Select Page:

Physicist

GermanyChemistPhysicist

Ida Noddack

Ida Noddack, a German chemist and physicist, made groundbreaking contributions to the field of science. She was the first to mention the concept of nuclear fission and, alongside her husband and Otto Berg, discovered element 75, rhenium. Despite being nominated three times for the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Noddack’s achievements were often overlooked. Her critical analysis of scientific discoveries and insights into nuclear fission were instrumental in the development of nuclear energy.

Read More
FranceChemistPhysicist

Irène Joliot-Curie

Irène Joliot-Curie, born in 1897 in Paris, France, was a French chemist, physicist, and politician. Alongside her husband Frédéric Joliot-Curie, she was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of induced radioactivity, following in her parents’ footsteps of winning Nobel Prizes. She also played an influential role in French politics, becoming one of the first women in French history to hold a government position. Tragically, she passed away in 1956 due to acute leukemia, attributed in part to her exposure to polonium and X-rays during her scientific research.

Read More
BelgiumMathematicianPhysicist

Ingrid Daubechies

Baroness Ingrid Daubechies is a Belgian physicist and mathematician known for her work with wavelets in image compression. She has made significant contributions to the field of mathematics, image processing, and art restoration. Her groundbreaking research and expertise in geometric analysis and image processing have shaped the way we compress digital images and authenticate works of art. Daubechies has been recognized with numerous awards and honors for her exceptional contributions to the field, including a MacArthur Fellowship and the Gauss Prize of the International Mathematical Union.

Read More
ChinaEducatorMathematician

Louise Zung-nyi Loh

Louise Zung-nyi Loh, a Chinese mathematician, physicist, and educator, made significant contributions to her fields. Her passion for learning and dedication to her studies led her to become a respected scholar. She served as the chair of the Chinese students’ club at Wellesley College and conducted research on the effect of temperature on the absorption of fluorescein. Throughout her career, she taught mathematics and physics at various institutions in China and the United States and played a crucial role in ensuring the safety of foreign faculty during the Nanjing Massacre. Her legacy as a dedicated educator and philanthropist continues to inspire future generations.

Read More
United StatesAstronautPhysicist

Sally Ride

Sally Kristen Ride was an American astronaut and physicist who paved the way for women in space exploration. She became the first American woman to fly in space and made significant contributions to NASA’s space program. Beyond her extraordinary career, Ride’s personal life also showcased her diversity and the importance of inclusivity in all fields. Her dedication, intelligence, and passion continue to inspire generations to pursue their dreams.

Read More
RussiaPhysicist

Nina Vedeneyeva

Nina Yevgenyevna Vedeneyeva, a renowned physicist, dedicated her life to the study of mineral crystals and their coloration. Her research and inventions made significant contributions to the understanding of mineral crystals and their interaction with light. Additionally, she played a crucial role in the field of optical crystallography. Vedeneyeva’s work earned her prestigious awards, including the Stalin Prize and the Order of Lenin. Her impact on the scientific community and her role as the last partner of poet Sophia Parnok solidify her place in women’s history.

Read More
United KingdomComputer ScientistMathematician

Beryl May Dent

Beryl May Dent, an English mathematical physicist and technical librarian, played a crucial role in the development of early analogue and digital computers. Her groundbreaking research on interatomic forces and data analysis has had a lasting impact on the scientific community. Despite her role as a librarian, Dent continued to contribute to scientific research and made valuable contributions to the field of semiconducting materials. Her achievements in mathematics, physics, and computer science have left an indelible mark on scientific research and engineering.

Read More
United StatesGeologistPhysicist

Maria Zuber

Maria T. Zuber, an American geophysicist, has made significant contributions to the field of planetary sciences. She grew up in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, in a coal mining community which later influenced her career path. Zuber’s passion for science led her to pursue higher education at the University of Pennsylvania and later at Brown University, where she earned her Sc.M. and Ph.D. degrees in geophysics. Throughout her career, Zuber has played a key role in NASA planetary missions and has made groundbreaking advancements in our understanding of the solar system. Her accomplishments have not only established her as a leading figure in geophysics but also as an inspiration for future generations of women in STEM.

Read More
United StatesAstronautPhysicist

Shannon Walker

Shannon Walker (born June 4, 1965) is an American physicist and NASA astronaut. She has made significant contributions to the field of space exploration and has served as an inspiration for women in STEM. Walker’s career has been marked by numerous accomplishments, overcoming challenges, and making a lasting impact on society.

Read More
Great BritainJewishPhysicist

Jess Wade

Jessica Alice Feinmann Wade BEM, a British physicist, is known for her groundbreaking work in Raman spectroscopy and her research on polymer-based organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs). Wade’s passion for science was influenced by her family’s background in medicine. She obtained her Master of Science and Ph.D. in physics from Imperial College London and has published her research findings in esteemed scientific journals. Wade is not only a successful scientist but also an advocate for gender equality in STEM fields. Her dedication has earned her the prestigious British Empire Medal.

Read More
ItalyPhysicist

Laura Bassi

Laura Maria Caterina Bassi Veratti, known as “Minerva” due to her wisdom, was an Italian physicist and academic. She made history as the first woman to hold a doctorate in science and the second woman in the world to earn a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Bassi became the first salaried female teacher in a university and the first female member of any scientific establishment. Her contributions and groundbreaking achievements paved the way for future generations of female scientists.

Read More
FrancePolandPhysicist

Marie Curie

Marie Curie, a pioneering physicist and chemist, was born in Warsaw, Poland, in 1867. Despite facing discrimination as a woman and foreigner, she made groundbreaking discoveries in radioactivity and was the first person, and still the only woman, to win Nobel Prizes in two different scientific fields. She died in 1934 at the age of 66, leaving behind a lasting legacy of scientific achievement and determination.

Read More
AustraliaAstronomerPhysicist

Ruby Payne-Scott

Ruby Violet Payne-Scott was an Australian pioneer in radiophysics and radio astronomy. She made significant contributions to radar technology and radio astronomy, focusing on solar observations. Despite facing gender discrimination and bias, Payne-Scott persevered and continued to make groundbreaking discoveries. Her work has left a lasting impact on society and has inspired countless individuals, particularly women, to pursue careers in STEM fields.

Read More
Great BritainAstronomerAstrophysicist

Carole Jordan

Dame Carole Jordan, DBE, FRS, FRAS, FInstP (born 19 July 1941) is a British physicist, astrophysicist, astronomer, and academic. She is widely recognized for her significant contributions to the field of astrophysics and her pioneering efforts as a woman in a male-dominated field.

Read More
United StatesPhysicist

Hattie Carwell

Hattie Carwell, an American physicist and former scientist with the United States Department of Energy, has had a remarkable career in the field of physics. Her dedication to promoting diversity in STEM fields and her contributions to scientific literature make her an influential figure and an inspiration for aspiring scientists.

Read More
FranceMathematicianPhysicist

Émilie du Châtelet

Gabrielle Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, Marquise du Châtelet, was a French natural philosopher and mathematician. Known for her translation of Isaac Newton’s book and her contributions to physics, she challenged societal norms and advocated for the education and empowerment of women. Her work has had a lasting impact on the intellectual and scientific landscape.

Read More
GermanyUnited StatesPhysicist

Maria Goeppert Mayer

Maria Goeppert Mayer, a German-born American theoretical physicist, made significant contributions to the field of physics and broke barriers for women in science. She is best known for proposing the nuclear shell model of the atomic nucleus, which earned her the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1963. Mayer’s groundbreaking work opened up new possibilities for understanding atomic structure and laid the foundation for modern nuclear physics.

Read More
CanadaEngineerPhysicist

Donna Strickland

Donna Strickland is a Canadian optical physicist known for her pioneering work in pulsed lasers. Her collaboration with Gérard Mourou led to the development of chirped pulse amplification, revolutionizing laser technology and earning them the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2018. Strickland’s work has had far-reaching applications in medical imaging, cancer treatment, and scientific research. She currently holds a professorship at the University of Waterloo and is actively involved in advancing optics and photonics.

Read More
United StatesAfrican AmericanDiver

Hadiyah-Nicole Green

Hadiyah-Nicole Green is an American medical physicist known for her groundbreaking research using laser-activated nanoparticles as a potential cancer treatment. She has not only excelled in her field but has also become a strong advocate for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and increasing diversity in STEM fields. Green’s dedication to her work and commitment to making a difference in the lives of others make her a true trailblazer in women’s history.

Read More
IndiaPhysicist

Sumathi Rao

Sumathi Rao (born 5 December 1956) is an Indian theoretical physicist and professor at Harish-Chandra Research Institute, specializing in condensed matter physics. She has contributed significantly to her field despite facing biases and challenges throughout her career, including undervaluation of her work and accusations of her husband’s involvement in her research. Rao has been actively involved in promoting women in science, particularly in physics, through her work with the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics (IUPAP) and her writings on inspiring young girls to pursue careers in STEM.

Read More
United StatesPhysicist

Laura Greene

Laura H. Greene is the Marie Krafft Professor of Physics at Florida State University, Chief Scientist at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, and a renowned physicist. She is known for her research in condensed matter physics and has received numerous awards for her contributions to the field. Additionally, Greene is a passionate advocate for diversity and equal rights, particularly for women and minorities in STEM.

Read More
United StatesPhysicist

Ximena Cid

Ximena Cid is a Chicana and Indigenous American physicist, who is an advocate for increasing diversity and supporting minority students in STEM and physics. She is the chair of the physics department and an associate professor at California State University Dominguez Hills. She earned a PhD in physics from the University of Texas at Arlington, becoming the first Latina and Indigenous person to do so.

Read More
ColombiaPhysicist

Angela Camacho

Ángela Stella Camacho Beltrán, born on 5 February 1947, is a Colombian physicist and a prominent figure in the field of condensed matter physics. She holds the distinction of being the first Colombian woman to obtain a PhD in physics, paving the way for future generations of women in the field. Throughout her career, Camacho has made significant contributions to the study of solid state physics and low-dimensional physics.

Read More
South KoreaBiologistPhysicist

Kwang Hwa Chung

Kwang Hwa Chung is a South Korean physicist who has made significant contributions to physics and women’s representation in STEM. She has served as the president of the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science and the president of the Institute for Basic Science. Chung’s dedication to gender equality extended beyond advocacy, as she established a daycare center in Daedeok Innopolis to support working women. Her pioneering work and advocacy have left an indelible impact on South Korea’s scientific community.

Read More
United StatesPhysicist

Elda Emma Anderson

Elda Emma Anderson was an American physicist and health researcher who made significant contributions to nuclear physics. Her pioneering work on the Manhattan Project and at Los Alamos National Laboratory played a crucial role in the development of atomic energy. Anderson’s dedication to research and her preparation of the first sample of pure uranium-235 were groundbreaking achievements. Her commitment to scientific inquiry opened doors for future generations of women in physics.

Read More
IrelandPhysicist

Sinéad M. Ryan

Sinéad M. Ryan, an Irish theoretical physicist and professor at Trinity College Dublin, has made significant contributions to the field of theoretical high-energy physics. Her research delves into the interaction between particles in atoms, focusing on topics such as quarks and gluons. With an impressive academic background and a solid reputation in the scientific community, Ryan continues to inspire aspiring physicists globally.

Read More
United StatesEducatorPhysicist

Marcia Keith

Marcia Anna Keith (1859–1950) was a physicist and teacher of physics to women. She played a crucial role in the education of women in physics and introduced individual laboratory work to students. Keith established the physics colloquium at Mount Holyoke and conducted research on the physics of heat transmission in gases at low temperatures. As a charter member of the American Physical Society, Keith was a pioneer in advocating for women in science. Her contributions have had a lasting impact on women’s education in physics.

Read More
AustriaJewishPhysicist

Marietta Blau

Marietta Blau was an Austrian physicist who revolutionized the field of particle physics through her development of photographic nuclear emulsions. Her ingenious technique allowed for accurate imaging and measurement of high-energy nuclear particles, leading to significant advancements in scientific understanding. Despite facing challenges as a displaced scientist during World War II, Blau’s determination and pioneering work continue to inspire female scientists today.

Read More
GermanyUnited StatesPhysicist

Margaret Eliza Maltby

Margaret Eliza Maltby was an American physicist who achieved several notable firsts for women in academia. She was the first woman to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from MIT and the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in physics from a German university. Maltby made significant contributions to the field of physics, particularly in the measurement of high electrolytic resistances and conductivity of very dilute solutions. She was also a passionate advocate for women in physics, using her position to support women pursuing formal education in the field.

Read More
United StatesChemistPhysicist

Katharine Burr Blodgett

Katharine Burr Blodgett was an American physicist and chemist who made significant contributions to the field of surface chemistry. She is best known for her invention of “invisible” or nonreflective glass while working at General Electric. Blodgett was a trailblazer in her field, becoming the first woman to be awarded a PhD in physics from the University of Cambridge in 1926.

Read More
DenmarkChemistPhysicist

Margrete Heiberg Bose

Margrete Elisabeth Heiberg Bose was a remarkable physicist of Danish origin who made significant contributions to the field of science. She was born in Sorø, Denmark in 1865. Bose showed exceptional intellectual abilities from an early age and developed a keen interest in philosophy, mathematics, and chemistry.

Read More
Great BritainEngineerJewish

Hertha Ayrton

Hertha Ayrton, a British engineer, mathematician, physicist, inventor, and suffragette, made significant contributions to various fields. Her passion for learning led her to study mathematics at Cambridge and excel academically. Her inventions and research in electrical engineering gained recognition, and she actively campaigned for women’s rights as a respected scientist.

Read More
IrelandPhysicist

Edith Anne Stoney

Edith Anne Stoney, born in Dublin to a prominent Anglo-Irish scientific family, was a pioneering physicist and the first woman medical physicist. Her work in establishing the physics course and laboratory at the London School of Medicine for Women paved the way for future female medical physicists and challenged gender roles in the scientific and medical fields.

Read More
Saudi ArabiaPhysicist

Ibtesam Badhrees

Ibtesam Saeed Badhrees, a research scientist in experimental particle physics, is recognized for her contributions to the field and for breaking gender barriers as the first Saudi woman at CERN. She has a Bachelor of Science in Physics from King Abdulaziz University and a PhD in Particle Physics from the University of Bern. Her research spans various subfields of physics, and she serves as an adjunct professor at Carleton University. Badhrees has received numerous awards for her outstanding academic achievements and is an inspiration for aspiring scientists, especially women.

Read More
United StatesJewishPhysicist

Mildred Dresselhaus

Mildred Dresselhaus, known as the “Queen of Carbon Science,” made significant contributions to the understanding of carbon and its applications. As a trailblazer for women in science, she had a remarkable career spanning over six decades, inspiring future generations. Her groundbreaking research, leadership, and commitment to diversity continue to shape the scientific community.

Read More
NigeriaArcherPhysicist

Rabia Salihu Sa’id

Rabia Sa’id is a Nigerian physicist and professor known for her contributions to atmospheric and space-weather physics. Her research has improved weather forecasting and space weather monitoring systems. She has also been actively involved in promoting and supporting women in science, co-founding Nigeria’s Association of Women Physicists and mentoring young women through organizations like the Visiola Foundation and Peace Corps. Sa’id has received prestigious fellowships and awards for her work, including the Elsevier Foundation Award for Women Scientists in the Developing World in 2015. She is recognized for her dedication and advocacy for women in science.

Read More
United StatesJewishPhysicist

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow

Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, an American medical physicist, made groundbreaking contributions to the field of medical physics. She developed the radioimmunoassay technique, which led to her receiving the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1977, becoming the second woman and the first American-born woman to receive this prestigious award.

Read More
NigeriaPhysicist

Deborah Ajakaiye

Deborah Enilo Ajakaiye, the first female physics professor in Africa, made significant contributions to geophysics, revolutionizing mining operations in Nigeria. Raised in a household that valued equal education for both genders, Ajakaiye’s passion for mathematics eventually led her to geophysics. Her expertise in geovisualization techniques and the creation of a gravity map of Nigeria have been instrumental in locating mineral deposits and groundwater resources. Ajakaiye’s impact extends beyond her scientific achievements, as she founded a charity organization to empower Nigerian communities. Her brilliance and unwavering commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and women’s empowerment make her an inspiration in women’s history.

Read More
United StatesEducatorPhysicist

Anna Coble

Anna Jane Coble-Mullen was a trailblazing American biophysicist who broke barriers throughout her career. As the first black woman to earn a doctorate in biophysics and be hired at Howard University, she dedicated her life to education and advancing underrepresented groups in the sciences. Coble’s passion for learning and advocacy has left a lasting impact on the field of biophysics and women’s history.

Read More
AustriaJewishPhysicist

Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner, born in 1878 in Vienna, Austria, was a renowned physicist who made significant contributions to the fields of radioactivity and nuclear physics. She is best known for her role in the discovery of the element protactinium and her groundbreaking work on nuclear fission. Despite facing discrimination and persecution as a Jewish woman in Nazi Germany, Meitner’s dedication to scientific pursuits and her resilience continue to inspire generations of aspiring scientists.

Read More
United StatesArcherEducator

Margaret G. Kivelson

Margaret Galland Kivelson, an American space physicist and planetary scientist, has made significant contributions to the field of space physics throughout her career. She is renowned for her research on the magnetospheres of Earth, Jupiter, and Saturn, as well as her exploration of Jupiter’s Galilean moons. With her expertise and dedication, Kivelson has left a lasting impact on the scientific community.

Read More
SwedenPhysicistPolitician

Gulli Petrini

Gulli Charlotta Petrini, born in Stockholm in 1867, was a remarkable Swedish physicist, writer, suffragette, women’s rights activist, and politician. Her progressive father’s influence shaped her early life, encouraging her to pursue education and a career despite societal expectations. Petrini’s groundbreaking achievements in education, suffrage activism, and politics made her a trailblazer for women’s empowerment in Sweden.

Read More
United StatesMathematicianPhysicist

Njema Frazier

Njema Frazier, a prominent figure in the field of nuclear physics, has made significant contributions to scientific advancements and nuclear safety. Her passion for mathematics and science led to a successful career, including working at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. Frazier is also an advocate for diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

Read More
United StatesAfrican AmericanAstronomer

Moogega Cooper

Moogega Cooper (born 1985) is an American astronomer, physicist, and engineer. She is best known for her work in planetary protection and her involvement in the Mars 2020 Mission and the InSight Mission. Dr. Cooper also takes part in programs and speaking engagements to encourage young women and others from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in science and technology.

Died:

Awards:
– NASA Early Career Public Achievement Medal (2018)

Read More
United StatesMathematicianPhysicist

Dorothy McFadden Hoover

Dorothy Estheryne McFadden Hoover was an American physicist and mathematician who made significant contributions to the early days of NASA. As one of the first black women hired at Langley, she became a published physicist and mathematician and was listed as a co-author on NASA research publications. Her work supported the development of America’s first jet fighter, and her legacy continues to inspire and empower individuals today.

Read More
United StatesAfrican AmericanPhysicist

Carolyn Parker

Carolyn Beatrice Parker, a pioneering physicist, made significant contributions to nuclear research. She came from a family that valued education and scientific pursuits, with several of her siblings earning degrees in natural science or mathematics. Parker’s outstanding academic achievements marked the beginning of a remarkable career in scientific research. Despite her untimely passing at the age of 48, Parker’s contributions and trailblazing achievements continue to inspire generations of scientists.

Read More
United StatesAfrican AmericanEngineer

Willie Hobbs Moore

Willie Hobbs Moore (1934-1994) was the first African American woman to earn a PhD in physics. Her groundbreaking achievements in science and engineering, along with her dedication to mentorship and promoting diversity, have left a lasting impact on society.

Read More
United StatesAfrican AmericanPhysicist

Shirley Ann Jackson

Shirley Ann Jackson, a prominent figure in theoretical particle physics, made history as the first African-American woman to earn a doctorate from MIT in any field. Her groundbreaking achievements, commitment to education, and milestone presidency have shaped the landscape of both physics and academia, inspiring generations of aspiring physicists, particularly women and minorities.

Read More
DenmarkPhysicist

Inge Lehmann

Inge Lehmann, a Danish seismologist and geophysicist, revolutionized our understanding of the Earth’s structure with her groundbreaking discoveries. Her analysis of seismic wave measurements revealed the presence of a solid inner core within a molten outer core, challenging previous beliefs. Lehmann’s contributions, along with her longevity and trailblazing role for women in science, continue to inspire and shape the field of seismology.

Read More
United StatesGeologistPhysicist

Marcia McNutt

Marcia Kemper McNutt (born February 19, 1952) is an American geophysicist and the 22nd president of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) of the United States. She has made significant contributions to the field of geophysics and has played a crucial role in shaping environmental policy and promoting science education.

Read More
United KingdomUnited StatesAstronaut

Merritt Moore

Merritt Moore (born February 24, 1988) is an American ballerina and quantum physicist. She studied at both the University of Oxford and Harvard University. Moore works to combine her interests in physics and ballet through her research and dedication in both the arts and sciences.

Moore has a Bachelor’s Degree in Physics from Harvard University and a PhD in Atomic and Laser Physics from the University of Oxford. She has danced professionally for many ballet companies across the world including the English National Ballet and Norwegian National Ballet. Moore has performed in Swan Lake and The Nutcracker among other ballets.

She was featured as one of the contestants on BBC’s ‘Astronauts: Do You Have What It Takes?’ in 2017. Moore has also been recognized as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 and was featured in Glamour Magazine’s Top Ten College Women competition. She has spoken at TEDxOxbridge in 2013 and performed a ballet duet with dance partner Adam Kirkham.

In addition to her achievements in both ballet and physics, Moore started SASters – a group that encourages women to pursue their dreams in the arts and sciences. Currently, she is completing her residency at Harvard University’s ArtLab where her work combines science and dance through the use of robots.

Read More