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Famous Scientists from Germany

Updated June 14, 2019 49.5k views301 items

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

This list below has a variety of people, like Albert Einstein and Rudolf Peierls, in it.

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

Use this list of renowned German scientists to discover some new scientists 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)

    BirthplaceUlm, Germany

    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

    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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  • 6

    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
  • 7

    Johannes Kepler

    Dec. at 59 (1571-1630)

    BirthplaceWeil der Stadt, Germany

    Johannes Kepler (; German: [joˈhanəs ˈkɛplɐ, -nɛs -]; December 27, 1571 – November 15, 1630) was a German astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer. He is a key figure in the 17th-century scientific...  more
  • 8

    Charles Proteus Steinmetz

    Dec. at 58 (1865-1923)

    BirthplaceWrocław, Poland

    Charles Proteus Steinmetz (born Karl August Rudolph Steinmetz, April 9, 1865 – October 26, 1923) was a German-born American mathematician and electrical engineer and professor at Union College. He...  more
  • 9

    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
  • 10

    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
  • 11

    Wernher von Braun

    Dec. 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

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  • 12

    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
  • 13

    Herbert Simon

    Dec. at 85 (1916-2001)

    BirthplaceMilwaukee, Wisconsin

    Herbert Simon may refer to: Herbert A. Simon (1916–2001), American political scientist and economist Herbert Simon (real estate) (born 1934), American real estate developer...  more
  • 14

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    John Charles Polanyi, (born 23 January 1929) is a Hungarian-Canadian chemist who won the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, for his research in chemical kinetics. Polanyi was born in Berlin, Germany...  more
  • 15

    Lillian Moller Gilbreth

    Dec. at 94 (1878-1972)

    BirthplaceOakland, California

    Lillian Evelyn Moller Gilbreth (May 24, 1878 – January 2, 1972) was an American psychologist, industrial engineer, consultant, and educator who was an early pioneer in applying psychology to...  more
  • 16

    Hugo Münsterberg

    Dec. at 53 (1863-1916)

    BirthplaceEurope, Poland, Gdańsk, Central Europe, Pomeranian Voivodeship

    Hugo Münsterberg (; June 1, 1863 – December 16, 1916) was a German-American psychologist. He was one of the pioneers in applied psychology, extending his research and theories to...  more
  • 17

    David Rittenhouse

    Dec. at 64 (1732-1796)

    BirthplacePaper Mill Run, Pennsylvania

    David Rittenhouse (April 8, 1732 – June 26, 1796) was an American astronomer, inventor, clockmaker, mathematician, surveyor, scientific instrument craftsman, and public official. Rittenhouse was a...  more
  • 18

    Alexander von Humboldt

    Dec. at 90 (1769-1859)

    BirthplaceBerlin, Germany

    Friedrich Wilhelm Heinrich Alexander von Humboldt (, also US: , UK: , German: [ʔalɛkˈsandɐ fɔn ˈhʊmbɔlt] (listen); 14 September 1769 – 6 May 1859) was a Prussian polymath, geographer, naturalist,...  more
  • 19

    George de Hevesy

    Dec. at 81 (1885-1966)

    BirthplaceBudapest, Hungary

    George Charles de Hevesy (German: Georg Karl von Hevesy; 1 August 1885 – 5 July 1966) was a Hungarian radiochemist and Nobel Prize in Chemistry laureate, recognized in 1943 for his key role in the...  more
  • 20

    Erna Schneider Hoover

    Age: 94

    BirthplaceIrvington, New Jersey

    Dr. Erna Schneider Hoover (born June 19, 1926) is an American mathematician notable for inventing a computerized telephone switching method which "revolutionized modern communication" according to...  more
  • 21

    Leo Strauss

    Dec. at 74 (1899-1973)

    BirthplaceKirchhain, Germany

    Leo Strauss (; German: [ˈleːo ˈʃtʁaʊs]; September 20, 1899 – October 18, 1973) was a German-American political philosopher and classicist who specialized in classical political philosophy. Born in...  more
  • 22

    BirthplaceStuttgart, Germany

    Gerhard Ertl (born 10 October 1936) is a German physicist and a Professor emeritus at the Department of Physical Chemistry, Fritz-Haber-Institut der Max-Planck-Gesellschaft in Berlin, Germany. Ertl's...  more
  • 23

    Marie-Louise von Franz

    Dec. at 83 (1915-1998)

    BirthplaceMunich, Germany

    Marie-Louise von Franz (4 January 1915 – 17 February 1998) was a Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar, renowned for her psychological interpretations of fairy tales and of alchemical manuscripts....  more
  • 24

    Edward Sapir

    Dec. at 55 (1884-1939)

    BirthplaceLębork, Poland

    Edward Sapir (; January 26, 1884 – February 4, 1939) was an American anthropologist-linguist, who is widely considered to be one of the most important figures in the early development of the...  more
  • 25

    Fritz Haber

    Dec. at 66 (1868-1934)

    BirthplaceWrocław, Poland

    Fritz Haber (German: [ˈhaːbɐ]; 9 December 1868 – 29 January 1934) was a German chemist who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1918 for his invention of the Haber–Bosch process, a method used in...  more