Famous American Physicists

Ever wondered how could have one known about the world and its going-ons had it not been for a few curious minds who constantly strove to explain the mysteries of the world and everything else enveloping it? Was there any other way we could have known about gravity or relativity or even radioactivity had it not been for Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein or Marie Curie? All thanks to a physicist's insatiable quest for knowledge and curiosity, today we know and understand the world and its workings better than ever. Not just the erudite, but entire humanity owes its wisdom about natural science to such evolved minds who revolutionized the world with their findings. America has been home to a plethora of physicists who have made colossal contributions to the world of physics. Let us explore the biographies, timelines, trivia and facts of such famous American physicists. All said, get prepared to drop your jaws!

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Richard Feynman

Richard Feynman
6
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: February 15, 1988

Theoretical physicist Richard Feynman won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965, along with Julian Schwinger and Shin'ichirō Tomonaga, for his research on quantum electrodynamics. He also contributed to the development of the atomic bomb. Feyman made it to Physics World’s list of the 10 greatest physicists of all time.

 2 Richard Phillips Feynman

Richard Phillips Feynman
0
Birthdate: May 11, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: February 15, 1988

 3 Michio Kaku

Michio Kaku
8
Famous As: Theoretical physicist, Science writer, Popularizer of science, Futurist, University teacher, Non-fiction writer, Radio personality
Birthdate: January 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 4 John G. Trump

John G. Trump
0
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: August 21, 1907
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: February 21, 1985
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 5 Ashton Carter

Ashton Carter
0
Birthdate: September 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 6 Edward Teller

Edward Teller
0
Birthdate: January 15, 1908
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: September 9, 2003

 7 Kip Thorne

Kip Thorne
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: June 1, 1940
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
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 8 Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair
0
Famous As: Physicist, Astronaut
Birthdate: October 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: January 28, 1986

 9 Vannevar Bush

Vannevar Bush
0
Famous As: Engineer
Birthdate: March 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: June 28, 1974

 10 William Shockley

William Shockley
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 13, 1910
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: August 12, 1989

 11 Edward Witten

Edward Witten
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher, Theoretical physicist
Birthdate: August 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 12 Brian Greene

Brian Greene
0
Famous As: Physicist, Writer, Professor, Author, Actor, Theoretical physicist
Birthdate: February 9, 1963
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 13 Thomas Kuhn

Thomas Kuhn
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 18, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: June 17, 1996

 14 Francis Collins

Francis Collins
0
Famous As: Geneticist
Birthdate: April 14, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 15 Robert H. Goddard

Robert H. Goddard
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: August 10, 1945

 16 John Bardeen

John Bardeen
0
Famous As: Nobel Laureate in Physics
Birthdate: May 23, 1908
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: January 30, 1991

 17 Randall Munroe

Randall Munroe
0
Famous As: Programmer, Comics artist, Writer, Computer scientist, Physicist
Birthdate: October 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 18 J. Robert Oppenheimer

J. Robert Oppenheimer
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: February 18, 1967

Hailed as a brilliant scientific mind, American physicist J Robert Oppenheimer, led the Manhattan Project which resulted in the development of atomic bomb during the World War II. The bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945. However, Oppenheimer was in a constant conflict over the moral issue of the weapons of mass destruction and rallied against nuclear proliferation.

 19 Steven Chu

Steven Chu
0
Famous As: Former United States Secretary of Energy
Birthdate: February 28, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 20 Vera Rubin

Vera Rubin
0
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: July 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: December 25, 2016

 21 Sean M. Carroll

Sean M. Carroll
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1966
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 22 Sally Ride

Sally Ride
7
Famous As: Physicist, Astronaut
Birthdate: May 26, 1951
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: July 23, 2012
Astronaut and physicist Sally Ride was the first American woman and the youngest American astronaut to enter space. Following her death, it was revealed that she had been in a 27-year lesbian relationship with tennis player and professor Tam O'Shaughnessy. Sally herself was a ranked junior tennis player, too.

 23 Alan Sokal

Alan Sokal
0
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: January 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 24 Lawrence M. Krauss

Lawrence M. Krauss
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Famous As: Astronomer, Physicist, Astrophysicist, Academic, Non-fiction writer, University teacher, Theoretical physicist
Birthdate: May 27, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 25 Arthur Compton

Arthur Compton
0
Famous As: Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics
Birthdate: September 10, 1892
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: March 15, 1962

 26 Lisa Randall

Lisa Randall
0
Famous As: Physicist, Writer, University teacher, Theoretical physicist
Birthdate: June 18, 1962
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 27 Michael Foale

Michael Foale
0
Famous As: Astronaut, Astrophysicist, Physicist
Birthdate: January 6, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American

 28 Saul Perlmutter

Saul Perlmutter
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Famous As: Astrophysicist
Birthdate: September 22, 1959
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 29 Arno Allan Penzias

Arno Allan Penzias
0
Famous As: Physicists
Birthdate: April 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 30 Annie Jump Cannon

Annie Jump Cannon
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Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 11, 1863
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American
Died: April 13, 1941

 31 Sheldon Lee Glashow

Sheldon Lee Glashow
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: December 5, 1932
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 32 Jack Steinberger

Jack Steinberger
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: May 25, 1921
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American

 33 Robert Hofstadter

Robert Hofstadter
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 5, 1915
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: November 17, 1990

 34 Gordon Van Wylen

Gordon Van Wylen
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 6, 1920
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: November 5, 2020

 35 Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan
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Famous As: Astronomer, Astrophysicist, Writer
Birthdate: November 9, 1934
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: December 20, 1996
Pulitzer- and Emmy-winning astrophysicist and author Carl Sagan was best known for co-writing the TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. His novel Contact was adapted into a film. He was known for his extensive research on extra-terrestrial life, had taught at major universities, and written countless papers and science books.

 36 Murray Gell-Mann

Murray Gell-Mann
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 15, 1929
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American
Died: May 24, 2019

 37 John Archibald Wheeler

John Archibald Wheeler
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: April 13, 2008

 38 Taylor Wilson

Taylor Wilson
0
Famous As: Nuclear scientist
Birthdate: May 7, 1994
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 39 Steven Weinberg

Steven Weinberg
0
Birthdate: May 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 40 Robert Andrews Millikan

Robert Andrews Millikan
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 22, 1868
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
Died: December 19, 1953

 41 Luis Walter Alvarez

Luis Walter Alvarez
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: June 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: American
Died: September 1, 1988

 42 Hans Bethe

Hans Bethe
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: July 2, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 2005

 43 Leó Szilárd

Leó Szilárd
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 11, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American
Died: May 30, 1964

 44 Eugene Wigner

Eugene Paul
0
Famous As: Physicist & Mathematician
Birthdate: November 17, 1902
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: January 1, 1995

 45 George F. Smoot

George F. Smoot
0
Famous As: Cosmologist
Birthdate: February 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American

 46 David D. Friedman

David D. Friedman
0
Famous As: Economist, Physicist, Blogger, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: February 12, 1945
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

 47 Michael P. Anderson

Michael P. Anderson
0
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Physicist
Birthdate: December 25, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: American
Died: February 1, 2003

 48 John V. Atanasoff

John V. Atanasoff
0
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 4, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: June 15, 1995

 49 Eugene Merle Shoemaker

Eugene Merle Shoemaker
0
Famous As: Geologist
Birthdate: April 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: July 18, 1997

 50 Frank Wilczek

Frank Wilczek
0
Famous As: American theoretical physicist
Birthdate: May 15, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American