Nov 2022

5 Influential Female Physicists From Modern History

November 17, 2022
5 Influential Female Physicists From Modern History


Physicists explore many subjects, some of which include gravity, planetary movement, and atomic configurations. Learning how these forces work requires deep-diving into the past and accurately predicting what will happen in the upcoming years. This list of significant ladies in physics from modern history has been invaluable to the study of Physics, emphasising the essential contributions that women have made to this fascinating field of science.

Like most male-dominated industries, women can also be underappreciated in the sciences. This ranking highlights the leading influential women physicists over the past ten years. These women include academics, physicists, and women with physics degrees who have contributed to the subject we all know and love today.

Multiple women in science have made meaningful breakthroughs within the traditionally male-dominated discipline. While numerous online articles emphasise famous female scientists from the past, very few data are available for their modern counterparts.

In no particular order, here is a list of women who have been making tremendous advancements in the field of physics in the past ten years:

1. Jennifer Doudna

Doudna invented the groundbreaking technology of editing genomes called CRISPR-Cas9 and, as a result, is known as one of the best scientists alive.

Allowing scientists to construct precise edits to DNA in cells could aid in curing genetic deformities and conditions. Studies have demonstrated that CRISPR technology is frequently accustomed to changing the DNA of HIV in human cells. If used accurately, CRISPR could assist us in curing cell disorders that were once thought incurable.

2. Vera Rubin

Rubin discovered a disparity between the galaxies’ predicted and observed angular motions. This shows evidence for dark matter, which is crucial to our understanding of cosmology. Rubin is now a lifelong advocate for women in science and was even awarded the National Medal of Science.

3. Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Although she was the first to observe and analyse pulsars used to affirm the presence of gravitational radiation, Bell Burnell was unfortunately excluded from the recipients, despite the discovery being credited with the 1974 Physics Nobel Prize. Still a graduate student, she was the first female astrophysicist from Northern Island to co-discover the highly magnetised neutron stars. Burnell also served as president of the Royal Astronomical Society and the Institute of Physics.

4. Amanda Barnard

Barnard’s research is highly interdisciplinary and implicates designing and using statistics and a deep understanding of nanoscience. In 2014, she was the first person in the Southern Hemisphere to win the Feynman Prize in nanotechnology for her research on diamond nanoparticles. Barnard’s current work predicts nanoparticles’ natural world behaviour via analytical models.

5. Michelle Simmons

Simmons has a large group of researchers dedicated to fabricating atomic-scale devices – the only one worldwide. She is also acknowledged as the pioneer of atomic electronics and quantum computing. Simmons led Australia at the forefront of quantum computing science and was named 2018 Australian of the Year.


The number of female physicists has mostly stayed the same over the last 20 or so years. This is because very few women in science are in senior positions, and aspiring researchers lack female mentors. We hope this list inspires girls and young women to pursue their passion in the sciences and make a name for themselves as these brilliant scientists have.

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