Geek Trivia

Which Laboratory Boasts The Most Nobel Prize Winners?

Bell Laboratories
Xerox PARC
IBM Research Laboratories
GE Research Laboratories
In 1984 The U.S. Experienced The First Death Caused By What?

Answer: Bell Laboratories

While there are many notable laboratories around the world, such as the cradle of computer innovation Xerox PARC, no laboratory can lay claim to the kind of scientific pedigree you find at Bell Laboratories. A total 7 Nobel Prizes in the area of Physics have been awarded to Bell Labs researchers. Here are the awards, in chronological order:

1937 – Awarded to Clinton J. Davisson for demonstrating the wave nature of matter.

1956 – Awarded to John Bardeen, Walter H. Brattain, and William Shockley, for inventing the transistor.

1977 – Awarded to Phillip W. Anderson (who shared it with non-Bell Lab scientists Sir Nevill F. Mott and John H. van Vleck) for the development of an improved understanding of the electronic structure of glass and magnets.

1978 – Awarded to Arno A. Penzias and Robert W. Wilson for the discovery of background radiation originating from the Big Bang.

1997 – Awarded to Steven Chu (who shared it with non-Bell Lab scientists Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips) for the development of a technique to cool and trap atoms using laser light.

1998 РAwarded to Horst Sțrmer, Robert Laughlin and Daniel Tsui for the discovery of a new form of quantum fluid.

2009 – Awarded to Willard Boyle and George Smith for the invention and development of the charge-coupled device (CCD).

Nobel Prizes aside, Bell Laboratories has given birth to all manner of technology over the years including the 56k modem, CDMA cellular communications, the UNIX operating system, and more, all originated there. A stroll through the Bell Lab’s Discoveries and Developments entry on Wikipedia is like a stroll through a 20th century Invention Hall of Fame.