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Famous Female Physicists

Updated June 14, 2019 22.3k views120 items
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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?"
  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Marie Skłodowska Curie ( KEWR-ee, French: [kyʁi], Polish: [kʲiˈri]; born Maria Salomea Skłodowska; 7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) 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 the Nobel prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields. She was part of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. She was born in Warsaw, in what was...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 66 (1867-1934)
    • Birthplace: Warsaw, Second Polish Republic

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  • Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Sally Kristen Ride (May 26, 1951 – July 23, 2012) was an American astronaut and physicist. Born in Los Angeles, she joined NASA in 1978 and became the first American woman in space in 1983. Ride was the third woman in space overall, after USSR cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova (1963) and Svetlana Savitskaya (1982). Ride remains the youngest American astronaut to have traveled to space, having done so at the age of 32. After flying twice on the Orbiter Challenger, she left NASA in 1987. Ride worked for two years at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Arms Control, then at the University of California, San Diego as a professor of physics, primarily researching nonlinear...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 61 (1951-2012)
    • Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

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  • Photo: 360b / Shutterstock
    Angela Dorothea Merkel (, German: [aŋˈɡeːla ˈmɛɐ̯kl̩]; née Kasner; born 17 July 1954) is a German politician serving as Chancellor of Germany since 2005. She served as the leader of the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) from 2000 to 2018. Merkel has been widely described as the de facto leader of the European Union, the most powerful woman in the world, and, following the election of Donald Trump as U.S. President, by many commentators as the new leader of the Free World.Merkel was born in Hamburg in then-West Germany and moved to East Germany as an infant when her father, a Lutheran clergyman, received a pastorate in Perleberg. She obtained a doctorate in quantum chemistry in...  more
    • Age: 67
    • Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

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  • Photo: Jewish Chronicle Archive/Heritage-Images / via Wikipedia
    Rosalind Elsie Franklin (25 July 1920 – 16 April 1958) was an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer whose work was central to the understanding of the molecular structures of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), RNA (ribonucleic acid), viruses, coal, and graphite. Although her works on coal and viruses were appreciated in her lifetime, her contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely recognised posthumously. Born to a prominent British Jewish family, Franklin was educated at a private day school at Norland Place in West London, Lindores School for Young Ladies in Sussex, and St Paul's Girls' School, London. Then she studied the Natural Sciences Tripos at Newnham College,...  more
    • Age: Dec. at 37 (1920-1958)
    • Birthplace: Notting Hill, London, United Kingdom

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