**Birthdate:**December 28, 1903

**Sun Sign:**Capricorn

**Birthplace:**Budapest, Hungary

**Died:**February 8, 1957

**U.S. Atomic Energy Commission**.

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

Find out more about the greatest Hungarian Scientists, including John von Neumann, Thomas Szasz, László Babai, Michael Polanyi and Albert Szent-Györgyi.

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1

John von Neumann

(Great Mathematician Who Were Equally at Home in Pure and Applied Mathematics)

Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the **U.S. Atomic Energy Commission**.

2

Paul Erdős

(Mathematician)

Hungarian mathematician Paul Erdős spent most of his childhood at home, due to his mother’s overprotectiveness after his sisters died of scarlet fever. Known for his eccentricity, he used his own vocabulary. His contributions include the *Ramsey theory*, and he skipped many university job offers to continue working independently.

3

Katalin Karikó

(mRNA technology in immunology and therapies)

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Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó is best known for her research on mRNA, which led scientists to develop the first mRNA-based vaccine in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After working at the **Biological Research Centre** in Szeged, she moved to the US due to lack of funding.

4

George de Hevesy

(Hungarian Radiochemist Known for His Key Role in the Development of 'Radioactive Tracers')

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**Nobel Prize**-winning Hungarian-Swedish chemist George de Hevesy is best remembered for his research on isotopic tracer techniques to study animal metabolism. He is also credited with co-discovering the element hafnium with physicist Dirk Coster. He fled the** Nazi **regime and moved first to Denmark and then to Sweden.

5

Charles Simonyi

(Astronaut, Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer)

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A **Stanford** PhD, Charles Simonyi initially worked on one of the world’s first computers for **Xerox**. He is best known for developing **Microsoft Office**. Though he launched his own firm, **Intentional Software**, he later sold it to** Microsoft**. Part of the *Forbes Billionaires 2021* list, he also donates extensively to educational charitable causes.

6

Thomas Szasz

(Psychiatrist)

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Hungarian-American psychiatrist Thomas Szasz, who spent most of life teaching at the **State University of New York Health Science Center**, was known for his controversial claim that mental illnesses aren’t illnesses at all. Part of the anti-psychiatry movement, he penned books such as *The Myth of Mental Illness*.

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7

Theodore von Karman

(Mathematician)

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Hungarian-American mathematician Theodore von Karman is best known for his research on aeronautics. Born to a professor father, Karman was a math prodigy in childhood and was pushed into engineering. He was also the first recipient of the** National Medal of Science**. A bachelor for life, he lived with his mother and sister.

8

Albert Szent-Györgyi

(Physiologist)

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.

9

Dennis Gabor

(Father of Holography)

Dennis Gabor was a Hungarian-British physicist and electrical engineer best remembered for inventing holography. His invention earned him the prestigious *Nobel Prize in Physics* in 1971. Gabor won several awards during his lifetime. After his demise, many awards are given in his honor. The *Dennis Gabor Award *and *Gabor Medal* are some of the awards that are named after him.

10

Hermann Oberth

(Physicist)

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Austro-Hungarian-born German physicist and engineer Hermann Oberth is regarded as one of the founding fathers of astronautics and rocketry along with Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Robert Esnault-Pelterie, and Robert Goddard. His classic book *The Rocket into Planetary Space* gained him widespread attention. Oberth garnered a patent for his rocket design and launched his first rocket near Berlin, Germany, on May 7, 1931.

11

George Pólya

(Hungarian Mathematician and Professor of Mathematics at Stanford University)

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Known as the father of problem solving in math, mathematician George Pólya taught at **ETH Zürich** and **Stanford**, and was one of* The Martians* who moved from Hungary to the US. His book *How to Solve It* became widely popular with students of math. Three prizes were later named after him.

12

Imre Lakatos

(Philosopher of Mathematics and Science Who Introduced the Concept of 'Research Program')

Hungarian Jewish philosopher Imre Lakatos is best known for developing the *research programme* as a methodology. During the Nazi invasion of Hungary, he had joined a Marxist resistance group and had even changed his surname to evade persecution, though he lost his mother and grandmother in the Holocaust.

13

Paul Nemenyi

(Physicist)

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Hungarian mathematician Paul Nemenyi is best remembered for his contribution to fluid dynamics through his inverse or semi-inverse approach. The continuum mechanics specialist taught in Berlin and the US. In 2002, an investigation revealed he was the biological father of chess legend Bobby Fischer and not Hans-Gerhardt Fischer.

14

John G. Kemeny

(Mathematician)

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Hungarian-American mathematician and computer scientist John G. Kemeny is remembered for his pathbreaking co-discovery of *BASIC* computer language. Though he and his parents managed to escape the **Nazis** by fleeing to the US, he lost his grandfather to the Holocaust. He also worked on the *Manhattan Project*.

15

Paul Halmos

(Mathematician, Philosopher, Statistician)

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Born in Hungary, Paul Halmos moved to the US with his family at 13. While he initially set out to complete a PhD in philosophy, he later focused on math. One of *The Martians* from Hungary, he is known for his contributions to areas such as logic, probability, and statistics.

16

Raoul Bott

(Hungarian-American Mathematician Best Known for His Bott Periodicity Theorem)

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Hungarian-born mathematician Raoul Bott is best remembered for his significant contribution to differential geometry and topology. He grew up in Czechoslovakia, the US, and Canada, and he also served the **Canadian Army** during World War II. He later taught at **Harvard** and the **University of Michigan**.

17

Peter Lax

(Mathematician, University teacher)

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**Abel Prize**-winning Hungarian-American mathematician Peter Lax is remembered for his pathbreaking research on the* partial differential equation *and its application. He initilly worked for the US’s *Manhattan Project* and then taught at the **New York University **and even became the director of the **Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences**.

18

John Polanyi

(Chemist)

John Charles Polanyi is a Hungarian-Canadian scientist, who won the Noble Prize in Chemistry for his contribution to the dynamics of chemical reaction. He developed a technique called infrared chemiluminescence, which helped him to study the exchange of chemical bonds and detail how the excess energy is removed during chemical reactions.

19

George A. Olah

(Chemist)

**Nobel Prize**-winning Hungarian-American chemist George A. Olah, part of the scientists’ group *The Martians*, is best remembered for his pioneering research on* carbocations*. He moved to Canada during the revolution of 1956, after which he moved to Massachusetts and to Ohio in the U.S., eventually settling in Los Angeles.

20

Loránd Eötvös

(Physicist)

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Remembered for his research on molecular surface tension, physicist Loránd Eötvös also invented the *torsion pendulum*. Born to a famous Hungarian author and minister, Eötvös initially aspired to become a lawyer but later deviated to physics. The **University of Budapest**, where he taught, was later named after him.

21

Franz Nopcsa von Felso-Szilvas

(Geologist, Paleontologist and Albanologist)

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22

Peter Carl Goldmark

(Engineer, Physicist)

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Hungarian-American engineer Peter Carl Goldmark contributed to many pathbreaking inventions, of which the most notable was the commercial color TV and the LP record. Known for his stint with **Columbia Records**, he also developed a scanning system used by the US to relay photos from the Moon to the Earth.

23

Endre Szemerédi

(Hungarian-American Mathematician Famous for His Work in Combinatorics and Theoretical Computer Science)

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**Abel Prize**-winning mathematician and computer scientist Endre Szemerédi initially aspired to be a doctor but later quit his medical studies and took up a factory job. He then switched to math and eventually earned a PhD in the subject, taught at **Rutgers University**, and developed theorems on topics such as arithmetic progression.

24

László Babai

(Mathematician, Computer scientist, University teacher)

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**University of Chicago** professor László Babai is best known for his research on topics such as complexity theory, finite groups, and algorithms. He has authored almost 200 academic papers and has been the editor-in-chief of *Theory of Computing*. His numerous honors include the **Gödel Prize **and the **Hungarian State Prize**.

25

Avram Hershko

(Biochemist, Educationist, University teacher)

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Born to Jewish teacher parents in Hungary, Avram Hershko spent a few years in a concentration camp during World War II. He and his family managed to escape and settled in Israel, where he became a renowned chemist, later winning the **Nobel Prize** for discovering how cells remove unwanted proteins.

26

Frigyes Riesz

(Mathematician)

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Hungarian mathematician Frigyes Riesz is largely regarded as a pioneer of* functional analysis*. He taught at a number of institutes such as the **University of Szeged **and also co-founded the journal **Acta Scientiarum Mathematicarum**. His lectures involved an assistant and a docent, quite unusual for his time.

27

Georg von Békésy

(Hungarian researcher)

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**Nobel Prize**-winning biophysicist Georg von Békésy revolutionized medical science with his discovery of how the cochlea, a part of the inner ear, affects sound reception. His initial research at the **Hungarian Telephone System** gave way to more intense studies at **Harvard** and the **Karolinska Institute**. He later taught at the **University of Hawaii**.

28

Mária Telkes

(Biophysicist)

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29

Richard Adolf Zsigmondy

(Austrian-born Chemist Who Won Nobel Prize in Chemistry for His Research in Colloids)

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Richard Adolf Zsigmondy was an Austrian-born chemist. He is best remembered for winning the 1925 *Nobel Prize in Chemistry* for his research in colloids. Richard Adolf Zsigmondy is also credited with co-inventing the slit-ultramicroscope.

30

Marcel Riesz

(Former Mathematician known for work on summation methods)

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31

Kalman Tihanyi

(Physicist)

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Hungarian physicist and engineer Kalman Tihanyi had initially been part of the **Hungarian Royal Army**. He later made significant contributions to the development of the cathode ray tube with his invention *Radioskop* and was thus a pioneering figure in the development of the electronic TV.

32

Franz Xaver von Zach

(Astronomer)

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33

Johann Andreas Segner

(Hungarian Scientist Known for Developing and Construction of the First Water-Jet)

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Hungarian physicist and mathematician Johann Andreas Segner is largely remembered for introducing the concept of surface tension of liquids. Initially a physician, he later became the **University of Göttingen**’s first professor of math. His inventions include the *Segner wheel*, a form of water turbine resembling the modern-day lawn sprinkler.

34

Imre Bródy

(Hungarian Physicist Who Invented the Krypton Electric Bulb)

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Imre Bródy was a Hungarian physicist best remembered for inventing the krypton electric bulb in 1930. Along with Michael Polanyi, Bródy also developed the technology to produce krypton bulbs. The research institute of Tungsram, a *General Electric* wing, is named after Imre Bródy.

35

Attila Grandpierre

(Musician, Astrophysicist)

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36

John Xantus

(Zoologist, Ornithologist)

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37

Imre Friedmann

(Biologist)

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