The Nobel Prize is awarded for achievement in chemistry, economics sciences, literature, peace, physics, and physiology or medicine.

Faculty laureates

John Bardeen
Faculty member 1938-45
Nobel Prize in physics, 1956 and 1972
Bardeen shared the 1956 prize with William B. Shockley and Walter H. Brattain (Physics Ph.D. ’29) for their joint invention of the transistor. Together with Leon N. Cooper and John R. Schrieffer, he won the 1972 prize for the development of the theory of superconductivity.

Arthur H. Compton
Faculty member 1916-17
Nobel Prize in physics, 1927
Compton won the Nobel Prize (along with C.T.R. Wilson of England) for his discovery and explanation of the so-called “Compton effect,” the change in the wavelength of X-rays when they collide with electrons in metals.

William N. Lipscomb
Faculty member 1946-59
Nobel Prize in chemistry, 1976
Lipscomb won the Nobel Prize for his research on the structure and bonding of boron compounds and the general nature of chemical bonding.

John H. Van Vleck
Faculty member 1924-28
Nobel Prize in physics, 1977
Van Vleck shared 1977 Nobel Prize in physics with Philip W. Anderson and Sir Nevill F. Mott. The prize honored Van Vleck’s contributions to the understanding of the behavior of electrons in magnetic, noncrystalline solid materials.

Alumni laureates

Walter Brattain
(Physics Ph.D. ’29)
Nobel Prize in physics, 1956
Brattain, John Bardeen, and William B. Shockley won the Nobel Prize for the development of the transistor.

Melvin Calvin
(Chemistry Ph.D. ’35)
Nobel Prize in chemistry, 1961
Calvin received the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the chemical pathways of photosynthesis.

Ernest O. Lawrence
(Physics M.A. ’23)
Nobel Prize in physics, 1939
Lawrence was honored with the Nobel Prize for his invention of the cyclotron, the first particle accelerator to achieve high energies.

Daniel McFadden
(Physics ’57, Behavioral Sciences Ph.D.’62)
Nobel Prize in economic sciences, 2000
McFadden was honored for his development of theory and methods for analyzing discrete choice.