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Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics is one of the Nobel Prizes established by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor and scientist. The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded annually and has been awarded for both discoveries and inventions. As designated in the will of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Prize in Physics shall be distributed "… to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics."


| Chemistry | Economics | Literature |

| Medicine | Peace | Physics |

Nobel Laureates
(Click on laureate names for biographies)

Year Winner Achievement
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"
2009 Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor"
2008 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"
2008 Yoichiro Nambu "for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in subatomic physics"
2007 Albert Fert and

Peter Grünberg

"for the discovery of Giant Magnetoresistance"
2006 John C. Mather and George F. 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"
2005 John L. Hall and

Theodor W. 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, and Frank Wilczek

"for the discovery of asymptotic freedom in the theory of the strong interaction"
2003 Alexei A. Abrikosov,

Vitaly L. Ginzburg, and

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 and

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 basic work on information and communication technology" "for developing semiconductor heterostructures used in high-speed- and opto-electronics"
2000 Jack S. 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. Störmer, and Daniel C. Tsui

"for their discovery of a new form of quantum fluid with fractionally charged excitations"
1997 Steven Chu,

Claude Cohen-Tannoudji, and William D. Phillips

"for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light"
1996 David M. Lee,

Douglas D. Osheroff, and Robert C. Richardson

"for their discovery of superfluidity in helium-3"
1995 Martin L. Perl and Frederick Reines "for pioneering experimental contributions to lepton physics" "for the discovery of the tau lepton" "for the detection of the neutrino"
1994 Bertram N. Brockhouse and Clifford G. Shull "for pioneering contributions to the development of neutron scattering techniques for studies of condensed matter" "for the development of neutron spectroscopy" "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 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 Norman F. Ramsey,

Hans G. Dehmelt, and Wolfgang Paul

"for the invention of the separated oscillatory fields method and its use in the hydrogen maser and other atomic clocks" "for the development of the ion trap technique"
1988 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 J. Georg Bednorz and

K. Alex Müller

"for their important break-through 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"
1986 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"
1983 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"
1981 Kai M. Siegbahn "for his contribution to the development of high-resolution electron spectroscopy"
1980 James Cronin and

Val Fitch

"for the discovery of violations of fundamental symmetry principles in the decay of neutral K-mesons"
1979 Sheldon Glashow,

Abdus Salam, and

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 "for his basic inventions and discoveries in the area of low-temperature physics"
1978 Arno Penzias and

Robert Woodrow Wilson

"for their discovery of cosmic microwave background radiation"
1977 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 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 N. Bohr,

Ben R. 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 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"
1973 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 and 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 and

Louis Néel

"for fundamental work and discoveries in magneto-hydrodynamics with fruitful applications in different parts of plasma physics" "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, and Richard P. Feynman

"for their fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles"
1964 Charles H. Townes, Nicolay G. Basov, and Aleksandr M. 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 "for his contributions to the theory of the atomic nucleus and the elementary particles, particularly through the discovery and application of fundamental symmetry principles"
1963 Maria Goeppert-Mayer and J. Hans D. Jensen "for their discoveries concerning nuclear shell structure"
1962 Lev 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"
1961 Rudolf 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 A. Glaser "for the invention of the bubble chamber"
1959 Emilio Segrè and

Owen Chamberlain

"for their discovery of the antiproton"
1958 Pavel A. Cherenkov,

Il´ja M. Frank, and

Igor Y. 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 B. Shockley,

John Bardeen, and

Walter H. Brattain

"for their researches on semiconductors and their discovery of the transistor effect"
1955 Willis E. Lamb "for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum"
1955 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"
1954 Walther 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 and

E. M. Purcell

"for their development of new methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements and discoveries in connection therewith"
1951 John Cockcroft and

Ernest T.S. 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 M.S. 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 V. Appleton "for his investigations of the physics of the upper atmosphere especially for the discovery of the so-called Appleton layer"
1946 Percy W. 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"
1942 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1941 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
1940 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section
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 and George Paget Thomson "for their experimental discovery of the diffraction of electrons by crystals"
1936 Victor F. Hess "for his discovery of cosmic radiation"
1936 Carl D. Anderson "for his discovery of the positron"
1935 James Chadwick "for the discovery of the neutron"
1934 The prize money was with 1/3 allocated to the Main Fund and with 2/3 to the Special Fund of this prize section


1933 Erwin Schrödinger and Paul A.M. 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 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1930 Venkata 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 Willans Richardson "for his work on the thermionic phenomenon and especially for the discovery of the law named after him"
1927 Arthur H. Compton "for his discovery of the effect named after him"
1927 C.T.R. Wilson "for his method of making the paths of electrically charged particles visible by condensation of vapour"
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 Manne Siegbahn "for his discoveries and research in the field of X-ray spectroscopy"
1923 Robert A. 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 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 Röntgen radiation of the elements"
1916 The prize money was allocated to the Special Fund of this prize section

1915 William Bragg and 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 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 Ferdinand 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 A. 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 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 "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by his discovery of spontaneous radioactivity"
1903 Pierre Curie and

Marie Curie,

née Sklodowska


"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 Röntgen "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him
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