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 9 Nobel Prizes 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 – Awarded to Horst Störmer, 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).
2014 – Awarded to Eric Betzig (who shared it with non-Bell Lab scientists Stefan Hall and William E. Moerner) for his work in super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
2018 – Awarded to Arthur Ashkin (shared with Gérard Mourou and Donna Strickland) for his work on optical tweezers (laser-based devices that can hold microscopic objects using light).
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. 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.
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