Nobel laureates in Physics
October 19, 2021
The Nobel Prize in Physics (in Swedish: Nobelpriset i fysik) is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in various fields of physics. It is one of five awards established in 1895 in the will of Alfred Nobel, who died in 1896. These awards are bestowed for outstanding contributions in physics, chemistry, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. As directed in the will, the prize is administered by the Nobel Foundation and awarded by a committee consisting of five members elected by the Royal Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death. Each recipient receives a medal, a diploma and a cash prize that has varied over the years. The first Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded in 1901 to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen of Germany. In 1901, Röntgen received 150 782 SEK, which is equivalent to 8 402 670 SEK in December 2017. John Bardeen is the only winner twice, in 1956 and 1972. Marie Skłodowska-Curie also won two Nobel Prizes, one in physics in 1903 and another in chemistry in 1911. William Lawrence Bragg was, until October 2014, the youngest Nobel laureate, and remains the youngest Nobel laureate in Physics, winning the prize in 1915 at the age of 25. Four women have been awarded the prize: Curie (1903), Maria Goeppert-Mayer (1963), Donna Strickland (2018) and Andrea Ghez (2020). By 2020, the prize had been awarded to 215 individuals. There were six years in which the Nobel Prize in Physics was not awarded (1916, 1931, 1934, 1940–1942). There were also eight years in which the Nobel Prize in Physics was postponed for a year. The prize was not awarded in 1917, as the Nobel Committee for Physics decided that none of that year's nominations met the necessary criteria, but it was awarded to Charles Glover Barkla in 1918 and counted as the prize of 1917. This precedent was followed by the prize of 1918 awarded to Max Planck in 1919, the 1921 prize awarded to Albert Einstein in 1922, the 1924 prize awarded to Manne Siegbahn in 1925, the 1925 prize awarded to James Franck and Gustav Hertz in 1926, the 1928 prize awarded to Owen Richardson in 1929, the 1932 Prize awarded to Werner Heisenberg in 1933, and the 1943 Prize awarded to Otto Stern in 1944.