Famous Female Physicists People

Famous Female Physicists

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List of famous female physicists, listed by their level of prominence with photos when available. This greatest female physicists list contains the most prominent and top females known for being physicists. There are thousand of females working as physicists in the world, but this list highlights only the most notable ones. Historic physicists have worked hard to become the best that they can be, so if you're a female aspiring to be a physicist then the people below should give you inspiration.

List features people like Margaret MacVicar, Laura Mersini, and many more

While this isn't a list of all female physicists, it does answer the questions "Who are the most famous female physicists?" and "Who are the best female physicists?"


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  1. 1
    Marie Curie
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    Marie Skłodowska-Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first person and only woman to win twice, the only person to win twice in multiple sciences, and was part of the Curie ...more

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    • Age: Died at 67 (1867-1934)
    • Birthplace: Warsaw, Second Polish Republic
    • Profession: Physicist, Chemist, Scientist
  2. 2
    Sally Ride
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    Sally Kristen Ride was an American physicist and astronaut. Born in Los Angeles, Ride joined NASA in 1978 and, at the age of 32, became the first American woman in space and still remains the youngest American astronaut to travel to space. After flying twice on the space shuttle Challenger, she left ...more

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    • Age: Died at 61 (1951-2012)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronaut
  3. 3

    Angela Merkel is the current Chancellor of Germany and the head of the political party CDU in Germany. In addition to being the first female German Chanchellor, she is also considered by Forbes magazine to be the most powerful woman in the world.more

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    • Age: age 61
    • Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
    • Profession: Politician, Physicist, Scientist
  4. 4

    Rosalind Elsie Franklin was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer who made critical contributions to the understanding of the fine molecular structures of DNA, RNA, viruses, coal, and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, her DNA work posthumously ...more

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    • Age: Died at 38 (1920-1958)
    • Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom
    • Profession: Physicist, Chemist, Scientist
  5. 5
    Tracy Caldwell Dyson
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    Tracy Caldwell Dyson is an American chemist and NASA astronaut. Caldwell Dyson was a Mission Specialist on Space Shuttle Endeavour flight STS-118 in August 2007. She was part of the Expedition 24 crew on the International Space Station between April 4, 2010 and September 25, 2010. She has completed ...more

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    • Age: age 46
    • Birthplace: Arcadia, California, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Chemist, Astronaut
  6. 6
    Shannon Walker
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    Shannon Walker is an American scientist and a NASA astronaut, whose first space mission was Expedition 24 on the International Space Station with take-off on 15 June 2010. She is married to a fellow NASA astronaut, the Australian-born Andy Thomas. She is a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots ...more

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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Flight engineer, Astronaut
  7. 7

    Katharine Burr Blodgett was the first woman to be awarded a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge in 1926. After receiving her master's degree, she was hired by General Electric, where she invented low-reflectance "invisible" glass.more

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    • Age: Died at 81 (1898-1979)
    • Birthplace: Schenectady, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Inventor
  8. 8

    Vandana Shiva is an Indian environmental activist and anti-globalization author. Shiva, currently based in Delhi, has authored more than 20 books. She received her PhD from the University of Western Ontario Faculty of Graduate Studies, in Canada, in 1978 with the doctoral dissertation "Hidden variables ...more

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Dehradun, India
    • Profession: Environmentalist, Physicist, Scientist, Author, Writer, + more
    • Credits: Dirt! The Movie, This Is What Democracy Looks Like
  9. 9

    Evelyn Fox Keller is an American physicist, author and feminist. She is currently Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Keller's early work concentrated at the intersection of physics and biology. Her subsequent research has focused on the ...more

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    • Age: age 79
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Philosopher of Science, Physicist, Historian, Science writer, Philosopher
  10. 10
    Ruby Payne-Scott
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    Ruby Violet Payne-Scott, BSc MSc DipEd was an Australian pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy, and was the first female radio astronomer.more

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    • Age: Died at 69 (1912-1981)
    • Birthplace: Grafton, Australia
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronomer
  11. 11
    Sofia Kovalevskaya
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    Sofia Vasilyevna Kovalevskaya was the first major Russian female mathematician, responsible for important original contributions to analysis, differential equations and mechanics, and the first woman appointed to a full professorship in Northern Europe. She was also one of the first women to work for a ...more

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    • Age: Died at 41 (1850-1891)
    • Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
    • Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist
  12. 12
    Deborah S. Jin
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    Deborah S. Jin is a physicist and fellow with the National Institute of Standards and Technology; Professor Adjunct, Department of Physics at the University of Colorado; a fellow of the JILA, a NIST joint laboratory with the University of Colorado. In 2003, Dr. Jin's team at JILA made the first ...more

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    • Age: age 47
    • Profession: Physicist
  13. 13
    Émilie du Châtelet
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    Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet was a French mathematician, physicist, and author during the Age of Enlightenment. Her achievement is considered to be her translation and commentary on Isaac Newton's work Principia Mathematica. The translation, published posthumously in ...more

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    • Age: Died at 43 (1706-1749)
    • Birthplace: Paris, France
    • Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist, Writer
  14. 14

    Mileva Marić was a Serbian physicist. She was the only woman among Albert Einstein's fellow students at the Zurich Polytechnic. They developed a relationship and had a daughter before their marriage, Lieserl, who either died young or was given up for adoption. After their marriage in 1903, they had two ...more

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    • Age: Died at 73 (1875-1948)
    • Birthplace: Titel, Serbia
    • Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist
  15. 15

    Mildred Dresselhaus, known as the "queen of carbon science", is an institute professor and professor of physics and electrical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.more

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    • Age: age 85
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Professor, Engineer
  16. 16

    Christine Sutton

    Christine Sutton is a particle physicist who has edited the CERN Courier since 2003. Sutton was previously based at the University of Oxford, working in the Particle Physics Group and tutoring physics at St Catherine's College. She was Physical Sciences Editor for New Scientist magazine in the early ...more

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    • Profession: Physicist
  17. 17
    Chien-Shiung Wu
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    Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese American experimental physicist who made significant contributions in the research of radioactivity. Wu worked on the Manhattan Project, where she helped develop the process for separating uranium metal into the uranium-235 and uranium-238 isotopes by gaseous diffusion. She ...more

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    • Age: Died at 85 (1912-1997)
    • Birthplace: Taicang, China
    • Profession: Physicist, Scientist
  18. 18
    Kathryn C. Thornton
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    Kathryn Ryan Cordell Thornton is an American scientist and a former NASA astronaut with over 975 hours in space, including 21 hours of extravehicular activity. She was the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs in the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, currently a professor ...more

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    • Age: age 63
    • Birthplace: Montgomery, Alabama, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Astronaut
  19. 19

    Charlotte Froese Fischer is a Canadian-American applied mathematician and computer scientist who gained world recognition for the development and implementation of the Multi-Configurational Hartree–Fock approach to atomic-structure calculations and for her theoretical prediction concerning the existence ...more

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    • Age: age 86
    • Profession: Mathematician, Physicist, Chemist, Computer scientist
  20. 20
    Rosalyn Sussman Yalow
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    Rosalyn Sussman Yalow was an American medical physicist, and a co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for development of the radioimmunoassay technique. She was the second American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine after Gerty Cori.more

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    • Age: Died at 90 (1921-2011)
    • Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America
    • Profession: Physicist, Scientist
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