Women and men have different roles in science. This is evident in physics, where most researchers are men, few women are interested in the subject and fewer still continue with it all the way through to a PhD. And yet, women are capable of excelling at this type of work. In the last few decades, a number of outstanding women have been awarded one of the highest accolades available to scientists for their contributions to physics. The Nobel Prize. Here we take a look at the accomplished female physicists who have won the Nobel Prize for their research, as well as some other successful women in physics.
Not only was Marie Curie the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, but she also won two. Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1903 for her work on radioactivity. The prize was for the discovery of two new elements: radium and polonium. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win in two different disciplines. In 1911, she was awarded a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry for her discovery of the elements radium and curium. Curie was a member of the French Academy of Sciences and was the first woman to be elected to the highly distinguished body. She was also the first woman to be a professor at the University of Paris.
Chien Shueng Lee
Lee is one of the few women to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for research involving a particle accelerator. Lee was a member of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center when she discovered a new type of subatomic particle. The particle she found was a type of meson, which is a particle that transmits the strong force that holds atomic nuclei together. Lee has spent most of her career in the United States, where she has worked at the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory at Stanford University. She has also worked as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley.
Mendoza was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1974 for her work on subatomic particles known as positrons. Mendoza worked at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center when she discovered these subatomic particles. Mendoza has spent her career researching subatomic particles, and her findings have been published in the world’s leading scientific journals. After she won the Nobel Prize, she was the first woman to be appointed Director-General of the Spanish National Research Council.
Bernardino was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1952 for her research into the structure of crystals. Bernardino’s discovery of the structure of graphite and the way it is held together has been applied across many scientific disciplines, most notably in the study of the structure of metals. Bernardino was born in Argentina and moved to the United States to study at Johns Hopkins University. She worked at Bell Labs, where she discovered the structure of graphite. After she won the Nobel Prize, she continued to work at Bell Labs.
Nelson was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for research into how materials behave at very high temperatures. Nelson has spent her career researching the properties of materials at high temperatures, and she developed a method of measuring the speed at which materials expand when they are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Nelson is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Nelson is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering. She is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Society for Metals and the Materials Research Society and sits on the editorial boards of several scientific journals.
Kajita is one of the few women to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for research on subatomic particles. Kajita discovered a new class of subatomic particles, known as neutrinos, which transmute to another type of subatomic particle as they travel between the Earth and the Sun. Kajita is a professor at the University of Tokyo, and he has also served as Director General of the Institute for Cosmic Ray Research. Kajita has received a number of other prestigious awards for his work, including the Medal with Purple Ribbon from the Japanese Government and the American Physical Society's Oliver E. Buckley Prize.
K was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2016 for her work in the field of quantum physics. K’s work involves examining the properties of materials at the atomic level, particularly semiconductors. Her research has implications for the production of solar cells and semiconductor-based computer chips. K is a professor at Johns Hopkins University. She has also been a member of the scientific advisory board of the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Pennsylvania and the President of the Turkish Academy of Sciences.
Women have always had a place in science, but it was only in the 20th century that they began to excel in this field, and not until the 1960s did they really begin to gain recognition for their work. Since then, a number of women have received the Nobel Prize in Physics for their ground-breaking research. Physicists have traditionally been men, but technological advancements have seen an increase in the number of women in this field. It is evident in the number of women who have been awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, a number that has been rising since the award was first established.