12 youngest Nobel laureates in history

Review of the best according to the editorial board. On the selection criteria. This material is subjective, does not constitute advertising and does not serve as a purchase guide. Before buying, you need to consult with a specialist.

The Nobel Prize is one of the most prestigious international awards, it is awarded every year to those who have achieved outstanding achievements in the field of physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, or contributed to the strengthening of peace throughout the world. The award was established by the Swedish chemist and wealthy businessman Alfred Nobel, who after his death transferred all his property to the ownership of the foundation he established. The first award ceremony took place in 1901, and since then the total number of laureates selected by the Nobel Commission has reached more than 900 people. Each winner receives a diploma, a gold medal and a large sum of money. At the beginning of the 20th century, the size of the latter was 150 thousand Swedish kronor, by 2019 the amount of the cash prize had grown to eight million Swedish kronor, which is equivalent to 1.1 million dollars. According to statistics, the average age of those who were honored to receive this award is 55 years old. However, there were quite young laureates in the history of the Nobel Prize.

The youngest Nobel laureates in history

Nomination a place LAUREATE Laureate age
The youngest Nobel laureates in history 1 Rudyard Kipling 42 years
2 Konstantin Novoselov 36 years
3 Frederic Joliot-Curie 35 YEARS
4 Meirid Corrigan 32 years
5 Rudolf Mössbauer 32 YEARS
6 Frederick Bunting 32 YEARS
7 Li Zhengdao 31 YEARS
8 Karl Anderson 31 YEARS
9 Paul Dirac 31 YEARS
10 Werner Heisenberg 31 YEARS
11 William Lawrence Bragg 25 YEARS
12 Malala Yusufzai 17 YEARS

Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Outstanding English writer and poet of the XIX-XX centuries Rudyard Kipling became the youngest writer in history to receive the Nobel Prize in 1907. At that time, he was 42 years old, and he had already written four novels and 16 volumes of stories. Kipling published his first works during his stay in India, later he traveled a lot in Asia and the USA. It was the period of creativity in the states that became the most successful in his career. Acquaintance with American children's writer Mary Elizabeth Mapes Dodge led Kipling to the idea of ​​creating a plot, which takes place in the Indian jungle. This is how the famous cycle of stories “The Jungle Book” appeared, which enjoyed great success during the life of the author and subsequently received more than one film adaptation. The Nobel Prize was awarded to the writer for vivid imagination, outstanding storytelling talent and maturity of ideas. In addition, Kipling's work has received a number of other honorary awards, including the Gold Medal of the Royal Society of Literature.

Konstantin Novoselov

Konstantin Novoselov

Physicist Konstantin Novoselov hails from Nizhny Tagil, Sverdlovsk region. He received his education in nanoelectronics, was engaged in research at the Russian Academy of Sciences, worked for some time in the Netherlands, then moved to Great Britain, where he took up the position of a research fellow at the University of Manchester. The most important contribution of Novosyolov to science was his research and experimental work with graphene, which he conducted together with his compatriot Andrei Geim. For this in 2010, at the age of 36, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. Graphene, being an extremely thin but strong carbon material and having a number of other valuable properties, opens up broad prospects in the field of nanoelectronics and medicine; it can also be used to create innovative water purification systems. A year after receiving the award, Konstantin Novoselov became a member of the Royal Society of Science in London. At the moment, the authorship of the Russian-British physicist owns about two hundred published scientific articles.

Frederic Joliot-Curie

Frederic Joliot-Curie

Jean Frédéric Joliot was born and raised in the capital of France, where he also studied at the Higher School of Physics and Applied Chemistry. After completing his engineering degree, he nevertheless decided to focus on the field of basic scientific research. At first, Frederic served as an assistant to Marie Curie at the Radium Institute of the University of Paris, and later became a research fellow at the Institute. He conducted research work in collaboration with Irene Curie, daughter of Marie Curie. Later, Irene became his wife and together they continued their scientific research in the field of the radioactive properties of chemicals. After the couple discovered the possibility of creating artificial radioactivity by synthesizing the necessary elements, they were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1930. At that time, Frederic Joliot-Curie (he, like his wife, took a double surname) was 35 years old. During the Second World War, the scientist joined the French Resistance Movement, and provided assistance, providing the soldiers with communications equipment and explosives. After the liberation of Paris, Frederic Joliot-Curie took over as director of the National Center for Scientific Research.

Meirid Corrigan

Meirid Corrigan

Irish activist Meirid Corrigan is known for her fight for peace and justice in a non-violent way. As a child, she received a Catholic education, from adolescence she worked as a secretary, at the same time volunteering for charitable organizations. Most of all, Corrigan's life position was influenced by the death of her three nephews, who were killed in a street shootout between British soldiers and an Irish Republican Army fighter. Shortly thereafter, the activist joined forces with her friend Betty Williams to stage a march in Belfast against violence in Northern Ireland. This demonstration was attended by both Protestants and Catholics. The next stage of her peacekeeping activities was the creation of the “Community of Peaceful People” organization, which subsequently contributed to the settlement of the ethnopolitical conflict in Northern Ireland. For this, 32-year-old Meirid Corrigan, along with other co-founders of the community, was awarded the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize. During her subsequent work, she traveled to more than 25 countries around the world, communicating with prominent political and religious leaders.

Rudolf Mössbauer

Rudolf Mössbauer

German experimental physicist Rudolf Ludwig Mössbauer was educated at the Technical University of Munich. He worked as a teacher at the Planck Institute, after moving to the United States, he was a professor at the California Institute of Technology. It was there, in collaboration with the American scientist Robert Hofstedter, that he conducted research in the field of nuclear physics and gamma spectroscopy. He discovered the effect of fluorescence of nuclear gamma resonance without nuclear recoil, which was later called the “Mossbauer effect”. For his scientific work, he received two prestigious awards, and after experimental confirmation of the discovery made, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1961. At that time, Mössbauer's age was 32. His developments became the basis for a number of highly sensitive measurement methods used in geology, archeology, medicine, metallurgy and many other fields of science and technology. Since the 1970s, Rudolf Mössbauer took part in the study of solar neutrinos, and later he headed the French Laue-Langevin Institute. Now the scientist is an honorary professor at thirteen universities, continuing his teaching and research work.

Frederick Bunting

Frederick Bunting

Canadian physician and physiologist Frederick Banting became the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize in Medicine, having received it at the age of 32 for his discovery of insulin. It is curious that this most important scientific breakthrough might not have taken place, because initially Banting planned to receive a theological education. However, at the University of Toronto, he changed his mind in time and took up the study of medicine. For some time he worked as a practicing surgeon, then moved on to laboratory research, becoming interested in finding means to combat diabetes. As a result, he and his assistant Charles Best managed to isolate the hormone insulin from the canine pancreas. This discovery was the first step towards the mass production of synthetic insulin, which saved the lives of millions of people with diabetes. It is worth noting that Bunting did not want to use his work for commercial purposes and sold the patent to the University of Toronto for just one dollar. The medical merits, in addition to the Nobel Prize, were awarded the Order of the British Empire, and his birthday on November 14 was considered World Diabetes Day.

Li Zhengdao

Li Zhengdao

The American physicist of Chinese origin was educated in his homeland at the National Southwest United University, then continued his studies at the University of Chicago, and under the guidance of the famous Italian physicist Enrico Fermi, the author of the world's first nuclear reactor, he received his doctorate. In subsequent years, Zhengdao, having transferred to Columbia University, served there as a deputy professor. And at the age of 29 he became the youngest professor in the history of the university. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics two years later (in 1957), for his achievements in the study of parity laws, opening up new prospects for scientific research on elementary particles. According to some physicists, Zhengdao allowed one step closer to the creation of a unified physical and mathematical theory, the so-called “theory of everything.”

Karl Anderson

Karl Anderson

US physicist and experimenter Carl Anderson earned a bachelor's degree and then a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. Under the guidance of the eminent physicist Robert Andrews Millikan, he began researching cosmic rays. In the course of his work, Anderson discovered traces of a particle with a mass equivalent to the mass of an electron, but in contrast to it, it has not a negative, but a positive electric charge. The scientist was able to confirm his discovery experimentally by forming electron-positron pairs by irradiation with gamma rays. In 1936, when Karl Anderson was 31 years old, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics together with his colleague Viktor Hess. In the same year, he made another important discovery – he discovered the existence of an unstable subatomic particle called a muon.

Paul Dirac

Paul Dirac

The English scientist Paul Dirac became famous mainly for his work on the quantum theory of gravity and electrodynamics. He began his scientific career at the University of Bristol, where he studied electrical engineering, as well as applied mathematics. Later Dirac entered graduate school at Cambridge University, and in 1926 he was admitted to the scientific council of St. John's College. The authorship of the scientist belongs to the equation, which was later named after him. This equation serves to explain the interaction of the electromagnetic field and free electrons and the appearance of an electron-positron pair. For his work, Paul Dirac, then 31 years old, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Werner Heisenberg

Werner Heisenberg

The German theoretical physicist Werner Heisenberg can be confidently called one of the main pioneers in the field of quantum mechanics. He attended the University of Munich and defended his doctoral dissertation on quantum theory at just 22 years old. Then the promising young man was invited to work at the University of Göttingen, where he became an assistant to Max Born. In 1927, he took up the post of professor of theoretical physics at the University of Leipzig, pursuing parallel scientific activities. Heisenberg played a leading role in the development of quantum mechanical theory, for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics. At that time, the young scientist was 31 years old. In addition to creating Heisenberg's uncertainty principle, he made an invaluable contribution to the study of ferromagnetism, subatomic particles, and many other physical phenomena. After World War II, he served as director of the Max Planck Institute and headed a working group on nuclear physics in Germany.

William Lawrence Bragg

William Lawrence Bragg

Young Australian scientist William Lawrence Bragg received the Nobel Prize in Physics at the age of 25, with his father, William Henry Bragg. From an early age he showed a keen interest in science, as evidenced by the fact that Bragg was already fourteen years old managed to enter the University of Adelaide, where he studied mathematics and physics. After moving with his family to the UK, he continued his studies and graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge University. While conducting scientific work, Lawrence Bragg and his father, using an X-ray spectrometer, investigated crystals and discovered the law of X-ray diffraction, which makes it possible to determine the position of crystal atoms. In 1915, their merits were awarded the Nobel Prize, and four years later, Bragg was appointed professor of physics at the Victorian University of Manchester.

Malala Yusufzai

Malala Yusufzai

The Pakistani girl became famous at the age of 11, after she started blogging for the BBC, where she spoke in detail about life in the Swat region of the Taliban. Malala advocated for children's rights and access to education for Pakistani women. After the offensive of government forces and the liberation of the province from the Taliban in 2009, it continued its activities. Three years later, the school bus in which Malala was traveling with other children was attacked: gunmen shot the girl in the head, and two other children were also injured. After being taken to a military hospital, she lay in a coma for a while, after her condition improved and allowed transportation, Malala was transported by plane to Birmingham. The Minister of Pakistan awarded the young activist with the Star of the Order of Courage in absentia, and the British journalist Christina Lamb volunteered to help the girl write her autobiographical book. The publication of the biography the following year was overshadowed by Taliban officials claiming that they would repeat the assassination attempt on occasion, but nevertheless Malala was not afraid of threats and did not stop fighting the oppression. In 2013, she was awarded two awards: the Anna Politkovskaya Prize and the Sakharov Prize. In 2014, seventeen-year-old Malala Yusufzai won the Nobel Peace Prize with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi, thus becoming the youngest Nobel laureate in history.


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