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The
Max Planck medal is an award for extraordinary achievements in
theoretical physicsTheoretical physics is a branch of physics which employs mathematical models and abstractions of physics to rationalize, explain and predict natural phenomena...
. It is awarded annually by the
Deutsche Physikalische GesellschaftThe Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft is the world's largest organization of physicists. The DPG's worldwide membership is cited as 60,000, as of 2011...
, the world's largest organization of physicists.
List of recipients
 1929 Max Planck
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, ForMemRS, was a German physicist who actualized the quantum physics, initiating a revolution in natural science and philosophy. He is regarded as the founder of the quantum theory, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918.Life and career:Planck came...
and Albert EinsteinAlbert Einstein was a Germanborn theoretical physicist who developed the theory of general relativity, effecting a revolution in physics. For this achievement, Einstein is often regarded as the father of modern physics and one of the most prolific intellects in human history...
 1930 Niels Bohr
Niels Henrik David Bohr was a Danish physicist who made foundational contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum mechanics, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1922. Bohr mentored and collaborated with many of the top physicists of the century at his institute in...
 1931 Arnold Sommerfeld
Arnold Johannes Wilhelm Sommerfeld was a German theoretical physicist who pioneered developments in atomic and quantum physics, and also educated and groomed a large number of students for the new era of theoretical physics...
 1932 Max von Laue
Max Theodor Felix von Laue was a German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1914 for his discovery of the diffraction of Xrays by crystals...
 1933 Werner Heisenberg
Werner Karl Heisenberg was a German theoretical physicist who made foundational contributions to quantum mechanics and is best known for asserting the uncertainty principle of quantum theory...
 1934  1936 not assigned
 1937 Erwin Schrödinger
Erwin Rudolf Josef Alexander Schrödinger was an Austrian physicist and theoretical biologist who was one of the fathers of quantum mechanics, and is famed for a number of important contributions to physics, especially the Schrödinger equation, for which he received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1933...
 1938 Louis de Broglie
 1939  1941 not assigned
 1942 Pascual Jordan
 1943 Friedrich Hund
Friedrich Hermann Hund was a German physicist from Karlsruhe known for his work on atoms and molecules.Hund worked at the Universities of Rostock, Leipzig, Jena, Frankfurt am Main, and Göttingen....
 1944 Walther Kossel
Walther Ludwig Julius Kossel was a German physicist known for his theory of the chemical bond , Sommerfeld–Kossel displacement law of atomic spectra, the KosselStranski model for crystal growth, and the Kossel effect...
 1945  1947 not assigned
 1948 Max Born
Max Born was a Germanborn physicist and mathematician who was instrumental in the development of quantum mechanics. He also made contributions to solidstate physics and optics and supervised the work of a number of notable physicists in the 1920s and 30s...
 1949 Otto Hahn
Otto Hahn FRS was a German chemist and Nobel laureate, a pioneer in the fields of radioactivity and radiochemistry. He is regarded as "the father of nuclear chemistry". Hahn was a courageous opposer of Jewish persecution by the Nazis and after World War II he became a passionate campaigner...
and Lise MeitnerLise Meitner FRS was an Austrianborn, later Swedish, physicist who worked on radioactivity and nuclear physics. Meitner was part of the team that discovered nuclear fission, an achievement for which her colleague Otto Hahn was awarded the Nobel Prize...
 1950 Peter Debye
Peter Joseph William Debye FRS was a Dutch physicist and physical chemist, and Nobel laureate in Chemistry.Early life:...
 1951 James Franck
James Franck was a German Jewish physicist and Nobel laureate.Biography:Franck was born to Jacob Franck and Rebecca Nachum Drucker. Franck completed his Ph.D...
and Gustav Hertz
 1952 Paul Dirac
Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac, OM, FRS was an English theoretical physicist who made fundamental contributions to the early development of both quantum mechanics and quantum electrodynamics...
 1953 Walther Bothe
Walther Wilhelm Georg Bothe was a German nuclear physicist, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954 with Max Born....
 1954 Enrico Fermi
Enrico Fermi was an Italianborn, naturalized American physicist particularly known for his work on the development of the first nuclear reactor, Chicago Pile1, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, nuclear and particle physics, and statistical mechanics...
 1955 Hans Bethe
Hans Albrecht Bethe was a GermanAmerican nuclear physicist, and Nobel laureate in physics for his work on the theory of stellar nucleosynthesis. A versatile theoretical physicist, Bethe also made important contributions to quantum electrodynamics, nuclear physics, solidstate physics and...
 1956 Victor Weisskopf
 1957 Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker
Carl Friedrich Freiherr von Weizsäcker was a German physicist and philosopher. He was the longestliving member of the research team which performed nuclear research in Germany during the Second World War, under Werner Heisenberg's leadership...
 1958 Wolfgang Pauli
Wolfgang Ernst Pauli was an Austrian theoretical physicist and one of the pioneers of quantum physics. In 1945, after being nominated by Albert Einstein, he received the Nobel Prize in Physics for his "decisive contribution through his discovery of a new law of Nature, the exclusion principle or...
 1959 Oskar Klein
Oskar Benjamin Klein was a Swedish theoretical physicist.Klein was born in Danderyd outside Stockholm, son of the chief rabbi of Stockholm, Dr. Gottlieb Klein from Homonna in Hungary and Antonie Levy...
 1960 Lev Landau
Lev Davidovich Landau was a prominent Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics...
 1961 Eugene Wigner
 1962 Ralph Kronig
Ralph Kronig was a GermanAmerican physicist . He is noted for the discovery of particle spin and for his theory of xray absorption spectroscopy...
 1963 Rudolf Peierls
Sir Rudolf Ernst Peierls, CBE was a Germanborn British physicist. Rudolf Peierls had a major role in Britain's nuclear program, but he also had a role in many modern sciences...
 1964 Samuel Goudsmit and George Uhlenbeck
 1965  not assigned
 1966 Gerhart Lüders
Gerhart Lüders was a German theoretical physicist who worked mainly in quantum field theory and was well known for the discovery and a general proof of the CPT theorem...
 1967 Harry Lehmann
Harry Lehmann was a German physicist.Lehmann studied physics at Rostock and the HumboldtUniversität zu Berlin....
 1968 Walter Heitler
Walter Heinrich Heitler was a German physicist who made contributions to quantum electrodynamics and quantum field theory...
 1969 Freeman Dyson
Freeman John Dyson FRS is a Britishborn American theoretical physicist and mathematician, famous for his work in quantum field theory, solidstate physics, astronomy and nuclear engineering. Dyson is a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists...
 1970 Rudolf Haag
Rudolf Haag is a German physicist. He is best known for his contributions to the algebraic formulation of axiomatic quantum field theory, namely the HaagKastler axioms...
 1971 not assigned
 1972 Herbert Fröhlich
Herbert Fröhlich was a Germanborn British physicist and a Fellow of the Royal Society....
 1973 Nikolai Bogolubov
 1974 Léon van Hove
Léon Van Hove was a Belgian physicist and a former Director General of CERN. He developed a scientific career spanning mathematics, solid state physics, elementary particle and nuclear physics to cosmology.Biography:...
 1975 Gregor Wentzel
Gregor Wentzel was a German physicist known for development of quantum mechanics. Wentzel, Hendrik Kramers, and Léon Brillouin developed the Wentzel–Kramers–Brillouin approximation in 1926...
 1976 Ernst Stueckelberg
Ernst Carl Gerlach Stueckelberg was a Swiss mathematician and physicist. Career :In 1927 Stueckelberg got his Ph. D. at the University of Basel under August Hagenbach...
 1977 Walter Thirring
Walter Thirring is an Austrian physicist after whom the Thirring model in quantum field theory is named. He is son of the physicist Hans Thirring, codiscoverer of the LenseThirring frame dragging effect in general relativity....
 1978 Paul Peter Ewald
Paul Peter Ewald was a Germanborn U.S. crystallographer and physicist, a pioneer of Xray diffraction methods.Education:...
 1979 Markus Fierz
Markus Eduard Fierz was a Swiss physicist, particularly remembered for his formulation of Spinstatistics theorem, and for his contributions to the development of quantum theory, particle physics, and statistical mechanics...
 1980 not assigned
 1981 Kurt Symanzik
Kurt Symanzik was a German physicist working in quantum field theory. Life :Symanzik was born in Lyck , East Prussia, and spent his childhood in Königsberg. He started studying physics in 1946 at Universität München but after a short time moved to Werner Heisenberg at Göttingen...
 1982 HansArwed Weidenmüller
HansArwed Weidenmüller is a German theoretical physicist, who works primarily in the field of nuclear physics.Life and work:Weidenmüller studied in Bonn and from 1956 to 1957 in Heidelberg under J. Hans D...
 1983 Nicholas Kemmer
Nicholas Kemmer FRS, was a Russian born British nuclear physicist who played an integral and an edge leading role in United Kingdom's nuclear programme, and was known as a mentor of Abdus Salam – a Nobel laureate in Physics....
 1984 Res Jost
Res Jost in Zurich) was a Swiss theoretical physicist, who worked mainly in constructive quantum field theory.Life and work:...
 1985 Yoichiro Nambu
is a Japaneseborn American physicist, currently a professor at the University of Chicago. Known for his contributions to the field of theoretical physics, he was awarded a onehalf share of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2008 for the discovery of the mechanism of spontaneous broken symmetry in...
 1986 Franz Wegner
Franz Wegner is emeritus professor for theoretical physics at the University of Heidelberg. Franz Wegner attained a doctorate in 1968 with thesis advisor Wilhelm Brenig at Technical University Munich with the thesis "Zum HeisenbergModell im paramagnetischen Bereich und am kritischen Punkt" ...
 1987 Julius Wess
Julius Wess was an Austrian theoretical physicist noted as the coinventor of the Wess–Zumino model and Wess–Zumino–Witten model in the field of supersymmetry...
 1988 Valentine Bargmann
Valentine Bargmann was a German born American mathematician and physicist.Born in Berlin, Germany, Bargmann studied there from 1925 to 1933. After the Machtergreifung he moved to Switzerland to the University of Zürich where he received his Ph.D...
 1989 Bruno Zumino
Bruno Zumino is an Italian theoretical physicist and emeritus faculty at the University of California, Berkeley. He got his bachelor degree from the University of Rome in 1945...
 1990 Hermann Haken
Hermann Haken is physicist and professor emeritus in theoretical physics at the University of Stuttgart. He is known as the founder of synergetics....
 1991 Wolfhart Zimmermann
Wolfhart Zimmermann is a German theoretical physicist. Zimmermann attained a doctorate in 1950 at Freiburg im Breisgau in topology . In the 1950s he was at Göttingen one of the pioneers of the mathematical quantum field theory; along with Kurt Symanzik and Harry Lehmann he developed the LSZ theory...
 1992 Elliott H. Lieb
Elliott H. Lieb is an eminent American mathematical physicist and professor of mathematics and physics at Princeton University who specializes in statistical mechanics, condensed matter theory, and functional analysis....
 1993 Kurt Binder
Kurt Binder is an Austrian physicist. He received his Ph.D. in 1969 at the Technical University of Vienna, and his habilitation degree 1973 at the Technical University of Munich, before, in the next year, becoming a Professor for Theoretical Physics at the Saarland University Kurt Binder (born 10...
 1994 HansJürgen Borchers
HansJürgen Borchers was a mathematical physicist at the GeorgAugustUniversität Göttingen who worked on operator algebras and quantum field theory. He introduced Borchers algebras and the Borchers commutation relations and Borchers classes in quantum field theory. He was awarded the Max Planck...
 1995 Siegfried Großmann
 1996 Ludvig Faddeev
References:...
 1997 Gerald E. Brown
Gerald Edward "Gerry" Brown is an American theoretical physicist who works on nuclear physics and astrophysics. Since 1968 he has been a professor at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He is currently a distinguished professor emeritus of the C. N...
 1998 Raymond Stora
 1999 Pierre Hohenberg
Pierre C. Hohenberg is a FrenchAmerican theoretical physicist, who works primarily on statistical mechanics....
 2000 Martin Lüscher
Martin Lüscher is a Swiss theoretical physicist, who works primarily on numerical quantum chromodynamics .Lüscher studied at the University of Bern and the University of Hamburg, where he earned his doctorate. He worked since the 1979s at DESY in Hamburg and was professor for theoretical physics...
 2001 Jürg Fröhlich
Jürg Martin Fröhlich is a Swiss mathematician and theoretical physicist.In 1965 Fröhlich began to study mathematics and physics at Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule Zürich...
 2002 Jürgen Ehlers
Jürgen Ehlers was a German physicist who made notable contributions to the current understanding of Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity...
 2003 Martin Gutzwiller
Martin C. Gutzwiller is a physicist. He is known for the invention of the variational wavefunction describing electrons with strong localized interactions , for the first investigation of relations between classical and quantum mechanics in chaotic systems , as well as new solutions to...
 2004 Klaus Hepp
Klaus Hepp is a Germanborn Swiss theoretical physicist working mainly in quantum field theory. Hepp studied mathematics and physics at Westfälischen WilhelmsUniversität in Münster and at the Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule in Zurich, where, in 1962, with Res Jost as thesis first...
 2005 Peter Zoller
Peter Zoller is a theoretical physicist from Austria. He is Professor at the University of Innsbruck and works on quantum optics and quantum information and is best known for his pioneering research on quantum computing and quantum communication and for bridging quantum optics and solid state...
 2006 Wolfgang Götze
Wolfgang Götze is a theoretical physicist. He is an emeritus professor of the Technical University of Munich....
 2007 Joel Lebowitz
Joel L. Lebowitz is a mathematical physicist widely acknowledged for his outstanding contributions to statistical physics, statistical mechanics and many other fields of Mathematics and Physics...
 2008 Detlev Buchholz
Detlev Buchholz is a theoretical physicist at Göttingen University. He investigates quantum field theory, especially algebraic quantum field theory...
 2009 Robert Graham (physicist)
Robert Graham is a German theoretical physicist.Graham attended the KarlsGymnasium in Stuttgart and studied at the University of Stuttgart, where in 1967 he earned under Hermann Haken his physics Diplom and in 1969 his PhD...
 2010 Dieter Vollhardt
 2011 Giorgio Parisi
Giorgio Parisi is an Italian theoretical physicist. He is best known for his works concerning statistical mechanics, quantum field theory and various aspects of physics, mathematics and science in general....
 2012 Martin Zirnbauer