Physics Laureates
Nobel Laureates in Physics

2016 Physics Laureates. Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2015 Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016

2016 Nobel Prize in Physics

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2016 was divided, one half awarded to David J. Thouless, the other half jointly to F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz "for theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter".

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The Nobel Medal for Physics and Chemistry. Registered trademark of the Nobel Foundation. © ® The Nobel Foundation

The Nobel Prize in Physics

Awarded to 204 Nobel Laureates since 1901

"The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics ..."

(Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel)

Physics was the prize area which Alfred Nobel mentioned first in his will. At the end of the nineteenth century, many people considered physics as the foremost of the sciences, and perhaps Nobel saw it this way as well. His own research was also closely tied to physics.

The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.


The Nobel Prize in Physics 1901-2000

The Nobel Prizes were created just in time to enable the awards to cover many of the outstanding contributions that opened new areas of physics in this period.

More about the Physics Prizes during the past century

Did You Know?


Nobel Prizes in Physics have been awarded between 1901-2016.


Physics Prizes have been given to one Laureate only.


women have been awarded the Physics Prize so far.


person, John Bardeen, has been awarded the Physics Prize twice.


years was the age of the youngest Physics Laureate ever, Lawrence Bragg, when he was awarded the 1915 Physics Prize together with his father.


is the average age of the Physics Laureates the year they were awarded the prize.

All facts and figures on the Nobel Prize in Physics

Physics Laureate Norman F. Ramsey

"The chairman of the committee couldn't find me ..."

1989 Physics Laureate Norman F. Ramsey talks about the unexpected call from Stockholm.

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2015 Physics Prize

Neutrinos. Illustration: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences Ill: © Johan Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

The Chameleons of Space

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 was awarded jointly to Takaaki Kajita and Arthur B. McDonald.

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Professor Olga Botner in interview

"A fundamental discovery in physics"

The discovery that neutrinos are not massless makes a difference, says Professor Olga Botner, Member of the Nobel Committee for Physics, when interviewed about the importance of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics.

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Takaaki Kajita.  Photo: A. Mahmoud

"I feel that I have been extremely lucky"

In his Nobel Lecture, Takaaki Kajita recalls the exciting time and work leading up to Super-Kamiokande discovering neutrino oscillations, establishing that neutrinos have mass.

Watch or read the lecture
William C. Campbell. Photo: A. Mahmoud

"I'm still fascinated by the fact that you can do calculations that actually show how the universe works"

In this interview, Arthur B. McDonald talks about what brought him to science, his Nobel Prize-awarded work, Eureka moments and remaining questions in his field.

Watch the interview

2014 Physics Prize

The heart of the LED. Ill: J. Jarnestad/The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

Filling the World with New Light

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014 was awarded jointly to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura.

More about the Physics Prize
Hiroshi Amano

"When I was a child, I could not understand why I should study"

In this interview, Hiroshi Amano explains what brought him to science.

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Shuji Nakamura lecturing

"I had no confidence in inventing the blue LED, I just wanted my PhD"

In his Nobel Lecture, Shuji Nakamura gave the background story of his invention.

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Isamu Akasaki's Nobel Diploma

A Work of Art in Miniature

The prize awarders decide the design of the Nobel Diplomas. Each diploma is a unique work of art.

Have a look at Isamu Akasaki's diploma

Transistors - Fundamental in Electronic Devices

The Transistor Recycler Game

Play and Learn!

A transistor is made of a solid piece of a semiconductor material and either used as switches, to turn electronic signals on or off – or, as amplifiers.

Play the Transistor Recycler Game or try and build a transistor replica!

The Transistor

Transistors are devices that control the movement of electrons, and consequently, electricity. They are the major component in all digital circuits, including computer microprocessors which contain millions of microscopic transistors.

The Transistor in a Century of Electronics



William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain were awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for the invention of the transistor in 1947. John Bardeen is the only person awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics twice.

More about the Laureates