
1954 Max Born  West Germany “for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wave-function
Walther Bothe  West Germany “for the coincidence method and his discoveries made therewith”
1955 Willis Eugene Lamb  United States “for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum”
Polykarp Kusch  United States
“for his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron
1956 John Bardeen  United States “for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect”
Walter Houser Brattain  United States
William Bradford Shockley  United States
1957 Tsung-Dao Lee  China
 United States
“for their penetrating investigation of the so-called parity laws which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles
Chen Ning Yang  China
 United States
1958 Pavel Alekseyevich Cherenkov  Soviet Union “for the discovery and the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect
Ilya Frank  Soviet Union
Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm  Soviet Union
1959 Emilio Gino Segrè  Italy “for their discovery of the anti-proton
Owen Chamberlain  United States
1960 Donald Arthur Glaser  United States “for the invention of the bubble chamber
1961 Robert Hofstadter  United States “for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons
Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer  West Germany “for his researches concerning the resonance absorption of gamma radiation and his discovery in this connection of the effect which bears his name.
1962 Lev Davidovich Landau  Soviet Union “for his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium
1963 Eugene Paul Wigner  Hungary
 United States
“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  United States “for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure
J. Hans D. Jensen  West Germany
1964 Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov  Soviet Union “for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maserlaser principle”
Alexander Prokhorov  Soviet Union
Charles Hard Townes  United States
1965 Richard Phillips Feynman  United States “for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics (QED), with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles”
Julian Schwinger  United States
Sin-Itiro Tomonaga  Japan
1966 Alfred Kastler  France “for the discovery and development of optical methods for studying Hertzian resonances in atoms”
1967 Hans Albrecht Bethe  United States “for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars
1968 Luis Walter Alvarez  United States “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”
1969 Murray Gell-Mann  United States “for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions”
1970 Hannes Olof Gösta Alfvén  Sweden “for fundamental work and discoveries in magneto-hydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics
Louis Néel  France “for fundamental work and discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism which have led to important applications in solid state physics
1971 Dennis Gabor  Hungary
 United Kingdom
“for his invention and development of the holographic method
1972 John Bardeen  United States “for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCS-theory
Leon Neil Cooper  United States
John Robert Schrieffer  United States
1973 Leo Esaki  Japan “for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively”
Ivar Giaever  United States
Brian David Josephson  United Kingdom “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 effect
1974 Martin Ryle  United Kingdom “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
Antony Hewish  United Kingdom
1975 Aage Bohr  Denmark “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”
Ben Roy Mottelson  Denmark
Leo James Rainwater  United States
1976 Burton Richter  United States “for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind”
Samuel Chao Chung Ting  United States
1977 Philip Warren Anderson  United States “for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems”
Nevill Francis Mott  United Kingdom
John Hasbrouck Van Vleck  United States
1978 Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa  Soviet Union “for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics
Arno Allan Penzias  United States “for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation
Robert Woodrow Wilson  United States
1979 Sheldon Lee Glashow  United States “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
Abdus Salam  Pakistan
Steven Weinberg  United States
1980 James Watson Cronin  United States “for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons
Val Logsdon Fitch  United States
1981 Nicolaas Bloembergen  Netherlands
 United States
“for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy
Arthur Leonard Schawlow  United States
Kai Manne Börje Siegbahn  Sweden “for his contribution to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy
1982 Kenneth G. Wilson  United States “for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions
1983 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar  India
 United States
“for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars
William Alfred Fowler  United States “for his theoretical and experimental studies of the nuclear reactions of importance in the formation of the chemical elements in the universe”
1984 Carlo Rubbia  Italy “for their decisive contributions to the large project, which led to the discovery of the field particles W and Z, communicators of weak interaction
Simon van der Meer  Netherlands
1985 Klaus von Klitzing  West Germany “for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect
1986 Ernst Ruska  West Germany “for his fundamental work in electron optics, and for the design of the first electron microscope
Gerd Binnig  West Germany “for their design of the scanning tunneling microscope
Heinrich Rohrer   Switzerland
1987 Johannes Georg Bednorz  West Germany “for their important break-through in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials”
Karl Alexander Müller   Switzerland
1988 Leon Max Lederman  United States “for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino
Melvin Schwartz  United States
Jack Steinberger  United States
1989 Norman Foster Ramsey  United States “for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks”
Hans Georg Dehmelt  United States
“for the development of the ion trap technique”
Wolfgang Paul  West Germany
1990 Jerome I. Friedman  United States “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”
Henry Way Kendall  United States
Richard E. Taylor  Canada
1991 Pierre-Gilles de Gennes  France “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
1992 Georges Charpak  France
“for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber
1993 Russell Alan Hulse  United States “for the discovery of a new type of pulsar, a discovery that has opened up new possibilities for the study of gravitation
Joseph Hooton Taylor, Jr.  United States
1994 Bertram Brockhouse  Canada “for the development of neutron spectroscopy” and “for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter
Clifford Glenwood Shull  United States “for the development of the neutron diffraction technique” and “for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter
1995 Martin Lewis Perl  United States “for the discovery of the tau lepton” and “for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics”
Frederick Reines  United States “for the detection of the neutrino” and “for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics”
1996 David Morris Lee  United States “for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3
Douglas D. Osheroff  United States
Robert Coleman Richardson  United States
1997 Steven Chu  United States “for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.”
Claude Cohen-Tannoudji  France
William Daniel Phillips  United States
1998 Robert B. Laughlin  United States “for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations”
Horst Ludwig Störmer  Germany
Daniel Chee Tsui  China
 United States
1999 Gerard ‘t Hooft  Netherlands “for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics”
Martinus J. G. Veltman  Netherlands
2000 Zhores Ivanovich Alferov  Russia “for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and optoelectronics
Herbert Kroemer  Germany
Jack St. Clair Kilby  United States “for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit
2001 Eric Allin Cornell  United States “for the achievement of Bose–Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates”
Carl Edwin Wieman  United States
Wolfgang Ketterle  Germany
2002 Raymond Davis, Jr.  United States “for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos
Masatoshi Koshiba  Japan
Riccardo Giacconi  Italy
 United States
“for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, which have led to the discovery of cosmic X-ray sources
2003 Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov  Russia
 United States
“for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids
Vitaly Lazarevich Ginzburg  Russia
Anthony James Leggett  United Kingdom
 United States
2004 David J. Gross  United States “for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction
Hugh David Politzer  United States
Frank Wilczek  United States
2005 Roy J. Glauber  United States “for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence
John L. Hall  United States “for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique”
Theodor W. Hänsch  Germany
2006 John C. Mather  United States “for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation
George F. Smoot  United States
2007 Albert Fert  France “for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance
Peter Grünberg  Germany
2008 Makoto Kobayashi  Japan “for the discovery of the origin of the broken symmetry which predicts the existence of at least three families of quarks in nature”
Toshihide Maskawa  Japan
Yoichiro Nambu  Japan
 United States
“for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics”
2009 Charles K. Kao  Hong Kong
 United Kingdom
 United States
“for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication
Willard S. Boyle  Canada
 United States
“for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor
George E. Smith  United States
2010 Andre Geim  Russia
 United Kingdom
“for groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene
Konstantin Novoselov  Russia
 United Kingdom
2011 Saul Perlmutter  United States “for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae
Brian P. Schmidt  Australia
 United States
Adam G. Riess  United States
2012 Serge Haroche  France “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems.”
David J. Wineland  United States
2013 François Englert  Belgium “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
Peter Higgs  United Kingdom
2014 Isamu Akasaki  Japan “for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”
Hiroshi Amano  Japan
Shuji Nakamura  Japan
 United States
2015 Takaaki Kajita  Japan “for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass”
Arthur B. McDonald  Canada
2016 David J. Thouless  United Kingdom
 United States
“for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter
F. Duncan M. Haldane  United Kingdom
 United States
John M. Kosterlitz  United Kingdom
 United States
2017 Rainer Weiss  Germany
 United States
“for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves
Kip Thorne  United States
Barry Barish  United States

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