Nobel Prize in Physics
Nobel physics
Physics  Chemistry  Physiology or Medicine
Economic Sciences  Literature  Peace
Year  Awardee(s) 

2020 
Awarded with one half to Roger Penrose (AccessScience contributor: Polarization of waves) for the discovery that black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity, and the other half jointly to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Ghez for the discovery of a supermassive compact object at the center of our galaxy. See related AccessScience content: 
2019 
Awarded with one half to James Peebles for theoretical discoveries in physical cosmology, and the other half jointly to Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz for the discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solartype star. See related AccessScience content: 
2018 
Awarded with one half to Arthur Ashkin (AccessScience contributor: Radiation pressure) for the optical tweezers and their application to biological systems, and the other half jointly to Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland for their method of generating highintensity, ultrashort optical pulses. See related AccessScience content: 
2017 
Awarded with one half to Rainer Weiss and the other half jointly to Barry C. Barish and Kip S. Thorne for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves. See related AccessScience content: 
2016 
Awarded with one half to David J. Thouless and the other half jointly to F. Duncan M. Haldane (AccessScience contributor: Exchange interaction) and J. Michael Kosterlitz (AccessScience contributor: Crystal defects) for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter. See related AccessScience content: 
2015 
Awarded jointly to: Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald (AccessScience contributor: Solar neutrinos) for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows that neutrinos have mass. 
2014 
Awarded jointly to: Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura (AccessScience contributor: Blue lasers) for the invention of efficient blue lightemitting diodes which has enabled bright and energysaving white light sources. 
2013 
Awarded jointly to: François Englert and Peter W. 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 
Awarded jointly to: Serge Haroche and David J. Wineland (see video biography) for groundbreaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems. 
2011 
Awarded for the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the universe through observations of distant supernovae, with one half to Saul Perlmutter and the other half jointly to Brian P. Schmidt and Adam G. Riess. 
2010 
Awarded jointly to: Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov for groundbreaking experiments regarding the twodimensional material graphene. 
2009 
The prize was divided, with one half awarded to: Charles K. Kao for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication. 
and with one half to: Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit, the CCD sensor. 

2008 
The prize was divided, with one half to: Yoichiro Nambu for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics. 
and with one half awarded jointly to: 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 
Awarded jointly to: Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg for the discovery of giant magnetoresistance. 
2006 
Awarded jointly to: George F. Smoot and John C. Mather for their discovery of the blackbody form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation. 
2005 
The prize was divided, with one half awarded jointly to: Theodor W. Hänsch (AccessScience contributor: Laser spectroscopy, Rydberg constant) and John L. Hall for contributions to the development of laserbased precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique. 
and with one half to: Roy J. Glauber for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence. 

2004 
Awarded jointly to: H. David Politzer, Frank Wilczek (AccessScience contributor: Geometric phase, Anyons, Symmetry breaking, Excited state, Conservation laws (physics), Symmetry laws (physics), Group theory), and David J. Gross (AccessScience contributor: Quantum field theory) for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction. 
2003 
Awarded jointly to: Vitaly L. Ginzburg, Anthony J. Leggett (AccessScience contributor: Quantum theory of measurement), and Alexei A. Abrikosov for their work on the theory of superconductors and superfluids. 
2002 
The prize was divided, with one half awarded jointly to: Masatoshi Koshiba and Raymond Davis, Jr. for pioneering contributions to astrophysics, in particular for the detection of cosmic neutrinos. 
and with one half to: Riccardo Giacconi for pioneering contributions to astrophysics that led to the discovery of cosmic Xray sources. 

2001 
Awarded jointly to: Wolfgang Ketterle (AccessScience contributor: Atom laser, BoseEinstein condensation), Carl E. Wieman, and Eric A. Cornell for the achievement of producing BoseEinstein condensation in low density vapors of alkali atoms, and for their studies on the fundamental properties of the condensates. 
2000 
The prize was awarded for basic work on information and communication technology, with one half awarded jointly to: Herbert Kroemer and Zhores I. Alferov for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in highspeed and optoelectronics. 
and the other half to: Jack S. Kilby for his part in the invention of the integrated circuit. 

1999 
The prize was awarded jointly to: Martinus J.G. Veltman and Gerardus 't Hooft for elucidating the quantum structure of electroweak interactions in physics. 
1998 
Awarded jointly to: Robert B. Laughlin, Horst L. Störmer, and Daniel C. Tsui for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations. 
1997 
Awarded jointly to: Steven Chu (AccessScience contributor: Particle trap), Claude CohenTannoudji, and William D. Phillips (AccessScience contributor: Laser cooling) for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light. 
1996 
Awarded jointly to: David M. Lee (AccessScience contributor: Absolute zero), Douglas D. Osheroff, and Robert C. Richardson for their discovery of superfluidity in helium3. 
1995 
Awarded for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics, with one half to: Martin L. Perl (AccessScience contributor: Lepton) for the discovery of the tau lepton. 
and the other half to: Frederick Reines for the detection of the neutrino. 

1994 
Awarded for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter jointly with one half to: Bertram N. Brockhouse (AccessScience contributor: Slow neutron spectroscopy) for the development of neutron spectroscopy, 
and with one half to: Clifford G. Shull for the development of the neutron diffraction technique. 

1993 
Awarded jointly to: 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 
Awarded to: Georges Charpak for his invention and development of particle detectors, in particular the multiwire proportional chamber. 
1991 
Awarded to: PierreGilles 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 
Awarded jointly to: Jerome I. Friedman, Henry W. Kendall, and 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 
One half of the award was given to: Norman F. Ramsey (AccessScience contributor: Negative temperature) for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks 
and the other half jointly to: Hans G. Dehmelt (AccessScience contributor: Nuclear quadrupole resonance) and Wolfgang Paul for the development of the ion trap technique. 

1988 
Awarded jointly to: Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz, and 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 
Awarded jointly to: J. Georg Bednorz and K. Alexander Müller for their important breakthrough in the discovery of superconductivity in ceramic materials. 
1986 
Awarded with one half to: Ernst Ruska for his fundamental work in electron optics, and for the design of the first electron microscope. 
and one half to: Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer for their design of the scanning tunneling microscope. 

1985 
Awarded to: Klaus Von Klitzing for the discovery of the quantized Hall effect. 
1984 
Awarded jointly to: 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 
Divided equally between: Subramanyan Chandrasekhar for his theoretical studies of the physical processes of importance to the structure and evolution of the stars, 
and: 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 
Awarded to: Kenneth G. Wilson for his theory for critical phenomena in connection with phase transitions. 
1981 
Awarded with one half jointly to: Nicolaas Bloembergen and Arthur L. Schawlow (AccessScience contributor: Laser) for their contribution to the development of laser spectroscopy, 
and the other half to: Kai M. Siegbahn for his contribution to the development of highresolution electron spectroscopy. 

1980 
Divided equally between: Val L. Fitch (AccessScience contributor: Flavor, CPT theorem) and James W. Cronin for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral Kmesons. 
1979 
Divided equally between: Abdus Salam (AccessScience contributor: Fundamental interactions), Steven Weinberg, and Sheldon L. Glashow 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 
Divided, with one half awarded to: Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of lowtemperature physics, 
and the other half divided equally between: Robert W. Wilson and Arno A. Penzias for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation. 

1977 
Divided equally between: Philip W. Anderson, Sir Nevill F. Mott, and John H. Van Vleck for their fundamental theoretical investigations of the electronic structure of magnetic and disordered systems. 
1976 
Divided equally between: Burton Richter and Samuel C. C. Ting (AccessScience contributor: J/psi particle) for their pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind. 
1975 
Awarded jointly to: Aage Bohr, Ben Mottelson, and 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 
Awarded jointly to: Anthony Hewish and Sir Martin Ryle 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 
Divided, with one half equally shared between: Leo Esaki (AccessScience contributor: Tunneling in solids) and Ivar Giaever for their experimental discoveries regarding tunneling phenomena in semiconductors and superconductors, respectively, 
and the other half to: 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 
Awarded jointly to: Leon N. Cooper, J. Robert Schrieffer, and John Bardeen for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity, usually called the BCStheory. 
1971 
Awarded to: Dennis Gabor for his invention and development of the holographic method. 
1970 
Divided equally between: Hannes Alfvén for fundamental work and discoveries in magnetohydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics, 
and: Louis Néel for fundamental work and discoveries concerning antiferromagnetism and ferrimagnetism which have led to important applications in solid state physics. 

1969 
Awarded to: Murray GellMann for his contributions and discoveries concerning the classification of elementary particles and their interactions. 
1968 
Awarded to: 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 
Awarded to: Hans Albrecht Bethe (AccessScience contributor: Theoretical physics) for his contributions to the theory of nuclear reactions, especially his discoveries concerning the energy production in stars. 
1966 
Awarded to: Alfred Kastler for the discovery and development of optical methods for studying hertzian resonances in atoms. 
1965 
Awarded jointly to: SinItiro Tomonaga, Julian Schwinger, and Richard P. Feynman for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deepploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles. 
1964 
Divided, with one half awarded to: Charles H. Townes (AccessScience contributor: Maser), the other half jointly to: Aleksandr Mikhailovich Prokhorov and Nicolay Gennadiyevich Basov for fundamental work in the field of quantum electronics, which has led to the construction of oscillators and amplifiers based on the maserlaser principle. See related AccessScience content: LaserMaserQuantum electronics 
1963 
Divided, with one half awarded to: 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 , 
and the other half jointly to: Maria GoeppertMayer and J. Hans D. Jensen for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure. 

1962 
Awarded to: Lev Davidovich Landau for his pioneering theories for condensed matter, especially liquid helium. 
1961 
Divided equally between: Robert Hofstadter (AccessScience contributor: Scintillation counter) for his pioneering studies of electron scattering in atomic nuclei and for his thereby achieved discoveries concerning the structure of the nucleons, 
and: Rudolf Ludwig 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 
Awarded to: Donald A. Glaser for the invention of the bubble chamber. 
1959 
Awarded jointly to: Emilio Gino Segrè and Owen Chamberlain for their discovery of the antiproton. 
1958 
Awarded jointly to: Pavel Alekseyevich Cerenkov, Il'ja Mikhailovich Frank, and Igor Yevgenyevich Tamm for the discovery and the interpretation of the Cherenkov effect. 
1957 
Awarded jointly to: Chen Ning Yang and TsungDao Lee for their penetrating investigation of the socalled parity laws, which has led to important discoveries regarding the elementary particles. 
1956 
Awarded jointly, one third each, to: William Shockley, John Bardeen, and Walter Houser Brattain for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect. 
1955 
Divided equally between: Willis Eugene Lamb for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum, 
and: Polykarp Kusch (AccessScience contributor: Atomic beams) for his precision determination of the magnetic moment of the electron. 

1954 
Divided equally between: Max Born for his fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction, 
and: Walther Bothe for the coincidence method and his discoveries made therewith. 

1953 
Awarded to: Frits (Frederik) Zernike for his demonstration of the phase contrast method, especially for his invention of the phase contrast microscope. 
1952 
Awarded jointly to: Felix Bloch and Edward Mills Purcell for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith. 
1951 
Awarded jointly to: 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 
Awarded to: Cecil Frank Powell for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method. 
1949 
Awarded to: Hideki Yukawa for his prediction of the existence of mesons on the basis of theoretical work on nuclear forces. 
1948 
Awarded to: 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 
Awarded to: Sir Edward Victor Appleton for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the socalled Appleton layer. 
1946 
Awarded to: Percy Williams Bridgman (AccessScience contributor: Theorem, Postulate, Hypothesis, Physical theory, Science, Empirical method) 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 
Awarded to: Wolfgang Pauli for the discovery of the Exclusion Principle, also called the Pauli Principle. 
1944 
Awarded to: Isidor Isaac Rabi for his resonance method for recording the magnetic properties of atomic nuclei. 
1943 
Awarded to: Otto Stern for his contribution to the development of the molecular ray method and his discovery of the magnetic moment of the proton. 
1942 
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section. 
1941 
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section. 
1940 
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section. 
1939 
Awarded to: 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 
Awarded to: 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 
Awarded jointly to: Clinton Joseph Davisson and Sir George Paget Thomson for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals. 
1936 
Divided equally between: Victor Franz Hess for his discovery of cosmic radiation,. See related AccessScience content: 
and: Carl David Anderson for his discovery of the positron. See related AccessScience content: 

1935 
Awarded to: Sir James Chadwick for the discovery of the neutron. 
1934 
The prize money was allocated to the Main Fund (1/3) and to the Special Fund (2/3) of this prize section. 
1933 
Awarded jointly to: Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac and Erwin Schrödinger for the discovery of new productive forms of atomic theory. 
1932 
Awarded to: 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 
The prize money was allocated tothe Main Fund (1/3) and to the SpecialFund (2/3) of this prize section. 
1930 
Awarded to: Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman for his work on the scattering of light and for the discovery of the effect named after him. 
1929 
Awarded to: Prince LouisVictor De Broglie for his discovery of the wave nature of electrons. 
1928 
Awarded to: Sir Owen Willans Richardson for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him. 
1927 
Divided equally between: Arthur Holly Compton for his discovery of the effect named after him, 
and: Charles Thomson Rees Wilson for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour. 

1926 
Awarded to: Jean Baptiste Perrin for his work on the discontinuous structure of matter, and especially for his discovery of sedimentation equilibrium. 
1925 
Awarded jointly to: James Franck and Gustav Hertz for their discovery of the laws governing the impact of an electron upon an atom. 
1924 
Awarded to: Karl Manne Georg Siegbahn for his discoveries and research in the field of Xray spectroscopy. 
1923 
Awarded to: Robert Andrews Millikan for his work on the elementary charge of electricity and on the photoelectric effect. 
1922 
Awarded to: Niels Bohr for his services in the investigation of the structure of atoms and of the radiation emanating from them. 
1921 
Awarded to: Albert Einstein for his services to Theoretical Physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect. 
1920 
Awarded to: 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 
Awarded to: Johannes Stark for his discovery of the Doppler effect in canal rays and the splitting of spectral lines in electric fields. 
1918 
Awarded to: Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck in recognition of the services he rendered to the advancement of physics by his discovery of energy quanta. 
1917 
Awarded to: Charles Glover Barkla for his discovery of the characteristic Röntgen radiation of the elements. 
1916 
The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section. 
1915 
Awarded jointly to: Sir William Henry Bragg and Sir William Lawrence Bragg for their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of Xrays. 
1914 
Awarded to: Max Von Lane for his discovery of the diffraction of Xrays by crystals. 
1913 
Awarded to: Heike KamerlinghOnnes for his investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures which led, inter alia, to the production of liquid helium.br> 
1912 
Awarded to: Nils Gustaf Daléen for his invention of automatic regulators for use in conjunction with gas accumulators for illuminating lighthouses and buoys. 
1911 
Awarded to: Wilhelm Wien for his discoveries regarding the laws governing the radiation of heat. 
1910 
Awarded to: Johannes Diderik van der Waals for his work on the equation of state for gases and liquids. 
1909 
Awarded jointly to: Karl Ferdinand Braun and Guglielmo Marconi in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy. 
1908 
Awarded to: Gabriel Lippmann for his method of reproducing colors photographically based on the phenomenon of interference. 
1907 
Awarded to: Albert Abraham Michelson for his optical precision instruments and the spectroscopic and metrological investigations carried out with their aid. 
1906 
Awarded to: Sir Joseph John Thomson in recognition of the great merits of his theoretical and experimental investigations on the conduction of electricity by gases. 
1905 
Awarded to: Philipp Eduard Anton Lenard for his work on cathode rays. 
1904 
Awarded to: 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 
The prize was divided, one half being awarded to: Antoine Henri Becquerel in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity, 
and the other half jointly to: Pierre Curie and Marie Curie née Shlodowska, in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel. 

1902 
Awarded jointly to: 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 
Awarded to: Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him. 