Famous Norwegian 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 Norwegian Scientists

 1 
Fridtjof Nansen
(Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the First High Commissioner for Refugees Appointed by the League of Nations)

Fridtjof Nansen
6
Birthdate: October 10, 1861
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: May 13, 1930

Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian polymath who won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his post-war efforts after the First World War. A well-known explorer, humanitarian, and diplomat, Nansen achieved international fame for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during his Fram expedition. His techniques and innovations influenced a generation of succeeding Antarctic and Arctic expeditions.

 2 
Niels Henrik Abel
(Mathematician)

Niels Henrik Abel
3
Birthdate: August 5, 1802
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Finnøy
Died: April 6, 1829

Born to a pastor, Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel first showcased his mathematical skills in his cathedral school and later became a pioneer of various mathematical concepts. He died of tuberculosis, amid poverty, before he could learn that he had been appointed to teach at the University of Berlin.

 3 
Johan Galtung
(Writer, Sociologist)

Johan Galtung
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1930
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway

Johan Galtung is a Norwegian sociologist best known as the founder of a social science field called peace and conflict studies. He is also credited with founding the Peace Research Institute Oslo where he served as the director from 1959 to 1970. Renowned for his contribution to political science, economics, and history, Galtung won the Right Livelihood Award in 1987.

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 4 
Ivar Giaever
(Physicist)

Ivar Giaever
4
Birthdate: April 5, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Bergen, Norway

Ivar Giaever is a Norwegian-American physicist and engineer whose discovery of the tunnelling phenomena in solids earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physics in 1973. Over the course of his illustrious career, Ivar Giaever has also received several other awards, such as the Oliver E. Buckley Prize, Golden Plate Award, and Zworykin Award. 

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 5 
May-Britt Moser
(Psychologist)

May-Britt Moser
6
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Fosnavåg, Norway

May-Britt Moser is a Norwegian neuroscientist and psychologist. She also serves as a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2014 for her work pertaining to the grid cells in the brain's entorhinal cortex. She shared the award with her then-husband, Edvard Moser.

 6 
Sophus Lie
(Created the Theory of Continuous Symmetry and Applied It to the Study of Geometry and Differential Equations)

Sophus Lie
4
Birthdate: December 17, 1842
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nordfjordeid, Norway
Died: February 18, 1899

Sophus Lie was a Norwegian mathematician best remembered for creating the theory of continuous symmetry, which was then applied to different mathematical fields like differential equations and geometry. During his lifetime, Lie advised many doctoral students and future mathematicians like Élie Cartan. Sophus Lie’s work on group theory was used by Hermann Weyl in his papers in the early 1920s. 

 7 
Lars Onsager
(Physicist, Engineer, Professor, Chemist, Theoretical physicist)

Lars Onsager
4
Birthdate: November 27, 1903
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Oslo
Died: October 5, 1976

Lars Onsager was a Norwegian-born American theoretical physicist and physical chemist. He is best remembered for his research at the Brown University which produced the Onsager reciprocal relations. This set of equations which he first published in 1929 earned Lars Onsager the 1968 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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 8 
Edvard Moser
(Norwegian Neuroscientist and Co-Discoverer of 'Grid Cells' in the Brain & the Identification of their Function)

Edvard Moser
3
Birthdate: April 27, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Alesund, Norway

Edvard Moser is a Norwegian neuroscientist best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2014 for his work pertaining to the grid cells in the brain's entorhinal cortex. He shared the prize with his then-wife May-Britt Moser, with whom he also founded the Moser research environment. Edvard Moser also serves as a professor at prestigious institutions.

 9 
Kristen Nygaard
(Computer Scientist)

Kristen Nygaard
3
Birthdate: August 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: August 10, 2002

Kristen Nygaard was a Norwegian programming language pioneer, computer scientist, and politician. He is remembered for co-inventing Object-oriented programming (OOP), a programming paradigm currently taught at engineering colleges of many countries including India. In 2001, he received the A.M. Turing Award for co-inventing the programming language Simula. Kristen Nygaard and Ole-Johan Dahl were the first winners of the Rosing Prize.

 10 
Jon Lech Johansen
(Cryptographer, Programmer, Computer scientist)

Jon Lech Johansen
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Harstad

Jon Lech Johansen is a Norwegian programmer best known for his work on reverse engineering data formats. He is credited with writing the DeCSS software, a free computer program which has the ability to decrypt content on a DVD video disc. A self-trained software engineer, Jon Lech Johansen was honored with the EFF Pioneer Award in April 2002. 

 11 

Victor Moritz Goldschmidt
2
Birthdate: January 27, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: March 20, 1947

Victor Moritz Goldschmidt was a Norwegian mineralogist. He is credited with co-founding crystal chemistry and modern geochemistry along with Vladimir Vernadsky. He is also credited with developing the Goldschmidt Classification of elements. The Geochemical Society has established the V. M. Goldschmidt Medal in his honor, which is awarded annually.

 12 
Ole-Johan Dahl
(Computer Scientist)

Ole-Johan Dahl
2
Birthdate: October 12, 1931
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Mandal Municipality, Norway
Died: June 29, 2002

Ole-Johan Dahl was a Norwegian computer scientist, considered to be one of the fathers of Simula and object-oriented programming. He was a professor of computer science at the University of Oslo. He and his close collaborator Kristen Nygaard received the Turing Award for their work in 2001. Dahl also authored several iconic software books. 

 13 
Vilhelm Bjerknes
(Physicist)

Vilhelm Bjerknes
2
Birthdate: March 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: April 9, 1951

Vilhelm Bjerknes was a Norwegian meteorologist and physicist who is counted among the pioneers of the present-day practice of weather forecasting. The primitive equations, which are used today in numerical climate modeling and weather prediction, were formulated by him. Vilhelm Bjerknes also developed the Bergen School of Meteorology, which played a major role in advancing meteorology in the early-20th century.

 14 
Atle Selberg
(Mathematician, University teacher)

Atle Selberg
2
Birthdate: June 14, 1917
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Langesund
Died: August 6, 2007

Atle Selberg was a Norwegian mathematician best remembered for his work on the theory of automorphic forms and analytic number theory. In 1950, he was honored with the prestigious Fields Medal. In 2002, Atle Selberg was awarded an honorary Abel Prize for his contribution to mathematics, especially spectral theory.

 15 
Jacob Bjerknes
(Meteorologist)

Jacob Bjerknes
1
Birthdate: November 2, 1897
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: July 7, 1975

Jacob Bjerknes was a Norwegian American meteorologist known for his works on the dynamics of the polar front and the mechanism for north-south heat transport. He was the son of meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes. Jacob Bjerknes began his career working under his father and later pursued an academic career. He was a recipient of the Royal Meteorological Society’s Symons Gold Medal. 

 16 
Odd Hassel
(Chemist)

Odd Hassel
1
Birthdate: May 17, 1897
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kristiania, Norway
Died: May 11, 1981

Odd Hassel was a Norwegian physical chemist best remembered for his work that proved that the molecules were three dimensional in nature instead of two, which was the common belief at that time. His discovery earned him the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Odd Hassel was also honored with the Guldberg-Waage Medal by the Norwegian Chemical Society in 1964.

 17 
Carl Størmer
(Geophysicist and mathematician)

Carl Størmer
1
Birthdate: September 3, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Skien, Norway
Died: August 13, 1957

Carl Størmer was a Norwegian astrophysicist and mathematician. In physics, Størmer is best known for studying the formation of aurorae and the movement of negatively and positively charged particles in the magnetosphere. As a mathematician, Carl Størmer is renowned for his research in number theory. He also served for many years as a professor at the University of Oslo.

 18 
Harald Sverdrup
(Oceanographer)

Harald Sverdrup
1
Birthdate: November 15, 1888
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sogndal Municipality, Norway
Died: August 21, 1957

Harald Sverdrup was a Norwegian oceanographer and meteorologist who served as president of the International Association of Physical Oceanography. He was also director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He was the author of many books, including his magnum opus The Oceans: Their Physics, Chemistry, and General Biology. He was a recipient of the William Bowie Medal. 

 19 
Henrik Steffens
(Philosopher)

Henrik Steffens
1
Birthdate: May 2, 1773
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stavanger, Norway
Died: February 13, 1845

Born in the then-Dano-Norwegian city of Stavanger, Henrik Steffens grew up to be a fine philosopher. Initially a lecturer in the universities of Kiel and Jena, he later brought German romanticism to Denmark. He also taught mineralogy and physics and combined science and metaphysics. He also supported German nationalism.

 20 

Cato Maximilian Guldberg
1
Birthdate: August 11, 1836
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: January 14, 1902

Cato Maximilian Guldberg was a Norwegian mathematician and chemist considered to be a pioneer in physical chemistry. He studied mathematics and physics at the University of Christiania. He furthered his studies in Germany and pursued a successful academic career. He originated the idea of what became known as the Guldberg rule in physical chemistry. 

 21 
Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
(Neuroscientist, Human rights activist)

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam
1
Birthdate: April 21, 1971
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kerman, Iran

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam is an Iranian-Norwegian neuroscientist. Born in Iran, he arrived in Norway as a refugee of minor age in 1985. He later obtained a Ph.D. at the Center for Neuroscience and Molecular Biology at the University of Oslo. He often collaborates with American Nobel Laureate Peter Agre. He is also a human rights advocate.  

 22 
Sverre Petterssen
(Meteorologist)

Sverre Petterssen
0
Birthdate: February 19, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Hadsel, Norway
Died: December 31, 1974

Sverre Petterssen was a Norwegian meteorologist. He was well known for his work in the field of weather analysis and forecasting. He was a member of the Bergen School of Meteorology and worked as a weather officer in the Norwegian Air Force for many years. He served as a weather forecaster for bombing raids during World War II. 

 23 

Christopher Hansteen
0
Birthdate: September 26, 1784
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: April 11, 1873

Christopher Hansteen was a Norwegian astronomer, physicist, and geophysicist. He is best remembered for his research on terrestrial magnetism and his mapping of the geomagnetic field. Christopher Hansteen also served as the director of the Norwegian Mapping Authority from 1817 to 1872.

Waldemar Christofer Brøgger
0
Birthdate: November 10, 1851
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: February 17, 1940

Waldemar Christofer Brøgger was a Norwegian geologist and mineralogist best known for his research on Permian igneous rocks of the Oslo district. His contribution helped to greatly advance petrologic theory on the formation of rocks. He studied under Theodor Kjerulf at University of Christiania and pursued an academic career. He later became rector of the senate of University of Christiania.  

 25 

Johan Herman Lie Vogt
0
Birthdate: October 14, 1858
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Tvedestrand, Norway
Died: January 3, 1932

Johan Herman Lie Vogt was a Norwegian geologist and petrologist. A son of the prominent physician Olaus Fredrik Sand Vogt, he received an excellent education at the University of Christiania (now the University of Oslo). He, later on, became a professor in metallurgy at the University of Oslo and at the Norwegian Institute of Technology. 

 26 
Bjørn Helland-Hansen
(Oceanographer)

Bjørn Helland-Hansen
0
Birthdate: October 16, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: September 7, 1957

Bjørn Helland-Hansen was a Norwegian oceanographer considered a pioneer in the field of modern oceanography. He studied both medicine and physics at the University of Christiania before beginning his multi-faceted career. He developed the "Helland-Hansen Photometer." He had a brilliant academic career and was made president of the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG).