Physicists on the Money                  Russian version

Physicists have been honored by having their picture on currency in many countries around the world. Some are shown in small images below. Click on the colored text to view or down load a larger copy of the image. (The size of each image is shown in parentheses.)

Marie and Pierre Curie (Marie: 1867-1934, Pierre: 1859-1906) appear on the French 500 franc note. They led the discovery and classification of radioactive elements. (90 K)
Albert Einstein (1879-1955) appeared on the Israeli 5 pound note. The greatest physicist of this century, Einstein not only invented the theories of special relativity (behavior of rapidly moving object) and general relativity (theory of gravitation), but made fundamental contributions to the beginnings of quantum theory. (58 K)
For a bio, click here.
Leonhard Euler (1707-1783), the Swiss mathematical physicist appeears on the Swiss 10 franc note. (100 K)
For a bio, click here or here.
Michael Faraday appears on the British 20 pound note. Faraday was one of the primary discoverers of the properties of electricity and magnetism and their relationship. (30 K)
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) was a pioneer in the field of electricity. He first proposed the conservation of charge. He appears on the American 100 dollar bill. (75 K)
Galileo Gallilei appeared on the Italian 2000 Lire note. In some sense, he was the first modern scientist. He made critical discoveries of how to think about moving bodies. (32 K)
For a bio, click here.
Carl Frederich Gauss appears on the German 10 mark note. In addition to his many contributions to mathematics, Gauss made important discoveries in the theories of electromagnetism. (36 K)
For a bio, click here.
Guglielmo Marconi, the inventor of the first successful radio, appears on the Italian 200 Lire note. (63 K)
Isaac Newton appeared on the British one pound note. Newton was probably the greatest physicist in history. His work established fundamental elements of the scientific style of inquiry. He made major discoveries in the theory of motion, our understanding of the nature of light, gravitation, and the properties of matter. (20 K)
For a bio click here or here.
Ernest Rutherford (1871-1937) appears on the New Zealand 100 dollar note. Rutherford and his students performed and interpreted experiments that led to the understanding of atomic structure -- that most of the mass of the atom is contained in a very small bit in the center (the nucleus) and that the size of the atom is determined by very light particles -- the electrons. (100 K)
Erwin Schroedingerappears on the Austrian 1000 Schilling note. Schroedinger was one of the primary developers of the quantum theory, the theory that explains the properties of matter as arising from the properties of its constituent parts -- electrons and nuclei. (100 K)
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was born in Croatia and immigrated to America. He contributed to the development of electrical technology. Here he is displayed on black and white scan of a 5Million Dinar note from the period of the great inflation in Yugoslavia. (116 K)
Allesandro Volta (1745-1827)constructed the first chemical battery. He appears on the Italian 10,000 Lire note. (75 K)

Thanks to Alex Dragt, Jeff Hamilton, Ernie Barreto, Jean Fripp, and Christian Ucke for images.

This page prepared by Edward F. Redish
Department of Physics, University of Maryland
College Park, MD 20742-4111
Phone: (301) 405-6120 Fax: (301) 405-6114
Last modified 8 October, 1996