american people Famous Physicists from the United States

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

This list below has everything from Albert Einstein to Alexander Graham Bell.

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

Use this list of renowned American 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. (935 items)

1
Albert Einstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Albert Einstein Died at 76 (1879-1955) Albert Einstein was a German-born theoretical physicist. Einstein's work is also known for its influence on the philosophy of science. He developed the general theory of relativity, one of the ...more

2
Nikola Tesla is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Nikola Tesla Died at 87 (1856-1943) Nikola Tesla was a Serbian American inventor, electrical engineer, mechanical engineer, physicist, and futurist best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current ...more

3
Alexander Graham Bell is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Alexander Graham Bell Died at 75 (1847-1922) Alexander Graham Bell was an eminent Scottish-born scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone. Bell's father, grandfather, and ...more

4
Carl Sagan is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Carl Sagan Died at 62 (1934-1996) Carl Sagan appeared in the 2012 documentary film Beyond Expression Bright.

5
Sally Ride is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Sally Ride Died at 61 (1951-2012) 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 ...more

6
William Shockley is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
William Shockley Died at 79 (1910-1989) William Bradford Shockley Jr. was an American physicist and inventor. Shockley was the manager of a research group that included John Bardeen and Walter Houser Brattain, the duo who invented the ...more

7
Robert Oppenheimer is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Robert Oppenheimer Died at 63 (1904-1967) Julius Robert Oppenheimer was an American theoretical physicist and professor of physics at the University of California, Berkeley. He is among the persons who are often called the "father ...more

8
Enrico Fermi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Enrico Fermi Died at 53 (1901-1954) Enrico Fermi was an Italian physicist, best known for his work on Chicago Pile-1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical ...more

9
George Carruthers is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
George Carruthers age 78 George Robert Carruthers is an African-American inventor, physicist, and space scientist. He has lived most of his life in Washington, DC.

10
Linus Pauling is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Linus Pauling Died at 93 (1901-1994) Linus Carl Pauling was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists ...more

11
Ronald McNair is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Ronald McNair Died at 36 (1950-1986) Ronald Ervin McNair, Ph.D. was a physicist and NASA astronaut. McNair died during the launch of the Space Shuttle Challenger on mission STS-51-L.

12
Edward Teller is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Edward Teller Died at 95 (1908-2003) Edward Teller was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist who, although he claimed he did not care for the title, is known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb". He ...more

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13
Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin Died at 77 (1858-1935) Mihajlo Idvorski Pupin, Ph.D., LL.D., also known as Michael I. Pupin, was a Serbian American physicist and physical chemist. Pupin is best known for his numerous patents, including a means of ...more

14
Franklin Chang Díaz is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Franklin Chang Díaz age 68 Franklin Ramón Chang Díaz, Ph.D. is a Costa Rican-American mechanical engineer, physicist and former NASA astronaut. Dr. Chang Díaz became an American citizen in 1977. He is ...more

15
John Hagelin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
John Hagelin age 63 John Samuel Hagelin is an American particle physicist, three-time candidate of the Natural Law Party for President of the United States, and director of the Transcendental Meditation movement ...more

16
Nick Holonyak is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Nick Holonyak age 89 Nick Holonyak, Jr. is an American engineer and educator. He is noted particularly for his 1962 invention of a light-emitting diode that emitted visible red light instead of infrared light; ...more

17
Brian Greene is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Brian Greene age 55 Brian Randolph Greene is an American theoretical physicist and string theorist. He has been a professor at Columbia University since 1996 and chairman of the World Science Festival since ...more

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18
Chester Carlson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Chester Carlson Died at 62 (1906-1968) Chester Floyd Carlson was an American physicist, inventor, and patent attorney born in Seattle, Washington. He is best known for having invented the process of electrophotography, which produced ...more

19
Wernher von Braun is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Wernher von Braun Died at 65 (1912-1977) Wernher Magnus Maximilian, Freiherr von Braun was a German and later American aerospace engineer and space architect, but made his greatest contributions as an aerospace program manager. He was ...more

20
Michio Kaku is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Michio Kaku age 71 Michio Kaku is an American futurist, theoretical physicist and popularizer of science. Dr. Kaku is a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the City College of New York. He has written several ...more

21
James H. Newman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
James H. Newman age 61 James Hansen Newman is an American physicist and a former NASA astronaut who flew on four Space Shuttle missions.

22
Richard Feynman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Richard Feynman Died at 70 (1918-1988) Richard Phillips Feynman, ForMemRS was an American theoretical physicist known for his work in the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics, the theory of quantum electrodynamics, and the ...more

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23
Robert Noyce is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Robert Noyce Died at 63 (1927-1990) Robert Norton Noyce, nicknamed "the Mayor of Silicon Valley," co-founded Fairchild Semiconductor in 1957 and Intel Corporation in 1968. He is also credited with the realization of the ...more

24
Robert H. Goddard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Robert H. Goddard Died at 63 (1882-1945) Robert Hutchings Goddard was an American engineer, professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited with creating and building the world's first liquid-fueled rocket, which he successfully ...more

25
James D. Watson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
James D. Watson age 90 James Dewey Watson is an American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist, best known as one of the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953 with Francis Crick. Watson, Crick, and ...more

26
Carl David Anderson is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Carl David Anderson Died at 86 (1905-1991) Carl David Anderson was an American physicist. He is best known for his discovery of the positron in 1932, an achievement for which he received the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics, and of the muon ...more

27
John Bardeen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
John Bardeen Died at 83 (1908-1991) John Bardeen was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the ...more

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David Bohm is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
David Bohm Died at 75 (1917-1992) David Joseph Bohm FRS was an American scientist who has been described as one of the most significant theoretical physicists of the 20th century and who contributed innovative and unorthodox ...more

29
Samuel Pierpont Langley is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Samuel Pierpont Langley Died at 72 (1834-1906) Samuel Pierpont Langley was an American astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and pioneer of aviation. He attended Boston Latin School, graduated from English High School of Boston, ...more

30
Steven Chu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Steven Chu age 70 Steven Chu is an American physicist who served as the 12th United States Secretary of Energy from 2009 to 2013. Chu is known for his research at Bell Labs in cooling and trapping of atoms with ...more

31
Edward Witten is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Edward Witten age 66 Edward Witten is an American theoretical physicist and professor of mathematical physics at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Witten is a researcher in string theory, ...more

32
George Nelson is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
George Nelson age 67 George Driver "Pinky" Nelson, Ph.D. is an American physicist, astronomer, science educator, and a former NASA astronaut.

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33
Tracy Caldwell Dyson is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Tracy Caldwell Dyson age 48 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 ...more

34
James Harris Simons is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
James Harris Simons age 80 James Harris "Jim" Simons is an American mathematician, hedge fund manager, and philanthropist. He is a code breaker and studies pattern recognition. Simons taught mathematics at Stony ...more

35
Robert Andrews Millikan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Robert Andrews Millikan Died at 85 (1868-1953) Robert A. Millikan was an American experimental physicist honored with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1923 for his measurement of the elementary electronic charge and for his work on the ...more

36
Shannon Walker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Shannon Walker age 52 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 ...more

37
Lawrence M. Krauss is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Lawrence M. Krauss age 63 Lawrence Krauss is a screenwriter and film producer.

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38
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Died at 81 (1882-1963) Julius Edgar Lilienfeld was an Austro-Hungarian-born American Physicist and Electronic Engineer. He was born to a Jewish family in Lemberg Austria-Hungary and moved to the United States in the ...more

39
Walter Houser Brattain is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Walter Houser Brattain Died at 85 (1902-1987) Walter Houser Brattain was an American physicist at Bell Labs who, along with John Bardeen and William Shockley, invented the transistor. They shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for their ...more

40
Robert S. Mulliken is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Robert S. Mulliken Died at 90 (1896-1986) Robert Sanderson Mulliken ForMemRS was an American physicist and chemist, primarily responsible for the early development of molecular orbital theory, i.e. the elaboration of the molecular ...more

41
Joseph P. Allen is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Joseph P. Allen age 80 Joseph Percival "Joe" Allen IV, Ph.D. is a former NASA astronaut. He logged more than 3,000 hours flying time in jet aircraft. Allen is married to the former Bonnie Jo Darling of ...more

42
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar Died at 85 (1910-1995) Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, FRS, was an Indian American astrophysicist born in Lahore, Punjab. Chandrasekhar was awarded, along with William A. Fowler, the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics, with ...more

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43
Stanley G. Love is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Stanley G. Love age 52 Dr. Stanley G. Love, Ph.D. is an American scientist and a NASA astronaut.

44
Hans Bethe is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Hans Bethe Died at 99 (1906-2005) Hans Albrecht Bethe was a German and American nuclear physicist who, in addition to making important contributions to astrophysics, quantum electrodynamics and solid-state physics, won the 1967 ...more

45
Ted Taylor is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Ted Taylor Died at 79 (1925-2004) Theodore Brewster Taylor was a Mexican-born, American theoretical physicist and prominent nuclear weapon designer who later in life became a nuclear disarmament advocate.

46
Francis Robbins Upton is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Francis Robbins Upton Died at 69 (1852-1921) Francis Robbins Upton was an American physicist and mathematician.

47
Egon Orowan is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Egon Orowan Died at 87 (1902-1989) Egon Orowan FRS was a Hungarian/British/U.S. physicist and metallurgist.

48
Harvey Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Harvey Fletcher Died at 97 (1884-1981) Harvey Fletcher was an American physicist. Known as the "father of stereophonic sound". He is credited with the invention of the audiometer and the first electronic hearing aid. He is ...more

49
Eric Lerner is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
Eric Lerner age 71 Eric J. Lerner is an American popular science writer, independent plasma researcher, and president of Lawrenceville Plasma Physics, Inc. He wrote the 1991 book The Big Bang Never Happened, which ...more

50
John von Neumann is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Physicists from the United States
John von Neumann Died at 54 (1903-1957) John von Neumann was a Hungarian and later American pure and applied mathematician, physicist, inventor, polymath, and polyglot. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including ...more