List of Physics Scientists and Their Inventions

There is no doubt that all the scientific discoveries and inventions to date have revolutionized every aspect of our life. It has strongly influenced the way we think and the way we lead our lives. Owing to scientific inventions, we were able to find answers to questions which we thought we could never answer.

Table of Contents:

Famous Scientists And Their Inventions

A scientist is someone who explores the nature of the universe. On the other hand, an investigator is someone who tries to create useful devices and products. A few people have been successful in both endeavours. Given below is a list of discoveries that includes 17 famous scientists and their discoveries.

Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein
Photon, also known as light quantum, is a tiny energy packet of electromagnetic radiation. This concept originated in Albert Einstein’s explanation of the photoelectric effect, in which he proposed the existence of discrete energy packets during the transmission of light. Albert Einstein was best known for his General and Special theory of relativity and the concept of mass-energy equivalence (E = mc2.)

J.J Thomson

J.J Thompson

J.J Thomson, an English physicist and a Nobel Laureate in Physics, is credited and honoured with the discovery of the electron, which was the first subatomic particle to be discovered. Thomson managed to show that cathode rays were composed of previously unknown negatively charged particles (electrons), which he calculated and inferred might have smaller bodies than atoms and a substantial charge-mass ratio. He is also credited for finding the first evidence for the existence of isotopes for stable elements.

Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford

Ernest Rutherford, a New Zealand chemist is regarded as the “father of nuclear physics.” He was the first to propose that an atom comprises a small charged nucleus surrounded by empty space and is circled by tiny electrons which later, became known as the Rutherford model. He is credited with the discovery of protons and hypothesized the existence of the neutron.

John Dalton

John Dalton

John Dalton’s major contribution was his theory on atoms which consists of five parts as follows:

  • Atoms are made of tiny particles known as atoms
  • Atoms are indivisible and indestructible
  • Atoms of a given element are identical in size, mass, and chemical properties
  • In a chemical reaction, atoms separate, combine and rearrange

Dalton made a lot of discoveries based on his observations.

James Chadwick

James Chadwick

James Chadwick, a British physicist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1935 for his discovery of the neutron. Bombarding elements with neutrons can result in the penetration and splitting of nuclei generating an enormous amount of energy. This way, Chadwick’s findings were pivotal to the discovery of nuclear fission and ultimately, the development of the atomic bomb.

Isaac Newton

Issac Newton

Isaac Newton’s discoveries created a launchpad for future developments in science. His most noteworthy innovations were as follows:

  • Newton’s three laws of motion set the foundation for modern classical mechanics.
  • The discovery of gravitational force gave us the ability to predict the movement of heavenly bodies.
  • His discovery of calculus gave us a potent mathematical tool, aiding the precise analytical treatment of the physical world.

Isaac Newton is one of the greatest mathematicians and physicists of all time, and his inventions and discoveries widened the reach of human thoughts.

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb

Charles-Augustin de Coloumb

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb is best known for what now is known as the Coulomb’s law, which explains electrostatic attraction and repulsion. He formulated this law to study the law of electrostatic repulsion put forward by the English scientist Joseph Priestley. He also extensively worked on the friction of machinery, the elasticity of metal and silk fibres. The SI unit of electric charge – Coulomb, is named after him.

Georg Simon Ohm

Georg Simon Ohm

Georg Simon Ohm, a German Physicist, discovered the law named after him, known as the “Ohm’s Law” which states that the current flowing a conductor is directly proportional to its voltage and inversely proportional to its resistance.


Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday

Faraday was a man devoted to discovery through experimentation. He was famous for never giving up on ideas that came from scientific intuition. When he thought of an idea, he would keep experimenting through multiple failures until he got what was expected. Below is the list of his few noteworthy discoveries:

  • Discovery of Electromagnetic Induction
  • Discovery of Benzene
  • Faraday’s Laws of Electrolysis
  • Gas Liquefication and Refrigeration

Michael Faraday is one of the revered scientists of all time.

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison made a lot of key inventions and discoveries. Here, we have listed a few noteworthy ones:

  • Invented the carbon rheostat
  • Discovered incandescent light
  • Invented the motion picture camera
  • Invented the fluorescent electric lamp
  • Discovered thermionic emission

Edison has been described as “America’s greatest inventor.” He developed many devices in fields like mass communication and electric power generation. He was one of the pioneers in applying the principles of organized science and teamwork to the process of invention, working with many researchers and employees.

Henri Becquerel

Henri Becquerel

Henri Becquerel was a French physicist best known for his work on radioactivity for which he won a Nobel Prize. As a result, the SI unit of radioactivity Becquerel is named after him.

Marie Sklodowska-Curie

Marie Sklodowska-Curie

Marie Sklodowska-Curie was a chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize. She is most famous for the discovery of the elements Polonium and Radium.

Max Planck

Max Planck

Max Planck, a German Physicist, is best known for his proposition of the quantum theory of energy for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize. His work contributed significantly to the atomic and subatomic processes.

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz

Heinrich Rudolf Hertz

During his work on electromagnetism, Heinrich reported another important phenomenon known as the Photoelectric effect. He noticed that UV rays made the metal lose charges faster than otherwise, which led him to publish his findings in the journal Annalen der Physik. He did not investigate this effect further on. Later, in 1905, Albert Einstein proposed that light came in discrete packets of energy known as the photons. This discovery led to the development of Quantum mechanics.

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen

Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen, a German physicist, produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range known as X-rays. This discovery earned him a Nobel Prize in Physics.

Neils Bohr & Rutherford

Neil Bohr

As discussed before, Rutherford described an atom as consisting of a positive centre mass surrounded by orbiting electrons. Neils Bohr suspected that electrons revolved in quantized orbits. Having suspected this, Bohr worked on Rutherford’s model and proved that particles couldn’t occupy just any energy level.

Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi was an Italian-American physicist who created the world’s first nuclear reactor. He is widely known as the “architect of the nuclear age” and the “architect of the atomic bomb.” He won a Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on induced radioactivity by neutron bombardment. He also made significant contributions in the field of quantum theory, statistical mechanics and nuclear and particle physics.




Scientist Name

1905 Photon Albert Einstein
1897 Electron J.J. Thomson
1919 Proton Ernest Rutherford
1808 Atom John Dalton
1932 Neutron James Chadwick
1687 Law of Motion Isaac Newton
1779 Coulomb Charles-Augustin de Coulomb
1827 Ohm’s Law Georg Simon Ohm
1831 Electromagnetic Induction Michael Faraday
1880 Thermionic Emission Thomas Edison
1896 Radioactivity Henri Becquerel
1898 Radium Marie Sklodowska-Curie
1900 Quantum theory Max Planck
1905 Photoelectric Effect Heinrich Rudolf Hertz
1895 X-Ray Röntgen
1905 Relativity Albert Einstein
1913 Atomic Structure Neils Bohr & Rutherford
1942 Nuclear Reactor Enrico Fermi

Biographies of Scientists

We suggest that students go through key scientists’ biographies to deepen their appreciation and understanding of science. We have listed some famous physicists’ biographies describing their early life, inventions, discoveries and achievements.

Thomas Edison

Issac Newton

Stephen Hawking


Galileo Galilei

Nikola Tesla


Albert Einstein


Test your knowledge on Physics scientists


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