According to the New York Times, physicist and novelist Ransom Stephens once said, "You can make a strong case that [Noether's] theorem is the backbone on which all of modern physics is built." With a claim like that, it's hard to comprehend that her name still doesn't ring a bell for most people.
Though she was hugely prolific, publishing a ton of groundbreaking papers, Noether is remembered most for Noether's theorem. This theorem, which is often asserted to be the most beautiful result in mathematical physics, linked symmetry in nature to the universal laws of conservation. "It's definitely true that Noether's theorem is part of the foundation on which modern physics is built," says physicist Natalia Toro of the Perimeter Institute and the University of Waterloo, as quoted in Symmetry Magazine. "We apply it every day to deep and well-tested principles like conservation of energy and momentum."