Year Article Country* Achievement
1901 Röntgen, Wilhelm Conrad Germany discovery of X rays
1902 Lorentz, Hendrik Antoon The Netherlands investigation of the influence of magnetism on radiation
Zeeman, Pieter The Netherlands investigation of the influence of magnetism on radiation
1903 Becquerel, Henri France discovery of spontaneous radioactivity
Curie, Marie France investigations of radiation phenomena discovered by Becquerel
Curie, Pierre France investigations of radiation phenomena discovered by Becquerel
1904 Rayleigh (of Terling Place), John William Strutt, 3rd Baron U.K. discovery of argon
1905 Lenard, Philipp Germany research on cathode rays
1906 Thomson, Sir J.J. U.K. researches into electrical conductivity of gases
1907 Michelson, A.A. U.S. spectroscopic and metrological investigations
1908 Lippmann, Gabriel France photographic reproduction of colours
1909 Braun, Ferdinand Germany development of wireless telegraphy
Marconi, Guglielmo Italy development of wireless telegraphy
1910 Waals, Johannes Diederik van der The Netherlands research concerning the equation of state of gases and liquids
1911 Wien, Wilhelm Germany discoveries regarding laws governing heat radiation
1912 Dalén, Nils Sweden invention of automatic regulators for lighting coastal beacons and light buoys
1913 Kamerlingh Onnes, Heike The Netherlands investigation into the properties of matter at low temperatures; production of liquid helium
1914 Laue, Max von Germany discovery of diffraction of X rays by crystals
1915 Bragg, Sir Lawrence U.K. analysis of crystal structure by means of X rays
Bragg, Sir William U.K. analysis of crystal structure by means of X rays
1917 Barkla, Charles Glover U.K. discovery of characteristic X-radiation of elements
1918 Planck, Max Germany discovery of the elemental quanta
1919 Stark, Johannes Germany discovery of Doppler effect in positive ion rays and division of spectral lines in electric field
1920 Guillaume, Charles Édouard Switzerland discovery of anomalies in alloys
1921 Einstein, Albert Switzerland work in theoretical physics, specifically for his discovery of  the photoelectric effect: the emission of electrons from matter upon the absorption of electromagnetic radiation is frequency-dependent
1922 Bohr, Niels Denmark investigation of atomic structure and radiation
1923 Millikan, Robert Andrews U.S. work on elementary electric charge and the photoelectric effect
1924 Siegbahn, Karl Manne Georg Sweden work in X-ray spectroscopy
1925 Franck, James Germany discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom
Hertz, Gustav Germany discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom
1926 Perrin, Jean France work on discontinuous structure of matter
1927 Compton, Arthur Holly U.S. discovery of wavelength change in diffused X rays
Wilson, C.T.R. U.K. method of making visible the paths of electrically charged particles
1928 Richardson, Sir Owen Willans U.K. work on electron emission by hot metals
1929 Broglie, Louis-Victor, 7e duc (duke) de France discovery of the wave nature of electrons
1930 Raman, Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata India work on light diffusion; discovery of Raman effect
1932 Heisenberg, Werner Germany creation of quantum mechanics
1933 Dirac, P.A.M. U.K. introduction of wave equations in quantum mechanics 
Schrödinger, Erwin Austria
1935 Chadwick, Sir James U.K. discovery of the neutron
1936 Anderson, Carl David U.S. discovery of the positron
Hess, Victor Francis Austria discovery of cosmic radiation
1937 Davisson, Clinton Joseph U.S. experimental demonstration of the interference phenomenon in crystals irradiated by electrons 
Thomson, Sir George Paget U.K.
1938 Fermi, Enrico Italy disclosure of artificial radioactive elements produced by neutron irradiation
1939 Lawrence, Ernest Orlando U.S. invention of the cyclotron
1943 Stern, Otto U.S. discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton
1944 Rabi, Isidor Isaac U.S. resonance method for registration of various properties of atomic nuclei
1945 Pauli, Wolfgang Austria discovery of the exclusion principle of electrons
1946 Bridgman, Percy Williams U.S. discoveries in the domain of high-pressure physics
1947 Appleton, Sir Edward Victor U.K. discovery of Appleton layer in upper atmosphere
1948 Blackett, Patrick M.S. U.K. discoveries in the domain of nuclear physics and cosmic radiation
1949 Yukawa Hideki Japan prediction of the existence of mesons
1950 Powell, Cecil Frank U.K. photographic method of studying nuclear processes; discoveries concerning mesons
1951 Cockcroft, Sir John Douglas U.K. work on transmutation of atomic nuclei by accelerated particles
Walton, Ernest Thomas Sinton Ireland work on transmutation of atomic nuclei by accelerated particles
1952 Bloch, Felix U.S. discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance in solids
Purcell, E.M. U.S. discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance in solids
1953 Zernike, Frits The Netherlands method of phase-contrast microscopy
1954 Born, Max U.K. statistical studies of atomic wave functions
Bothe, Walther West Germany invention of coincidence method
1955 Kusch, Polykarp U.S. measurement of magnetic moment of electron
Lamb, Willis Eugene, Jr. U.S. discoveries in the hydrogen spectrum
1956 Bardeen, John U.S. investigations on semiconductors and invention of the transistor 
Brattain, Walter H. U.S.
Shockley, William B. U.S.
1957 Lee, Tsung-Dao China discovery of violations of the principle of parity 
Yang, Chen Ning China
1958 Cherenkov, Pavel Alekseyevich U.S.S.R. discovery and interpretation of the Cherenkov effect
Frank, Ilya Mikhaylovich U.S.S.R.
Tamm, Igor Yevgenyevich U.S.S.R.
1959 Chamberlain, Owen U.S. confirmation of the existence of the antiproton 
Segrè, Emilio U.S.
1960 Glaser, Donald A. U.S. development of the bubble chamber
1961 Hofstadter, Robert U.S. determination of shape and size of atomic nucleons
Mössbauer, Rudolf Ludwig West Germany discovery of the Mössbauer effect, which refers to the refers to the resonant and recoil-free emission and absorption of gamma rays by atoms bound in a solid form
1962 Landau, Lev Davidovich U.S.S.R. contributions to the understanding of condensed states of matter
1963 Jensen, J. Hans D. West Germany development of shell model theory of the structure of the atomic nuclei 
Mayer, Maria Goeppert U.S.
Wigner, Eugene Paul U.S. principles governing interaction of protons and neutrons in the nucleus
1964 Basov, Nikolay Gennadiyevich U.S.S.R. work in quantum electronics leading to construction of instruments based on maser-laser principles
Prokhorov, Aleksandr Mikhaylovich U.S.S.R.
Townes, Charles Hard U.S.
1965 Feynman, Richard P. U.S. basic principles of quantum electrodynamics
Schwinger, Julian Seymour U.S.
Tomonaga Shin'ichiro Japan
1966 Kastler, Alfred France discovery of optical methods for studying Hertzian resonances in atoms
1967 Bethe, Hans Albrecht U.S. discoveries concerning the energy production of stars
1968 Alvarez, Luis W. U.S. work with elementary particles, discovery of resonance states
1969 Gell-Mann, Murray U.S. classification of elementary particles and their interactions
1970 Alfvén, Hannes Sweden work in magnetohydrodynamics and in antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism
Néel, Louis-Eugène-Félix France
1971 Gabor, Dennis U.K. invention of holography
1972 Bardeen, John U.S. development of the theory of superconductivity
Cooper, Leon N. U.S.
Schrieffer, John Robert U.S.
1973 Esaki, Leo Japan tunneling in semiconductors and superconductors
Giaever, Ivar U.S.
Josephson, Brian D. U.K.
1974 Hewish, Antony U.K. work in radio astronomy
Ryle, Sir Martin U.K.
1975 Bohr, Aage N. Denmark work on the atomic nucleus that paved the way for nuclear fusion
Mottelson, Ben R. Denmark
Rainwater, James U.S. work on the atomic nucleus that paved the way for nuclear fusion
1976 Richter, Burton U.S. discovery of new class of elementary particles (psi, or J)
Ting, Samuel C.C. U.S.
1977 Anderson, Philip W. U.S. contributions to understanding the behaviour of electrons in magnetic, noncrystalline solids
Mott, Sir Nevill F. U.K.
Van Vleck, John H. U.S.
1978 Kapitsa, Pyotr Leonidovich U.S.S.R. invention and application of helium liquefier
Penzias, Arno U.S. discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation, providing support for the big-bang theory
Wilson, Robert Woodrow U.S.
1979 Glashow, Sheldon Lee U.S. unification of electromagnetism and the weak interactions of subatomic particles
Salam, Abdus Pakistan unification of electromagnetism and the weak interactions of subatomic particles
Weinberg, Steven U.S.
1980 Cronin, James Watson U.S. demonstration of simultaneous violation of both charge-conjugation and parity-inversion symmetries
Fitch, Val Logsdon U.S. demonstration of simultaneous violation of both charge-conjugation and parity-inversion symmetries
1981 Bloembergen, Nicolaas U.S. applications of lasers in spectroscopy
Schawlow, Arthur Leonard U.S.
Siegbahn, Kai Manne Börje Sweden electron spectroscopy for chemical analysis
1982 Wilson, Kenneth Geddes U.S. analysis of continuous phase transitions
1983 Chandrasekhar, Subrahmanyan U.S. contributions to understanding the evolution and devolution of stars
Fowler, William A. U.S.
1984 Meer, Simon van der The Netherlands discovery of subatomic particles W and Z, which supports the electroweak theory
Rubbia, Carlo Italy
1985 Klitzing, Klaus von West Germany discovery of the quantized Hall effect, permitting exact measurements of electrical resistance
1986 Binnig, Gerd West Germany development of special electron microscopes 
Rohrer, Heinrich Switzerland
Ruska, Ernst West Germany
1987 Bednorz, J. Georg West Germany discovery of new superconducting materials 
Müller, Karl Alex Switzerland
1988 Lederman, Leon Max U.S. research in subatomic particles
Schwartz, Melvin U.S.
Steinberger, Jack U.S.
1989 Dehmelt, Hans Georg U.S. development of methods to isolate atoms and subatomic particles for study
Paul, Wolfgang West Germany development of methods to isolate atoms and subatomic particles for study
Ramsey, Norman Foster U.S. development of the atomic clock
1990 Friedman, Jerome Isaac U.S. discovery of atomic quarks
Kendall, Henry Way U.S.
Taylor, Richard E. Canada
1991 Gennes, Pierre-Gilles de France discovery of general rules for behaviour of molecules
1992 Charpak, Georges France inventor of detector that traces subatomic particles
1993 Hulse, Russell Alan U.S. identifying binary pulsars
Taylor, Joseph H., Jr. U.S.
1994 Brockhouse, Bertram N. Canada development of neutron-scattering techniques
Shull, Clifford G. U.S.
1995 Perl, Martin Lewis U.S. discovery of tau subatomic particle
Reines, Frederick U.S. discovery of neutrino subatomic particle
1996 Lee, David M. U.S. discovery of superfluidity in isotope helium-3
Osheroff, Douglas D. U.S.
Richardson, Robert C. U.S.
1997 Chu, Steven U.S. process of trapping atoms with laser cooling 
Cohen-Tannoudji, Claude France
Phillips, William D. U.S.
1998 Robert B. Laughlin U.S. or their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations
  Horst L. Störmer Germany
  Daniel C. Tsui U.S.
1999 Gerardus 't Hooft Netherlands for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics
  Martinus J.G. Veltman Netherlands
2000 Zhores I. Alferov Russia for basic work on information and communication technology
  Herbert Kroemer Germany for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics
  Jack S. Kilby U.S. for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit
2001 Eric A. Cornell U.S. for the achievement of Bose-Einstein condensation in dilute gases of alkali atoms, and for early fundamental studies of the properties of the condensates
  Wolfgang Ketterle Germany
  Carl E. Wieman U.S.
2002 Raymond Davis Jr U.S. for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos
  Masatoshi Koshiba Japan
  Riccardo Giacconi U.S.
2003 Alexei A. Abrikosov U.S./Russia for pioneering contributions to the theory of superconductors and superfluids
  Vitaly L. Ginzburg Russia
  Anthony J. Leggett U.S./U.K.
2004 David J. Gross U.S. for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction
  H. David Politzer U.S.
  Frank Wilczek U.S.
2005 John L. Hall U.S. for their contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique
  Theodor W. Hänsch Germany
  Roy J. Glauber U.S. for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence

*Nationality given is the citizenship of recipient at the time award was made. Prizes may be withheld or not awarded in years when no worthy recipient can be found or when the world situation (e.g., World Wars I and II) prevents the gathering of information needed to reach a decision.

   Audio/Video Features      Britannica Online      About this Spotlight
Copyright © 1997 Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Writing in blue added by E.Uva



Britannica's NobelistsAlfred Nobel: The ManNobel PrizesThe WinnersBritannica's Guide to the Nobel Prizes