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Brookhaven Scientists Benefiting Mankind

Nobel prize medal

Brookhaven’s world-class research facilities and scientific departments attract resident and visiting scientists in many fields. This outstanding mix of machine- and mind-power has on seven occasions produced research deemed worthy of the greatest honor in science: the Nobel Prize.

  • 2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry – for producing atomic-level images at Brookhaven’s National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS) and other synchrotrons that helped reveal the structure and inner-workings of the ribosome, a cellular complex responsible for producing the thousands of proteins that are required for living cells.
  • 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry - for work done in part at the NSLS explaining how a class of proteins helps to generate nerve impulses – a process that underlies all movement, sensation, and perhaps even thought. 
  • 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics – for detecting solar neutrinos, ghostlike particles produced in the nuclear reactions that power the sun.
  • 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics – for the 1962 discovery of the muon-neutrino. The discovery was made at Brookhaven’s Alternating Gradient Synchrotron (AGS), the most powerful accelerator in the world at that time.
  • 1980 Nobel Prize in Physics – for the mid-1960s discovery at the AGS of a flaw in the idea that the universe is symmetrical, until then a central belief of physics. The discovery is known as “CP violation”. 
  • 1976 Nobel Prize in Physics – for the discovery of a new particle, the J/psi, and for confirming the existence of the charmed quark, both at the AGS.
  • 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics – for interpreting results of particle experiments at Brookhaven’s Cosmotron and discovering that the fundamental and supposedly absolute law of parity conservation had been violated.

Brookhaven has connections to nine additional Nobel Prizes awarded to others who at one time were at Brookhaven. Whether as summer students, visiting scientists, or special guests, the eventual Nobel Laureates spent time at Brookhaven and contributed to our vast scientific expertise through collaboration, training, and the sharing of ideas.

2012-3424  |  INT/EXT  |  Media & Communications Office

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