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Famous Physicists from England

Updated June 14, 2019 10.6k views67 items

List of notable or famous physicists from England, with bios and photos, including the top physicists born in England and even some popular physicists who immigrated to England. If you're trying to find out the names of famous English physicists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These physicists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known physicist from England is included when available.

Stephen Hawking and John Dalton are included on this list.

This historic physicists from England list can help answer the questions "Who are some English physicists of note?" and "Who are the most famous physicists from England?" These prominent physicists of England may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected English physicists.

Use this list of renowned English physicists to discover some new physicists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
  • 1
    Adrian Michael Berry, 4th Viscount Camrose (15 June 1937 – 18 April 2016) was a British hereditary peer, journalist, and global warming denier. ...  more
  • 2

    BirthplaceUnited Kingdom

    Alan Barber is a British-born theoretical physicist and works at the physics faculty at MIT Center for Theoretical Physics. He worked at the University of Cambridge until 2007. He is famous for the...  more
  • 3
    Dec. at 74 (1890-1964)


    Albert Beaumont Wood DSc (1890 – 19 July 1964), better known as A B Wood, was a British physicist, known for his pioneering work in the field of underwater acoustics and sonar. Wood is a physicist...  more
  • 4
    Dec. at 90 (1886-1977)

    BirthplaceEurasia, South West England, Bristol, United Kingdom, England

    Archibald Vivian Hill (26 September 1886 – 3 June 1977), known as A. V. Hill, was an English physiologist, one of the founders of the diverse disciplines of biophysics and operations research. He...  more
  • 5
    Dec. at 83 (1851-1934)

    BirthplaceFrankfurt, Germany

    Sir Franz Arthur Friedrich Schuster FRS FRSE (12 September 1851 – 17 October 1934) was a German-born British physicist known for his work in spectroscopy, electrochemistry, optics, X-radiography and...  more
  • 6
    Dec. at 59 (1828-1887)

    BirthplaceEurasia, United Kingdom, Scotland, Edinburgh, United Kingdom

    Balfour Stewart (1 November 1828 – 19 December 1887) was a Scottish physicist and meteorologist. His studies in the field of radiant heat led to him receiving the Rumford Medal of the Royal Society...  more
  • 7
    Dec. at 75 (1887-1962)

    BirthplaceCambridge, United Kingdom

    Sir Charles Galton Darwin, (18 December 1887 – 31 December 1962) was an English physicist who served as director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) during the Second World War. He was a son...  more
  • 8
    Dec. at 90 (1632-1723)

    BirthplaceEast Knoyle, United Kingdom

    Sir Christopher Michael Wren PRS is one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history. He was accorded responsibility for rebuilding 52 churches in the City of London after the Great...  more
  • 9
    Douglas Alan Ross (born 9 May 1948) is a British physicist. As of 2017 he is Professor Emeritus of physics at the University of Southampton....  more
  • 10
    Dec. at 85 (1656-1742)

    BirthplaceHaggerston, London, United Kingdom

    Edmond (or Edmund) Halley, FRS (; 8 November [O.S. 29 October] 1656 – 25 January 1742 [O.S. 14 January 1741]) was an English astronomer, geophysicist, mathematician, meteorologist, and physicist. He...  more
  • 11
    Dec. at 83 (1887-1971)

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom

    Edward Neville da Costa Andrade FRS (27 December 1887 – 6 June 1971) was an English physicist, writer, and poet. He told The Literary Digest his name was pronounced "as written, i.e., like air raid,...  more
  • 12
    Dec. at 72 (1892-1965)

    BirthplaceBradford, United Kingdom

    Sir Edward Victor Appleton (6 September 1892 – 21 April 1965) was an English physicist, Nobel Prize winner (1947) and pioneer in radiophysics. He studied, and was also employed as a lab technician,...  more
  • 13
    Dec. at 81 (1889-1970)

    BirthplaceLancashire, United Kingdom

    Sir Ernest Marsden (19 February 1889 – 15 December 1970) was an English-New Zealand physicist. He is recognised internationally for his contributions to science while working under Ernest...  more
  • 14
    Frank Wilfred Jordan (6 October 1881 – 12 January 1941) was a British physicist who together with William Henry Eccles invented the so-called "flip-flop" circuit in 1918. This circuit became the...  more
  • 15
    Dec. at 63 (1893-1956)

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Sir Francis Simon (2 July 1893 – 31 October 1956), was a German and later British physical chemist and physicist who devised the gaseous diffusion method, and confirmed its feasibility, of...  more
  • 16
    Dec. at 90 (1916-2006)

    BirthplaceLondon, United Kingdom

    Frank Reginald Nunes Nabarro MBE OMS FRS (7 March 1916 – 20 July 2006) was an English-born South African physicist and one of the pioneers of solid-state physics, which underpins much of 21st-century...  more
  • 17
    Geoff or Geoffrey Thomas may refer to: Geoffrey Thomas (academic), President of Kellogg College, Oxford Geoffrey Thomas (businessman), Australian businessman Geoff Thomas (footballer, born 1948),...  more
  • 18
    Dec. at 83 (1892-1975)

    BirthplaceCambridge, United Kingdom

    Sir George Paget Thomson, FRS (; 3 May 1892 – 10 September 1975) was an English physicist and Nobel laureate in physics recognised for his discovery of the wave properties of the electron by electron...  more
  • 19
    Dec. at 84 (1919-2004)

    BirthplaceNewark-on-Trent, United Kingdom

    Sir Godfrey Newbold Hounsfield (28 August 1919 – 12 August 2004) was an English electrical engineer who shared the 1979 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with Allan McLeod Cormack for his part...  more
  • 20
    Dec. at 65 (1917-1983)

    BirthplaceBirmingham, United Kingdom

    Henry Albert Howard "Harry" Boot (29 July 1917 – 8 February 1983) was an English physicist who with Sir John Randall and James Sayers developed the cavity magnetron, which was one of the keys to the...  more
  • 21
    Dec. at 78 (1731-1810)

    BirthplaceNice, France

    Henry Cavendish FRS (; 10 October 1731 – 24 February 1810) was an English natural philosopher, scientist, and an important experimental and theoretical chemist and physicist. He is noted for his...  more

    #538 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time#14 of 16 16 Famous People Who Probably Died as Virgins

  • 22
    Dec. at 27 (1887-1915)

    BirthplaceWeymouth, Dorset, United Kingdom

    Henry Gwyn Jeffreys Moseley (; 23 November 1887 – 10 August 1915) was an English physicist, whose contribution to the science of physics was the justification from physical laws of the previous...  more
  • 23
    Dec. at 82 (1891-1974)

    BirthplaceBollington, England

    Sir James Chadwick, (20 October 1891 – 24 July 1974) was a British physicist who was awarded the 1935 Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery of the neutron in 1932. In 1941, he wrote the final...  more
  • 24
    Dec. at 78 (1803-1882)

    BirthplaceBraintree, United Kingdom

    James Challis FRS (12 December 1803 – 3 December 1882) was an English clergyman, physicist and astronomer. Plumian Professor of Astronomy and Experimental Philosophy and the director of the Cambridge...  more
  • 25
    Dec. at 70 (1818-1889)

    BirthplaceSalford, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom

    James Prescott Joule (; 24 December 1818 – 11 October 1889) was an English physicist, mathematician and brewer, born in Salford, Lancashire. Joule studied the nature of heat, and discovered its...  more