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Famous Physicists from Germany

Updated June 14, 2019 27.3k views373 items

List of notable or famous physicists from Germany, with bios and photos, including the top physicists born in Germany and even some popular physicists who immigrated to Germany. If you're trying to find out the names of famous German 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 Germany is included when available.

List is made up of people like Albert Einstein and Rudolf Peierls.

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

Use this list of renowned German 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. 
  • 1

    Albert Einstein

    Dec. at 76 (1879-1955)

    BirthplaceEurasia, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, Ulm

    Albert Einstein ( EYEN-styne; German: [ˈalbɛɐ̯t ˈʔaɪnʃtaɪn] (listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the theory of relativity, one of the two...  more

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  • 2

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    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...  more

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  • 3

    Robert Oppenheimer

    Dec. at 63 (1904-1967)

    BirthplaceNew York City, New York

    Julius Robert Oppenheimer (; April 22, 1904 – February 18, 1967) was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Oppenheimer was the wartime...  more

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  • 4

    Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz

    Dec. at 70 (1646-1716)

    BirthplaceLeipzig, Germany

    Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (sometimes spelled Leibnitz) (; German: [ˈɡɔtfʁiːt ˈvɪlhɛlm fɔn ˈlaɪbnɪts] or [ˈlaɪpnɪts]; French: Godefroi Guillaume Leibnitz; 1 July 1646 [O.S. 21 June] – 14...  more

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  • 5

    Heinrich Hertz

    Dec. at 37 (1857-1894)

    BirthplaceHamburg, Germany

    Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (; German: [ˈhaɪ̯nʁɪç ˈhɛɐ̯ts]; 22 February 1857 – 1 January 1894) was a German physicist who first conclusively proved the existence of the electromagnetic waves predicted by...  more
  • 6

    Max Planck

    Dec. at 89 (1858-1947)

    BirthplaceKiel, Germany

    Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, ForMemRS (German: [ˈplaŋk]; English: ; 23 April 1858 – 4 October 1947) was a German theoretical physicist whose discovery of energy quanta won him the Nobel Prize in...  more

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  • 7

    Rudolf Peierls

    Dec. at 88 (1907-1995)

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Sir Rudolf Ernst Peierls, (; German: [ˈpaɪɐls]; 5 June 1907 – 19 September 1995) was a Jewish German-born British physicist who played a major role in the Manhattan Project and Tube Alloys,...  more
  • 8

    Werner Heisenberg

    Dec. at 75 (1901-1976)

    BirthplaceWürzburg, Germany

    Werner Karl Heisenberg (; German: [ˈvɛɐ̯nɐ ˈhaɪzn̩ˌbɛɐ̯k]; 5 December 1901 – 1 February 1976) was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key pioneers of quantum mechanics. He published his...  more
  • 9

    Carl Friedrich Gauss

    Dec. at 78 (1777-1855)

    BirthplaceBraunschweig, Germany

    Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss (; German: Gauß [ˈkaɐ̯l ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈɡaʊs] (listen); Latin: Carolus Fridericus Gauss; (30 April 1777 – 23 February 1855) was a German mathematician and physicist who made...  more
  • 10

    Wernher von Braun

    Age: Died at 65 (1912-1977)

    BirthplaceWyrzysk, Poland

    Wernher Magnus Maximilian Freiherr von Braun (March 23, 1912 – June 16, 1977) was a German and later American aerospace engineer and space architect. He was the leading figure in the development of...  more
  • 11

    Reinhard Furrer

    Dec. at 55 (1940-1995)

    BirthplaceWörgl, Austria

    Prof. Dr. Reinhard Alfred Furrer (25 November 1940 – 9 September 1995) was a German physicist and astronaut. Furrer was born in Wörgl, Ostmark (now Austria). After the end of World War II, his father...  more
  • 12

    Georg Ohm

    Dec. at 65 (1789-1854)

    BirthplaceErlangen, Germany

    Georg Simon Ohm (; German: [ˈɡeːɔɐ̯k ˈʔoːm]; 16 March 1789 – 6 July 1854) was a German physicist and mathematician. As a school teacher, Ohm began his research with the new electrochemical cell,...  more
  • 13

    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld

    Dec. at 81 (1882-1963)

    BirthplaceLviv, Ukraine

    Julius Edgar Lilienfeld (April 18, 1882 – August 28, 1963) was an Austro-Hungarian American physicist and electical engineer, credited with the first patents on the field-effect transistor (FET)...  more
  • 14

    BirthplaceReutlingen, Germany

    Ernst Willi Messerschmid (born 21 May 1945) is a German physicist and former astronaut. Born in Reutlingen, Germany, Messerschmid finished the Technisches Gymnasium in Stuttgart in 1965. After two...  more
  • 15

    Hans Bethe

    Dec. at 99 (1906-2005)

    BirthplaceStrasbourg, France

    Hans Albrecht Bethe (German: [ˈhans ˈalbʁɛçt ˈbeːtə]; July 2, 1906 – March 6, 2005) was a German-American nuclear physicist who made important contributions to astrophysics, quantum electrodynamics...  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceGreiz, Germany

    Dr. Ulf Dietrich Merbold (born June 20, 1941) is the first West German citizen and second German native (after Sigmund Jähn) to have flown in space. He is also the first member of the European Space...  more
  • 17

    BirthplaceÜberlingen, Germany

    Hans Wilhelm Schlegel (Überlingen, 3 August 1951) is a German physicist, a former ESA astronaut, and a veteran of two NASA Space Shuttle missions....  more
  • 18

    BirthplaceHeidenheim an der Brenz, Germany

    Dr. Gerhard Paul Julius Thiele (born September 2, 1953) is a German physicist and a former ESA astronaut....  more
  • 19

    BirthplaceIserlohn, Germany

    Prof. Dr. Ulrich Hans Walter (born February 9, 1954) is a German physicist/engineer and a former DFVLR astronaut. Walter was born in Iserlohn. After finishing secondary school there and two years in...  more
  • 20

    BirthplaceMönchengladbach, Germany

    Reinhold Ewald (born December 18, 1956) is a German physicist and ESA astronaut. ...  more
  • 21

    Benjamin Thompson

    Dec. at 61 (1753-1814)

    BirthplaceWoburn, Massachusetts

    Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford, FRS (German: Reichsgraf von Rumford; March 26, 1753 – August 21, 1814) was an American-born British physicist and inventor whose challenges to established...  more
  • 22

    Wilhelm Röntgen

    Dec. at 78 (1845-1923)

    BirthplaceRemscheid, Germany

    Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen (; German: [ˈvɪlhɛlm ˈʁœntɡən]; 27 March 1845 – 10 February 1923) was a German mechanical engineer and physicist, who, on 8 November 1895, produced and detected electromagnetic...  more
  • 23

    Benedict Friedlaender

    Dec. at 42 (1866-1908)

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Benedict Friedlaender (8 July 1866 – 21 June 1908; first name occasionally spelled Benedikt) was a German Jewish sexologist, sociologist, economist, volcanologist, and physicist. Friedlaender was...  more
  • 24

    Erwin Schrödinger

    Dec. at 74 (1887-1961)

    BirthplaceVienna, Austria

    Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger (UK: , US: ; German: [ˈɛɐ̯viːn ˈʃʁøːdɪŋɐ]; 12 August 1887 – 4 January 1961), sometimes written as Erwin Schrodinger or Erwin Schroedinger, was a Nobel...  more
  • 25

    Klaus Fuchs

    Dec. at 77 (1911-1988)

    BirthplaceRüsselsheim, Germany

    Klaus Emil Julius Fuchs (29 December 1911 – 28 January 1988) was a German theoretical physicist and atomic spy who supplied information from the American, British, and Canadian Manhattan Project to...  more