Famous Austrian Scientists

Think of Austria and the first thing that strikes the mind is the spectacular natural landscape that engulfs pretty much the entire country. From the incredibly beautiful alpine to the narrow backstreet of Vienna, the enchanting castles and palaces to the bustling nightlife, Austria has something to offer for people of all age groups. But this is not all it when it comes to Austria. The country is as popular for its architectural and natural beauty as it is for its exceptionally gifted citizens. Yes, Austria has been home to some of the most talented individuals of the world who with their extraordinary accomplishments and achievements helped the country stand tall in the world forum. And while talking about the talented nationals of Austria, its scientists and inventors top the list. They have, through their pioneering work in their field of study, made valuable contribution for mankind. Be it Gregor Mendel, father of modern genetics, and his revolutionary work that became instrumental in establishing the field of modern genetics or Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, and his influential work in psychology, Austrians have made their worth count in all aspects of science. Not many know that Austria is home to more than eighteen Nobel Prize winners in Physics, Chemistry and Physiology alone. Check out interesting trivia about the life and works of Austrian scientists.

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

Vote for Your Favourite Austrian Scientists

 1 Erwin Schrödinger

Erwin Schrödinger
8
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: August 12, 1887
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Erdberg, Vienna, Austria
Died: January 4, 1961
Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger, is best known for the "Schrödinger's cat" experiment, or the Schrodinger equation. His book What Is Life? explored genetics through physics. The Nobel Prize winner also wrote on a variety of topics, such as color theory and thermodynamics, and tried to create a unified field theory.

 2 Kurt Gödel

Kurt Gödel
9
Famous As: Logician, Mathematician, Philosopher
Birthdate: April 28, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Brno, Czech Republic
Died: January 14, 1978

Hailed as one of the greatest logicians since Aristotle, Kurt Gödel was Austrian-born American mathematician, logician, and philosopher, who earned international stardom for his incompleteness theorem. Also credited with developing a technique called Gödel numbering, he later started working on Mathematical Platonism, a philosophical theory that failed to attract wide acceptance.

 3 Gregor Mendel

Gregor Mendel
35
Famous As: Meteorologist, Mathematician, Biologist
Birthdate: July 20, 1822
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hynčice, Vražné, Czechia
Died: January 6, 1884

A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.

Recommended Lists:

 4 Ludwig Wittgenstein

Ludwig Wittgenstein
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 26, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 29, 1951

Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is remembered for his works related to logic, the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language. He taught at the University of Cambridge for many years. He published only one book during his lifetime. Most of his manuscripts were collected later and published posthumously.

Recommended Lists:

 5 Wolfgang Pauli

Wolfgang Pauli
5
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: April 25, 1900
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 15, 1958

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian physicist Wolfgang Pauli is remembered for his contribution to quantum physics and for laying down the Pauli principle. While he was initially married to a cabaret dancer, the marriage ended in a divorce after a year. His written works are considered classics in science.

 6 Lise Meitner

Lise Meitner
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: November 7, 1878
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 27, 1968

Lise Meitner was an Austrian-Swedish physicist best remembered for her contributions that led to the discoveries of nuclear fission and the element protactinium. Nicknamed the German Marie Curie by Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner became the second woman in the world to receive a doctorate in physics in 1905. In 1997, chemical element 109 meitnerium was named in her honor.

Recommended Lists:

 7 Ludwig Boltzmann

Ludwig Boltzmann
4
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 20, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: September 5, 1906

Austrian physicist and philosopher, Ludwig Boltzmann, played a key role in the development of statistical mechanics. As a young man, he was appointed a professor of mathematical physics at the University of Graz. He worked extensively with other physicists over the course of his brilliant academic career. He suffered from bipolar disorder and died by suicide in 1906. 

You May Like

 8 Konrad Lorenz

Konrad Lorenz
4
Famous As: Zoologist
Birthdate: November 7, 1903
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 27, 1989

Nobel Prize-winning Austrian zoologist Konrad Lorenz is remembered as a pioneer of ethology. The son of a surgeon father and a physician mother, Lorenz was a qualified physician himself. A university degree awarded to him was rescinded posthumously due to his association with the Nazi party

 9 Edmund Husserl

Edmund Husserl
4
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: April 8, 1859
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Prostějov, Czechia
Died: April 27, 1938

Edmund Husserl was a German philosopher of Moravian origin. He established the school of phenomenology. He studied mathematics, physics, and astronomy at the University of Leipzig and worked as an assistant to mathematician Karl Weierstrass. He later became a professor of philosophy and taught for several years. He is considered a major figure in 20th-century philosophy.  

 10 Ernst Mach

Ernst Mach
5
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 18, 1838
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Brno, Czech Republic
Died: February 19, 1916

Austrian physicist and philosopher Ernst Mach is remembered for his contributions to the study of shock waves. He is also credited for discovering a non-acoustic function of the inner ear that helps control human balance. As a philosopher of science, he is considered a major influence on logical positivism and American pragmatism. 

 11 Hans Selye

Hans Selye
3
Famous As: Endocrinologist
Birthdate: January 26, 1907
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 16, 1982
Born to a doctor father, Hungarian-Canadian endocrinologist Hans Selye grew up to be nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 17 times but never won it. He is remembered for his ground-breaking work the medical impact of stress on the human body, also known as stress response.

 12 Albert Szent-Györgyi

Albert Szent-Györgyi
3
Famous As: Physiologist
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: October 22, 1986

Born in Budapest, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi shot himself in the arm while serving in World War II, so that he could be sent back home, and then studied medicine. While he is remembered for first isolating vitamin C, unknown to many, he was also a skilled pianist.

 13 Christian Doppler

Christian Doppler
3
Famous As: Mathematician & Physicist
Birthdate: November 29, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: March 17, 1853

Christian Doppler was an Austrian physicist and mathematician best remembered for describing a phenomenon which came to be known as the Doppler effect. The color of binary stars was explained by Doppler with the help of the Doppler effect. Christian Doppler's discovery of the Doppler effect is considered an important contribution to physics.

 14 Viktor Schauberger

Viktor Schauberger
3
Famous As: Forester, Inventor, Writer
Birthdate: June 30, 1885
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Schwarzenberg am Böhmerwald
Died: September 25, 1958

Austrian forest caretaker, naturalist, pseudoscientist, biomimicry experimenter, inventor and philosopher, Viktor Schauberger came up with his own concepts based on his observations of nature. He mentioned in the Implosion magazine that the propeller was incorrectly designed by the aeronautical and marine engineers.

 15 Karl von Frisch

Karl von Frisch
3
Famous As: Ethologist
Birthdate: November 20, 1886
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 12, 1982

Nobel Prize-winning ethologist Karl von Frisch is best remembered for his research on communication among bees. He was the first to observe that bees communicate the location of food to other bees by a form of “dance.” He penned down his studies in books such as The Dancing Bees.

 16 Elias Canetti

Elias Canetti
3
Famous As: Former author who received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1981
Birthdate: July 25, 1905
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ruse, Bulgaria
Died: August 14, 1994

Bulgarian-born author and Nobel laureate Elias Canetti interestingly became one of the greatest authors in German, his third language. Though equipped with a doctoral degree in chemistry, he gained fame for his iconic works such as The Tower of Babel and Crowds and Power, which focused on crowd psychology.

 17 Martin Hairer

Martin Hairer
9
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 14, 1975
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Geneva

Austrian-British mathematician and Imperial College London professor Martin Hairer specializes in stochastic analysis and is a master of pure and applied math and theoretical physics. The Fermat Prize and Fields Medal winner also designs an audio editing software for Macintosh and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 18 Paul Ehrenfest

Paul Ehrenfest
3
Famous As: He made major contributions to the field of statistical mechanics and its relations
Birthdate: January 18, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 25, 1933

Paul Ehrenfest was an Austrian-Dutch theoretical physicist. A close associate of Albert Einstein, whom he had met during his visit to Prague in 1912, Ehrenfest frequently hosted Einstein in Leiden where he was serving as a professor. Paul Ehrenfest is best remembered for his work in the field of statistical mechanics.

 19 Ludwig von Bertalanffy

Ludwig von Bertalanffy
3
Famous As: Biologist known as one of the founders of general systems theory
Birthdate: September 19, 1901
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atzgersdorf, Vienna, Austria
Died: June 12, 1972

Austrian-Canadian biologist Ludwig von Bertalanffy is best remembered as one of the pioneers of the general systems theory (GST). While he initially studied philosophy and history, he later switched to biology. It is believed his allegiance to the Nazi Party helped him become a professor at the University of Vienna.

 20 Carl Djerassi

Carl Djerassi
3
Famous As: Contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pills
Birthdate: October 29, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 30, 2015

Known as the father of the pill, Carl Djerassi is best remembered for chemically synthesizing a steroid mimic of the hormone progesterone, which paved the way for the production of contraceptive pills.  That apart, he made important contributions to the synthesis of antihistamines, pest control, mass spectrometry etc. Also a successful author, he wrote several non-fictions, novels, dramas and poems.

 21 Richard von Mises

Richard von Mises
3
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Philosopher, Engineer, University teacher
Birthdate: April 19, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lviv
Died: July 14, 1953

Richard von Mises was an Austrian Jewish scientist and mathematician. He is known for his work on solid mechanics, aerodynamics, aeronautics, fluid mechanics, and probability theory. He was the Gordon McKay Professor of Aerodynamics and Applied Mathematics at Harvard University. He is the one who proposed the now-famous "birthday problem" in probability theory. He was married to mathematician Hilda Geiringer.  

 22 Max Perutz

Max Perutz
3
Famous As: Molecular Biologist
Birthdate: May 19, 1914
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 6, 2002

Molecular biologist Max Perutz won a Nobel Prize for his research on the structure of hemoglobin. While working at Cambridge, he co-founded the Medical Research Council Unit for Molecular Biology. He also studied glaciers and their velocity distribution. He was also made a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 23 Emil Artin

Emil Artin
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 3, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 20, 1962

Considered a pioneer in the field of abstract algebra, Austro-German mathematician Emil Artin reached great heights in academics in spite of losing his father to syphilis at age 8. He's best remembered for his contribution to the class field theory and his theorems and concepts such as the Artin rings.

 24 Karl Terzaghi

Karl Terzaghi
3
Famous As: Mechanical engineer
Birthdate: October 2, 1883
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Prague, Czechia
Died: October 25, 1963

The pioneer of soil mechanics, Karl Terzaghi was the son of an army lieutenant-colonel and studied in a military boarding school, where he developed his passion for geography. He eventually graduated as a mechanical engineer. He later also taught at MIT and penned iconic works such as Erdbaumechanik.

 25 Fred Singer

Fred Singer
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 27, 1924
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 6, 2020

Austrian-American physicist and University of Virginia environmental sciences professor Fred Singer was one of the first to deny the harmful effects of global warming and second-hand smoking. He co-authored books such as Climate Change Reconsidered and pioneered numerous studies on space research and atmospheric physics. He also established the SEPP.

 26 Walter Kohn

Walter Kohn
3
Famous As: Physicist and Chemist
Birthdate: March 9, 1923
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 19, 2016

Walter Kohn was an Austrian-American theoretical physicist and theoretical chemist. He and fellow theoretical chemist John Pople were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1998. Kohn made a major contribution to the development of density functional theory. He had an illustrious academic career and was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

 27 Oskar Morgenstern

Oskar Morgenstern
3
Famous As: Economist
Birthdate: January 24, 1902
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Görlitz, Germany
Died: July 26, 1977

Born in Germany, Oskar Morgenstern was believed to be a descendant of Emperor Frederick III. He began his academic career as a professor at the University of Vienna and later joined Princeton. A game theory and mathematical economics specialist, he co-wrote Theory of Games and Economic Behavior with John von Neumann.

 28 Martin Karplus

Martin Karplus
3
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: March 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 29 Anton Zeilinger

Anton Zeilinger
3
Famous As: Physicist, Quantum physicist, Academic, University teacher, Non-fiction writer
Birthdate: May 20, 1945
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ried im Innkreis

Anton Zeilinger, a noted Austrian quantum physicist who mostly researches in the area of fundamental aspects and applications of quantum entanglement, was conferred with the Inaugural Isaac Newton Medal by the Institute of Physics for his significant contributions in the field. He presently serves as Senior Scientist at the IQOQI and as professor of physics at the University of Vienna.

 30 Thomas Gold

Thomas Gold
3
Famous As: Professor
Birthdate: May 22, 1920
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 22, 2004

Austrian-born astrophysicist Thomas Gold is best-remembered for proposing the steady state theory of the universe and for his deep gas hypothesis through which he re-defined the abiogenic hypothesis and made it popular in the West. He served as professor of astronomy at Cornell University and remained a member of National Academy of Sciences and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 31 Heinz von Foerster

Heinz von Foerster
2
Famous As: Scientist, Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: November 13, 1911
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: October 2, 2002

 32 Walter Munk

Walter Munk
2
Famous As: Oceanographer
Birthdate: October 19, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 8, 2019

 33 Victor Weisskopf

Victor Weisskopf
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: September 19, 1908
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 22, 2002

 34 Hans Hass

Hans Hass
2
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: January 23, 1919
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: June 16, 2013

 35 Eduard Suess

Eduard Suess
2
Famous As: Paleontologist, Politician, University teacher, Scientist, Geologist
Birthdate: August 20, 1831
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
Died: April 26, 1914

 36 Paul Kammerer

Paul Kammerer
2
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: August 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 23, 1926

 37 Hermann Bondi

Hermann Bondi
2
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: November 1, 1919
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 10, 2005
Austrian-British mathematician and cosmologist Hermann Bondi is best remembered for his steady-state model, co-developed with Fred Hoyle and Thomas Gold. Born to a physician, Bondi showed an early interest in math and was encouraged to follow it by mathematician Abraham Fraenkel, a relative. Bondi also taught at his alma, Cambridge.

 38 Josef Stefan

Josef Stefan
2
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: March 24, 1835
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria
Died: January 7, 1893

Best known for originating the Stefan-Boltzmann law, Josef Stefan was an Austrian physicist, who published nearly eighty scientific papers in his life time. Starting his career as a lecturer in mathematical physics at University of Vienna, he rose to become director of Physical Institute, meanwhile empirically deriving the Stefan-Boltzmann law, thus paving the way for further work on blackbody radiation.

 39 Carl Auer, Freiherr von Welsbach

Carl Auer, Freiherr von Welsbach
2
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: September 1, 1858
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: August 4, 1929

 40 Georg Joachim Rheticus

Georg Joachim Rheticus
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 16, 1514
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Feldkirch, Austria
Died: December 4, 1574

Having lost his doctor father to an execution after he was charged with stealing from his patients, Georg Joachim Rheticus ditched his paternal surname. The Austrian-born mathematician is best remembered for his tables of trigonometric functions. He was also one of the first to propagate the Copernican heliocentric theory.

 41 Ludwig von Köchel

Ludwig von Köchel
2
Famous As: Austrian musician
Birthdate: January 14, 1800
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Krems an der Donau, Austria
Died: June 3, 1877

Austrian musicologist, composer, writer, botanist and publisher Ludwig von Köchel is best-known for creating the Köchel catalogue, a chronological and thematic register of works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Köchel also arranged works of Mozart into 24 categories and Breitkopf & Härtel used this while publishing the first complete edition of Mozart's works titled Alte Mozart-Ausgabe.

 42 Erich von Tschermak

Erich von Tschermak
1
Famous As: Agronomist
Birthdate: November 15, 1871
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 11, 1962

Austrian botanist and agronomist Erich von Tschermak is remembered for his research on seed breeding and his illustrious teaching career at the Academy of Agriculture. He studied the garden pea extensively and developed disease-resistant variants of wheat and oats. He was also part of the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture.

 43 Richard Adolf Zsigmondy

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy
2
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 1, 1865
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 23, 1929

 44 Gottlieb Haberlandt

Gottlieb Haberlandt
1
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: November 28, 1854
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Ungarisch-Alternburg, Hungary
Died: January 30, 1945

 45 Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti

Josephus Nicolaus Laurenti
1
Famous As: Zoologist, Herpetologist
Birthdate: December 4, 1735
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 17, 1805

 46 Fritz Pregl

Fritz Pregl
1
Famous As: Chemist, Physician known for Microelemental analysis
Birthdate: September 3, 1869
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Died: December 13, 1930

 47 Clemens von Pirquet

Clemens von Pirquet
1
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: May 12, 1874
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 28, 1929

 48 Herman Francis Mark

Herman Francis Mark
1
Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: May 3, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 6, 1992

 49 Joseph Loschmidt

Joseph Loschmidt
1
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 15, 1821
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Austrian Empire
Died: July 8, 1895

 50 Angelika Amon

Angelika Amon
1
Famous As: Molecular biologist
Birthdate: January 10, 1967
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 29, 2020