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Nobel Prize

Each fall, the Nobel Foundation in Sweden announces the world’s most prestigious scientific awards: the Nobel Prizes. Since H&S was established in 1948, 14 faculty members have won prizes in physics, chemistry, and economics. Six more laureates have ties to the school.

  • 2020 Paul Milgrom, Professor of Economics and the Shirley R. and Leonard W. Ely, Jr. Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences. Laureate in Economics: for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats (jointly awarded with Professor Robert Wilson in the Graduate School of Business).
  • 2014 W.E. Moerner, Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry. Laureate in Chemistry: For the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
  • 2012 Alvin Roth, Professor of Economics. Laureate in Economics: For his work in the field of game theory and experimental economics and in their application to the design of new economic institutions.
  • 1998
 Robert Laughlin, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor of Physics. Laureate in Physics: For explaining the fractional quantum Hall effect, in which electrons flowing in a semiconductor subjected to strong electromagnetic fields act like a liquid made up of “particles” with an electrical charge that is a fraction of that of an electron.
  • 1997 Steven Chu, Theodore and Frances Geballe Professor Emeritus of Physics and Applied Physics. Laureate in Physics: For development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.
  • 1996 Douglas Osheroff, J. G. Jackson and C. J. Wood Professor Emeritus of Physics. Laureate in Physics: For the discovery of superfluidity in helium-3.
  • 1983 
Henry Taube, Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor of Chemistry. Laureate in Chemistry: For insights into how electrons are transferred from one molecule to another during chemical reactions.
  • 1981 Arthur Schawlow, J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Physics. Laureate in Physics: For theoretical work in laser spectroscopy, which led to the widespread use of lasers for everything from surgery to compact discs.
  • 1976 Burton Richter, Paul Pigott Professor Emeritus of the Physical Sciences; director emeritus, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Laureate in Physics: For pioneering work in the discovery of a heavy elementary particle of a new kind.
  • 1974 
Paul Flory, J.G. Jackson and C.J. Wood Professor of Chemistry. Laureate in Chemistry: For his fundamental achievements, both theoretical and experimental, in the physical chemistry of the macromolecules.
  • 1972 Kenneth Arrow, Joan Kenney Professor Emeritus of Economics and Professor of Operations Research. Laureate in Economics: For pioneering contributions to general economic equilibrium theory and welfare theory.
  • 1961 Robert Hofstadter, Max H. Stein Professor Emeritus of Physics. Laureate in Physics: For his investigations of protons and neutrons, which revealed the hitherto unknown structure of these particles.
  • 1954, 1962 Linus Pauling, Professor of Chemistry, is the only person to have won two undivided Nobel prizes. In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances.” In 1962, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to ban nuclear testing. He was a member of the Department of Chemistry from 1969 to 1975.
  • 1952 Felix Bloch, Max H. Stein Professor of Physics. Laureate in Physics: For work on nuclear magnetic resonance, which later emerged as a powerful diagnostic tool, known as magnetic resonance imaging or MRI.

Nobel Laureates with H&S Connections

  • 2020 Louise Glück, professor at Yale University and visiting professor in Stanford’s Creative Writing Program. Laureate in literature: "for her unmistakable poetic voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal."
  • 2012 Brian Kobilka, MD Professor and chair of Molecular and Cellular Physiology at the School of Medicine. Laureate in Chemistry: For his work on G-protein-coupled receptors, or GPCRs.
  • 2001 Joseph E. Stiglitz, Joan Kenney Professor Emeritus of Economics, and Michael Spence, Philip H. Knight Professor Emeritus of Management and former Dean of the Graduate School of Business. Laureates in Economics: For their analyses of markets with asymmetric information.
  • 1995 Martin L. Perl, Professor of Physics, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Laureate in Physics: For the discovery of the tau lepton.
  • 1990 Richard E. Taylor, Lewis M. Terman Professor Emeritus of Physics, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center. Laureate in Physics: For pioneering investigations concerning deep inelastic scattering of electrons on protons and bound neutrons, which have been of essential importance for the development of the quark model in particle physics.